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Fantasy A Tide of Flames: a d20 Dungeons & Dragons adventure

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  1. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The party (including Corrath)

    Great Hall, Brindol Keep, Brindol
    Nine Bells, Twenty-third of Mirtul, Morning
    Year of Scattered Lanterns (1378 DR)

    Compared with entry, further infiltration was depressingly straightforward. If Corrath could move with her present ease through Brindol Keep, there was every chance a Red Hand operative would likewise be able to do so. She eventually abandoned the high ledges and shadows of statues for audacity: stealth as often as not involved looking as though you belonged in a particular place. She strode past at least three serving maids with a straight face before finding the stairwell she guessed would be there.

    Barsillus had drilled her in the layout of keeps more complex than this. Oh, she'd never have been able to remember the turns and twists of Castle Waterdeep, but for all the rich diversity of the Realms' peoples and races, defence of one's lands invariably rested largely around castles. And castleskept to predictable floorplans; only the mad or the malevolent designed their fortresses to be difficult for a garrison to maneuver or find their way around. Quite the contrary, a simpler design was invariably easier to defend. It was a fair inference that Brindol Keep had been built first as a strongpoint to ground Elias Kharmantle's campaign against Urikel Zarl's tribesmen; given the lack of surprises thus far, it seemed that inference remained valid.

    She made her way up the last stone steps and quietly slipped into the space beyond: a walled balcony only about thirty feet off the floor, overlooking the Great Hall, its original purpose being to host people of Evelios's professionduring feasts and festivals. And, the balcony being placed for optimal acoustics, not only could they hear every note played by a lute on this balcony ... but she could also clearly hear the words of the Company and the speakers below, starting with Zanaek's explanation that the roadways north had been cleared and that the elves had been recruited to Brindol's cause.

    Jarmaath exhaled heavily as he began to look over the papers Zanaek had laid out on the table. "This is welcome knowledge, saers. We'd been given some indications of the foe we faced, but nothing as specific as this. And knowing that you've dealt with two dragons alone - well, that's impressive. Gives us hope. But you mentioned another person, the--?"
    "Ghostlord," said Tredora Goldenbrow. The cleric's eyes hadn't gone to a glare yet, but the ice in her voice turned Jarmaath's head towards her. "An old fable. One told to frighten children at bedtime. The legend of Urikel Zarl."
    "What, that Ghostlord?" Jarmaath looked back at the Company, perplexed, before turning to Tredora again. "The doomed druid?"
    "So the story goes," said Tredora. "A romantic and overblown tale ending in tragedy. I hope we are not dealing with another such overblown talenow."
    "You doubt our words?" Skadi gritted her teeth. Verassa Kaal's face was still made from marble; Norro Wiston had gone a decidedly whiter shade, while Lars Ulverth and Soranna Anitah looked confused.
    "I merely suggest it is easy to make a shadow larger in one's own mind than it truly is," said the cleric, settling herself back into her seat - and Jarmaath was straightening, looking at the Company quizzically.
    "A lich," said Skadi, feeling the back of her neck starting to heat up, "casts a long shadow."
    "A lich?" The echo came from Lars Ulverth - a basso rumble, one accustomed to being heard over the screams of wounded men on a battlefield. "That is a powerful enemy indeed. I have heard the stories spun of the Ghostlord. How did you manage to defeat such an enemy?"

    TAG: All
  2. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    [IMG]
    Ohh yeah. :cool:

    IC: Corrath Marktos

    Corrath had to admit, she was professionally disappointed. After all that effort to get in, and there wasn't even any internal security? No guards, no patrols ... only disinterested maids who evidently hadn't been given her description, for she walked right past them with her hood down and everything.

    (Another mistake: if you were looking for a rogue, you damn well gave everyone her description. But it was a common mistake. A good maid strove to be unobtrusive and forgettable, which naturally led people - especially large men with swords and armor - to forget that maids went everywhere and knew everything. Easiest way to know what was happening in a keep was to befriend the staff.)

    Still, Corrath wasn't complaining, exactly.

    She drew her hood up and slipped onto the balcony, taking care to remain in the back where she would not be seen or heard.

    Tag: All/none - Corrath is merely eavesdropping :D
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  3. cassie5squared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2010
    star 2
    IC: William Marshall

    "With a great deal of luck, and probably the favour of the gods," William said heavily. "He was insane - centuries of undeath had shattered his mind. We had little option but to destroy him."

    He looked across the table to Tredora briefly, then back to Kerden Jarmaath. "I am both a wizard and a seeker of lore, my lord, and whatever Lady Goldenbrow may think, I know of Urikel Zarl. He came from a dark family of great power, and warped it and the world around him until his own god cursed him with lichborne. Believe me, he was not a foe you would wish to face." His voice turned as dark as the shadows in the lich's lair. "We found what he was creating to send against you. We fought him. And we defeated him. A fable told to frighten children? Perhaps, but that's the first fable I've ever come across that's tried to kill me."

    TAG: All
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  4. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Mazarun Zothyrr
    At the meeting of the grand high muckety-mucks

    Mazarun's breathing had slowed, his focus increasing, as he planned out his words, turning each one over in his mind, hearing it out and stripping away his accent as much as he could manage. In measured, even tones, he told those assembled in the room, "I doubt your elven allies would consider him an overblown tale. The relative antiquity of an event depends somewhat upon the lifespan of the person looking back at it, after all, and for those with first-hand memories..." He shrugged. "If the truth is not yet forgotten, it is no mere story."

    He looked around at their questioners. Some, he knew; he had seen the pair from Drellin's Ferry while on trips into that settlement every so often on his errands for Bruneld. Tredora... well. It would have been nice at this point not to know her, actually, he thought.

    "In any case, William speaks truly; Zarl was mad, his mind fragmented by undeath. But our wizard is too modest to give you a complete truth - it was his magic that was particularly significant in destroying the Ghostlord. And Zarl is gone; his phylactery, which the goblins hoped to use for blackmailing him into an alliance, is also gone. As are the undead creatures he'd raised for them."

    TAG: Saint, all
    Last edited by Rilwen_Shadowflame, Oct 8, 2012
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  5. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Zanaek Grahorn

    The Great Hall, Brindol Keep

    "Does this," he gestured at the gray streaks in his hair, "look like a tale told to frighten children?" He knew the two from Drellin's Ferry who had known him prior to his encounter with the Ghostlord, would remember him having been younger in appearance and if Tredora Goldenbrow was even an ounce of a cleric like she is believed to be, she would know what a taxing turning could do to a cleric. "That lich and his lions nearly killed my companions and I. It was only by the grace of the Gods and some ingenuity on Williams part that we came out of that encounter alive."

    Are all clerics of Lathander stubborn fools? he silently and rhetorically asked of Torm. This was the second Lathandite he had come across in less than a few weeks that chose to ignore the truth in favor of their stern beliefs.

    Zanaek snorted indignantly and rested back in his seat. "Regardless of whether you believe in the stories or not, Zarl is no longer a threat to Brindol and that is all that matters at this point." He wondered if they should mention the demon that had been unwittingly released due to their interference. Was it a threat though? Would the beast rear it's ugly head in this campaign or would it go somewhere else, far away from the adventurers that had expelled it from its host and cause havoc elsewhere?


    TAG: ALL


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  6. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    Evelios D'Rtan, Paralyzed by the Metagame, and Poe the Raven
    There's only one option for writer's block - FORM THE INVINCIBLE SUPERMAN, ZAMBOT 3!


    <<So... are we going to... y'know, say anything?>>

    <<Possibly, I dunno. Why?>>

    <<Because we're like the talking guy. It's our shtick. Our bag. Our raison d'être.>>

    <<Hey, French doesn't exist in this setting, no one knows what that means.>>

    <<Good point. It's our... wait, time out.>>

    <<What?>>

    <<Well, French doesn't exist in this setting...>>

    <<Right.>>

    <<And yet here we are...>>

    <<Uh huh.>>

    <<Talking in English.>>

    <<Um.>>

    <<Er.>>

    <<Well.>>

    <<Translation convention!>>

    <<Do tell.>>

    <<So basically there's an underlying assumption that everything we say is actually in whatever language it originally was in, and is just, y'know, "translated" for the readers at home. So theoretically this is actually a placeholder for common.>>

    <<I guess that makes sense, but then why are we using bastardizations of non-English languages as stand ins for actual foreign languages in this campaign? Should they not also be translated? It's bloody inconsistent.>>

    <<You dare defy the will of the translation convention? HIGH SABBÁ!>>

    <<Who the hell?>>

    <<Zaid, get the hell out of here, you have things to do in ToF.>>

    <<Isn't this ToF?>>

    <<Your mother's tof.>>

    <<No, I mean... wait, why are we breaking the fourth wall so casually? Normally we just sort of lean on it, winking-like.>>

    <<Writer's block.>>

    <<But that's not possible. If there were writer's block, we'd definitely be hearing->>

    <<ZAM ZAM ZAAAA ZAM ZAM! ZAM ZAM ZAAAAA ZAM ZAM!>>

    <<Oh bloody hell.>>

    <<Somebody say something!>>

    <<Quickly!>>

    "Splunge!" added Evelios.

    <<Did we just...>>

    <<Yeah we did.>>

    <<Crap.>>

    "By which I of course mean, yes, the lich was very real. Nearly shot my vocal chords singing him into submission. It was fun, actually, it's not often I get a wall of sand dropped on my head. Really puts things into perspective. The sand, I mean. Sand. Sand. Endless sand. You know it's course and gritty and it gets in- say, that lute."

    He pointed up to the balcony. "That lute is seriously off-key. And with these kind of acoustics you really can't help but spot it. We're talking at least 1/512th of a semi-tone, here. You should really let them know."

    TAG: All
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  7. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The party

    Great Hall, Brindol Keep, Brindol
    Nine Bells, Twenty-third of Mirtul, Morning
    Year of Scattered Lanterns (1378 DR)

    "I am sure Lord Jarmaath will make it a priority," said Verassa Kaal. The auburn-haired woman turned from the long moment's gaze she'd directed at the balcony. Her smile was bleak as midwinter morning. "Although it is a comfort to know we will not need to look far for a mummer in motley to entertain us."
    Jarmaath turned on her. "Lady Kaal--"
    "Oh, away with you," she said, waving a hand. "I do not jest with such skill as master D'Rtan here. But neither do I think the rest of it is mummery, either. There are enough reliable accounts of horrors to go with children's tales of the Ghostlord to make it more than a fable, Tredora."
    The sudden roses in the cleric's cheeks were an eminent match for the sudden thinning of her lips. Skadi noticed Jarmaath's sudden look in that direction though, and the lady of the Cathedral remained silent, only shifting in her seat. And the Tyrran cleric also couldn't help but notice the twitches of smiles across Norro and Soranna's faces, either.
    "Blackmail's a powerful motivator, though," Verassa continued. "I'm pleased you managed to overcome both the motivation and the man. Gods alone know what he would have done had he been pushed to the point you seem to imply."
    "Aye," added Lars Ulverth. "Liches are dangerous enough when pursuing their goals. To imagine one being forced against his will ... well." The captain of guards peered closer at Skadi's armour. "Did you recover that armour from him? 'Tis old, but I've seen it's like before -- there's sketches like that, lion-chased vambraces, in the Keep's Armourers' Book."
    Jarmaath snapped his fingers. "That's it. I know the sketches you speak of. Yes, I was wondering about that, too, m'lady. There hasn't been that sort of plating worn in the Vale since..." He trailed off.
    "Since the Kharmantles," said Verassa Kaal. Her words fell dead in the air. "We have paintings in my family's vaults, Lord Jarmaath. That armour is rather distinctive. Those are the arms of a Rhestilorian king."
    Captain Ulverth was looking steadily at Skadi. "No matter how much of a fool Linnas was, they never would have common cause with a lich."
    Skadi decided this had gone about far enough. "I do not know this Lininas you refer to, but the suit was not recovered from the Ghostlord. It comes from a set of drowned ruins, well north of here. It lay in the treasure hoard of the dragon guarding those ruins, where the Red Hand was breeding greenspawn for their forces. I believe you would call it the city of Rhestilor."
    "Well, damn me," said Lars Ulverth, then realised who he was talking to. "Pardons, m'lady -- Solinas Kharmantle was the last of his family. The King Who Rode, the scholars call him -- lost the western frontier, Dennovar broke away under his rule. But if that's right, then you couldn't be wearing his suit. And looking at it, that suit's old. Very old. Maybe it was--"

    "It was the armour of Elias Kharmantle, first king in the drowned city," a new voice echoed through the hall. Apparently the hinges on the oaken doors were well-oiled; most of the room turned to regard the newest entrant, a small, slight, robed figure that slowly made its way into the meeting. A few steps in, the figure threw its hood back -- though Jarmaath and Tredora Goldenbrow alike were rising from their seats, Lady Kaal a moment behind them.
    This face, too, was familiar: an ancient, but smooth elven face surmounted by simple robes -- with two tribesmen following in her wake. Sellyria Starsinger moved across the room, managing to look both regal and out-of-place at once.
    "My apologies for my late arrival," she said. "I had some pressing matters to attend to."
    "Your counsel and your presence are always welcome, Speaker," said Lord Jarmaath, beckoning for more chairs to be brought out. "I understand you already know my guests -- I understand they had a hand in you being here to aid us," he continued.
    "Indeed," said Sellyria. "As we had a hand in forging that armour the young woman wears."
    The Captain had a wistful expression as he looked back at Skadi. "King Elias, eh? Good plate, then. Bring you luck. Good arms, from a good man."
    "That he was," said Sellyria. "But I had understood you intended to speak of present wars, not the past, Lord Jarmaath."

    "Yes," said Jarmaath, though with a moment's hesitation: the more perceptive members of the Company might have spotted him look to Ulverth; Tredora, Kaal; even Norro Wiston, with answering looks of approval, coldness, indifference, and a nod. He turned back to the Company. "Well, saers, I've much to be grateful to you for, but I'd be more grateful if you could stay. Truthfully, we've been attempting to draw up plans for when this Red Hand reaches our walls, and given what you seem to know of their intentions I would be much happier having your say into those plans."

    Skadi shifted in her seat. "We have been somewhat ... incommunicado for the past week or so. And we have only had a small, single view of the effort against the horde. Perhaps it would help us if we could review where matters presently are?"

    Jarmaath nodded, pushing aside plates and rolling out maps of the Vale, the city, and the Company's precious intelligence recovered from Koth:

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    Jarmaath took a deep breath. "As you say, Drellin's Ferry was burned yesterday - we've a couple of riders out of Terrelton who brought us confirmation of that. Going by this intelligence, assuming they've already crossed the Talar, the horde's estimating they'll be here in under thirty days. That'll mean they're here around the middle of Kythorn - next month."
    "It could be earlier than that," rumbled Captain Ulverth. "If as you say we're the only stiff resistance expected in the Vale, and they know we're already aware of their coming, I'd not let my troops waste their time looting and pillaging. I'd press straight on to here, give us the least amount of time to dig in."
    Jarmaath chewed his lip. "It's so hard to know. Hobgoblin armies usually only hold together on the prospect of plunder, at least from what I've seen and heard. But if this truly is an army of fanatics..."
    "...their discipline could be stronger," said Ulverth. "But then again they might not think we'll put up enough resistance to matter anyway. It's hard to know."

    Skadi leaned forward. "What are your resources? Truly."
    Captain Ulverth ticked off points on his fingers. "Two hundred in the town guard and the Lions of Brindol put together. We're still calling up levies, but we'll only get eight hundred all up from there. Two hundred and fifty archers from the Tiri Kitor, and gratefully accepted," he said, nodding at Sellyria. "We received wordwe'll have a hundred and fifty hussaryn -- light cavalry, armed with sabers and spears -- along the Rhest Trail, from Shaarmid, within the week."
    Skadi nodded. The hussaryn were a familiar enough group; their distinctive feature was the two artificial wings that rose from the backs of their saddles, making the riders look like mounted solars as they charged into battle. They even incorporated flute-like indentations to give an eerie howling sound as they rode.
    "We've also been honoured with the addition of House Kaal's forces," said Captain Ulverth.
    There was a short silence. "Is there a problem?" asked Skadi.
    Verassa Kaal glanced at Jarmaath's glower for a moment, then settled. "My house guard will bring another seventy troops in."
    Just on fifteen hundred all up. "What about the other towns in the Vale?" asked Skadi, glancing at Soranna Anitah. "If you can convince the villagers to muster on Brindol, that will surely offer a better chance of survival than trying to fight off the Red Hand one village at a time."
    Soranna, though, was silently shaking her head, and Jarmaath looked truly weary for the first time since she'd met him. "They're well aware of that. That eight hundred in levies the Captain mentioned includes every levy and vassal we've managed to call in from Red Rock down to bloody Hillwatch. And in truth, I can't in good conscience call more villeins to die on these walls. They've another, more important task to do."
    "Oh?"
    "You know, I was an adventurer. Once. A long time ago," said Jarmaath. "Even faced down and did an injury to a black dragon, a little one, once. But that sort of life makes you forget things -- makes you forget that, no matter whether we win or lose, no matter how great a pile of hobgoblins we accumulate -- the sheer devastation that'll follow in the Red Hand's passage is going to cause dreadful suffering. It's late spring now. That horde of hobgoblins'll hit here midsummer. Crops won't have grown fully. Orchards won't have given up their fruit. Even now I've got every man I can spare who isn't making weapons out in the fields trying to judge how much early harvest we can bring in before the Red Hand burns every stalk of living wheat west of Brindol. And even if we win, we're going to have to beg every town east of here, through to Dennovar, for grain to sustain us. I don't know if Talar, Nimon's Gap, Terrelton, or Drellin's Ferry will even survive the winter that follows, with burned croplands." He glanced at the older, balding man a few seats down from him. "Sorry, Norro."
    "No need," said Norro, though his politeness was a patina over much the same thoughts as Jarmath. "But I can tell you we will. One way or another, if we live, Drellin's Ferry will rise again. I've sworn such to my people. I don't break my promises easily."
    Skadi put it together. "You mean to evacuate this city?"
    Jarmaath nodded. "We'll hold as long as we possibly can, to try and get as much of an early crop out as we can ahead of the Red Hand. But -- I'd say two weeks from now, maybe less -- we're going to get every man, woman or child who can't or shouldn't hold a weapon out of this city and send them in wayns to Dennovar Along with whatever crops they can carry."

    TAG: All
  8. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Mazarun Zothyrr

    There were three of them. The rest of the room hardly mattered. Three darthiir, and none of them knew what Mazarun was. None of them would expect a sudden strike. It would be so easy...

    It was perhaps fortunate that all of the focus had been on Skadi's armour; it diverted attention from Mazarun, tense and wary, as he fought down long-taught instincts bit by bit. No. I am not stupid. I do not blindly rush into battle. It would expose me too soon, and the others here would strike against me instantly. Even faerie elves are not worth that. He'd not had time to prepare himself before Sellyria's sudden arrival; there had been no tme to counter all those years of training with any thought readied in advance.

    The jolt of instinct faded, nerves returning almost sullenly to their usual state.

    But there were more important matters at hand, in any case. He looked thoughtfully down at the map. "With sight from the air and this city as an obstacle in the path, at least those who evacuate will find less cause for fear, I think. The journey here with some of the refugees was interrupted at times by warg-riding scouts." He gave a thin little smile. "Fortunately they generally lost all interest in scouting, very suddenly, at that point." Mazarun became serious once more. "Having seen how they like to harry the helpless, I am glad especially of eyes in the sky for your plan, Lord Jaarmath. Far easier that way to discourage them if they felt tempted to send out forces avoiding Brindol, to hunt down the evacuees."

    He might not enjoy owlback flight, but Mazarun couldn't deny how useful it would likely be for seeing the movements of enemies before any ground force could. Brindol's Lord had wanted the Company's contributions to plans; having been a witness to the goblins' tactics regarding refugees coming into Brindol, this particular point had been the first to spring to mind for Mazarun

    TAG: Saint, all
    Last edited by Rilwen_Shadowflame, Oct 9, 2012
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  9. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The party

    Great Hall, Brindol Keep, Brindol
    Nine Bells, Twenty-third of Mirtul, Morning
    Year of Scattered Lanterns (1378 DR)

    I can wait, a voice whispered inside Mazarun's mind. A familiar voice; one that had spoken back in the dream, only a day - an age - ago. The voice of the ioun stone, the darkness lurking within it. Blood always waits, dhaeraow.

    Jarmaath bit his lip. "Don't find too much gladness in me yet, saer Silver. We'll need every owl here for scouting, messengers, and fast movement - none of them will go as escort to the wayns. I'll have them guarded, no question, but even that group's going to have to be small - call it the Company of the Last Resort. And they'll have to go faster than a dwarven king towards a pile of gold, to get back here in time for the battle." His voice had become hoarse; the Lord picked up a half-full cup of wine and drained it. "Hellsfire and Blood War. I can't spare the men here. I can't spare them away from the escort either. I have more men under my command than has been held by a Rhestilorian lord for three hundred years, and I can't let one of them be lost."
    "Are you positive that is every possible resource you can lay claim to?" asked Skadi. The Lord's words had triggered a memory ten days gone - a memory of a strangely unarmoured companion of theirs, a monk who'd left their company. "A former companion of ours, a dwarf as it happens, had suggested there might be aid from--"
    Apparently Jarmaath remembered it too. "Shades and ashes! Don't know how I forgot that. Yes, Durin Shieldbreaker -- I received him three days ago. Sorry to say my activities kept him from seeing me until then. Yes, yes -- he's been sent to the Hammerfist Holds to try and recruit the Shining Axes. My only hope is that he reaches the holds and convinces Othrek Hammerfist to release the Axes to come here. If so, that'll be another two hundred axe-wielding dwarves to add to our complement here."

    Skadi nodded. If their information was correct, the forces of Brindol were still horribly outnumbered, but seventeen hundred was better than fifteen hundred in any event. "And have you given any thought to how you will distribute that complement?" she asked.
    Jarmaath straightened, glancing at the other lords present. "That's where I was hoping you might come in." He indicated the map of Brindol. "If this horde's not terribly subtle, I'd think they'll strike directly along the Dawn Way -- trying to breach the city's west wall. The northern face of the city's unwalled, of course, but those two bridges can be destroyed fairly easily to little gain; the Elsir runs fast and deep here. Any bridges they try and build over that stream'll wind up fired in a matter of moments."

    Captain Ulverth indicated the others. "We've been spending the past three daysoutlining how best to defend Brindol when the attack comes. We've narrowed it down to one of two options, but we didn't have enough information about the hobgoblins to make an informed choice. Now you're here I'm hoping we can. The choice that seems right to me--"
    "--is a choice that will surely result in the burning of the city," interrupted Jarmaath. "Now that we've got the hussaryn to function as a spearhead, we'd be fools to let the horde ride up to the walls uncontested. That's all open country out west of Brindol, and the Lions are decent enough cavalry on their own. Three hundred and fifty horse could do tremendous damage to a straight infantry force before they get anywhere near bowshot of the walls. It's simple. Sally from the south gate, wheel west, take their infantry columns in flank before they deploy for battle, and then retire to the west gate. If we blunt them there, it'll slow them down and leave that many less to deal with at the walls. The Lions can do it."
    "They'll likely die doing it," replied Captain Ulverth. "They might do some damage, but that is the cream of your troop. Every man in the Lions of Brindol has been wielding blades for years. It will cost many lives. You could sally with all of Brindol's army and they would still be badly outnumbered."
    "That's why I'm suggesting only the cavalry sally," said Jarmaath. "Hit and run back to the walls."
    "The fortifications of the city are better shields than any of those horsemen can hold."
    "Are they? These walls haven't had to stand up to a determined assault since the First King's time," said Jarmaath, nodding at Skadi (or at least her armour). "And they haven't ever had to stand up to a large scale bombardment. I've set the masons to buttressing and bulwarking, but those walls haven't been cared for in three hundred years. Some shield they'll make."

    "You see the problem," said Lady Kaal, a mocking note in her tone. "These two walking kettles have been arguing over this issue for days while the rest of us listen. Frankly, we could use some outside thought. If only to relieve the headache they are inducing."
    "Mind your tone, Verassa," snapped Jarmaath. "You don't rule here yet."

    TAG: All

    OOC: So, what will you guys do?


  10. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    IC: Corrath Marktos

    Evelios, you little toerag! Corrath stood absolutely still, hardly daring to breathe as Verassa Kaal glanced up at the balcony - but the Lady either didn't see her or chose not to comment, for she soon turned back to rest. Corrath relaxed minutely.

    Not that a war council - for that was what this was, despite Corrath's paranoid imaginings of being arrested - was particularly relaxing.

    She mulled over the problem. Large-unit tactics had never been her forte, but she'd picked up bits and pieces over the years ... and neither option seemed particularly wise, to her. Yes, cavalry were not so useful when defending against a determined siege, but it was also foolish to imagine that cavalry could do sufficient damage in a hit-and-run strike to be worth the price in lives ... it seemed to her a better idea to send the cavalry out, but only have them strike once the Horde had committed to sieging Brindol. But that would leave the cavalry on their own outside Brindol, with no easy access to supplies ...

    Hum.

    A difficult problem.

    Tag: none
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  11. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Mazarun Zothyrr

    "There are other options," Mazarun noted. "Even a goblin army cannot march endlessly. They'll have to stop and rest. And when they do..." He glanced toward William. "We got here into the city because our wizard has a remarkable facility for waving his hands and declaring distance a minor footnote in travelling. We can do it again, surely."

    The disguised drow tugged thoughtfully on one lock of hair. "The goblins can't kill what they can't see. And flight is not that complicated. Turning up above them without their knowing it appeals to me. And from that vantage point... Fire. Or anything else that seems useful." He almost snorted. "They can't spread their army out too much, or it won't be able to march together. And the more of them together, the more of them can be hit. I am thinking we can aid you by beginning to whittle them down long before they even glimpse the walls of this city."

    He gave an offhand shrug and added casually, "It would also give you very current updates, for use in readying your own plans here in the city."

    TAG: Saint, all
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  12. cassie5squared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2010
    star 2
    IC: William Marshall

    Delicately ignoring the clear animosity between Kerden and Verasa (seriously, there was far more infighting than was required for such a small group - first Tredora's petulance, and now this), William gave Mazarun a slight smile. "That's remarkably close to what I was thinking," he said after a moment. "Speedy as your cavalrymen no doubt are, you risk far more lives than you need sending them out to harass the Red Hand. Sieges are not especially entertaining, but even the city's old walls are a better defence than the open plains."

    He traced the wood grain of the table absently with one finger. "We have the abilities between us, our Company, to bother the army sufficiently. We may be able to make them more cautious, if we attack well. I have a number of useful spells at my disposal that could cause mayhem amongst them... though I would not object if I could gain an audience with any local wizards of repute to see if they have anything they're willing to share. And as Silver said, I can get us in and out far more quickly than even the best of your horsemen could, though the spell is limited in how many people it can carry."

    With a glance aroud the table, trying to gauge what his companions thought of the idea, the wizard half-shrugged. "If anyone has an issue with the idea, I'm open to other options, but my opinion is that you should not be risking your horsemen until you have to. As I said, I am a historian, and readying for a siege works best when you have as many warriors as possible behind the walls. We can strike from a different angle each time, and get out with all speed. Gods willing, we may even slow the army down out of nervousness, and give the refugees and reinforcements that much more time."

    TAG: Everyone
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  13. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    Ariel Elandinai
    Great Hall, Brindol, Elsir Vale - Eight bells, Twenty-third of Mirtul, morning

    Ariel listened quietly to all of the proceedings between the Company and Lord Jarmaath and those with him. True, she was not wise in the ways of a city defense. And Lord Jarmaath was correct. She had not even thought of what it would take to evacuate the rest of the city. And grounders, would take longer to move. Especially as they were sending those who could not, or should not fight. The too told, too young, women, those unable to fight. It would mean they would not be able to move quickly at all. A tempting target...

    Ariel looked at the maps once more. She then spoke, as she gestured to one of the maps.

    "There are also other considerations." She stated simply. She pointed to the map showing the path that the horde was planning to take. "The map shows what looks like another passage, possibly another group, meeting up south of the city. If they decide to press ahead, and do not stop for looting, they could end up surrounding the city, and making it difficult to get anyone out. We will have to worry about fighting them on two fronts. And that is if they do not have spies already within the walls of the city."

    Ariel flexed her wings, as she stared at the map. "Also, this is not a simple hobgoblin force. They are being ah... 'motivated', by the wyrm Tiamat herself. And from what we've seen, her higher ups in the group, tend to be either major magic users or clerics. They will most likely try to call up other nasty beasts from her realms as well." Ariel pointed to a set of nearby mountains. "And then, there are her dragons...one of them, most likely being an older one. The one their main leader would most likely ride."

    Ariel shrugged her shoulders. "I do think thought, that the earlier that we can engage them, the more it gives the city a chance for its defenses to hold." Ariel thought of the horn of fog, and wondered if that could also be used...at least on the ground troops.

    She sat back, waiting for the others to add to anything or most likely to argue. Ariel scanned the area around her as she was want to do. She was missing the outside already. She began to scan the area, with the Winged Mothers sight, to see if there was anything of interest, while she waited for others to chime in.



    TAG: Everyone
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  14. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Zanaek Grahorn

    The Great Hall, Brindol Keep

    "You all are thinking far too big," the cleric said after listening to everyone debate on a proper course of action. "What does an marching army need the most?" He glanced around the table but when he got no answer he elaborated. "Supplies. Food. Water. Destroy their supply train and that will slow them down even further. They will have to stop and plunder villages and farms to resupply and if we take away anything that can support them, it will demoralize the grunts. A hungry soldier is harder to keep in line regardless of discipline or fanaticism".

    Thoughts of his youth came to him, of when raiders had pillaged and plundered his village and the outlying farmsteads. They had taken everything that they could carry and use and was of value. From gold coins to sacks of grain to the family cow. Zanaek pursed his lips as he leaned forward to rest his elbows on the table. He continued on his line of thought, "Normally an army would keep such supplies lines at the rear or together somewhere within the march and that would make it difficult for a cavalry force to reach. However, we do have something that they do not nor probably anticipated. An aerial force."

    The Tormite cleric glanced to Starslinger to see if she was keen on the idea he was proposing. "With invisibility spells, alchemist's fire* and whatever else that can be used to cause large amounts of destruction to their supplies, our elven allies could halt the advancement of the Horde with little loss of life. The cavalry could then scorch any useful ground ahead of that advancing army, denying them food, water and even plunder. Yes it would cost the folks of Elsir Vale but you all would lose it anyway, as evident of Drellin's Ferry. The point here is to buy us time and demoralize and weaken their army."

    TAG: ALL

    OOC: Basically suggesting a Scorch Earth policy and doing hit and run attacks on their own supplies. If successful, regardless of how fanatical or disciplined the soldiers are, an army will not fight on an empty stomach or be less keen on fighting until they are fed.

    * alchemist's fire - aka Greek Fire or napalm
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  15. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The party

    Great Hall, Brindol Keep, Brindol
    Nine Bells, Twenty-third of Mirtul, Morning
    Year of Scattered Lanterns (1378 DR)

    Verassa Kaal shifted in her seat. "Should you choose to interdict the Red Hand's advance somewhere to the west, you will not be doing it with any of my house troops. The Lord does have it right that we will need every man in the fields and orchards gathering what sustenance ahead of the attack. I do not believe you quite comprehend the scale of that task - a full scouring and harvest of every field we can lay hands on, ahead of the Red Hand. I know my men will be out there with sickles and bags for a long time before they take up swords and shields."
    "It's worth some thought, though," said Captain Ulverth, rubbing his chin. "Speaker Starsinger - how would your wings be placed to conduct strikes of the kind being suggested?"
    The Speaker looked grim, even for an elf. "It has been centuries since we rallied in force for pitched battle. Centuries since we fought outside the marshlands. Of that generation that rode with my husband, I am the last. Finer archers you will not find within your city's walls, Captain, but fighting in open skies - particularly if a dragon, or dragons, are still with this dark army - is a dangerous task."
    "And in truth, is it really a battle to be won?" Tredora Goldenbrow looked up from steepled fingers - and surprisingly, there was clear anguish in her eyes as she looked at Jarmaath. "I still do not see how we are marshalling our best defence here rather than at the walls of Dennovar. Why even hold this city at all? Why not fight where we can mass all of our forces rather than half?"
    Jarmaath's expression hardened. "Tred--my lady, if we cede them the entire Vale before fighting back we will be years digging them out on our way back west."
    "Surely that depends on their morale?" countered the cleric. "And as for destroying their supplies, saer Grahorn -- surely you would be aware there are spells that any black cleric could cast to address a lack of food. Water will never be an issue for these creatures," she said, gesturing at the eastern portion of the map of Elsir Vale. "Once this army reaches or closes upon Nimon Gap, it will have water sources -- the Nimon Stream, and then the Elsir River itself from then on until Brindol. But either way, I cannot see why we must hold here. Break them here, break them at Dennovar, what difference does it make? The numbers seem clearly in our favour at Dennovar rather than here. "
    "Except that on the way back west from Dennovar, we will be fighting at Brindol again. Only we would be besieging these walls against them. And these are hobgoblins. They will not die easily," said Ulverth.
    Jarmaath abruptly stepped away from the table. "We get ahead of ourselves," the lord said. "Whether we interdict the Red Hand well ahead of their arrival at these walls or not, we must be united as to whether we sally or stand behind our walls! To stand and await their bombardment seems foolish to me -- we will risk much destruction to the city."
    "Destruction to the city, or loss of the city?" countered Ulverth.

    There was a short silence, and clear indecision in the war council remained.

    TAG: All
    Last edited by Saintheart, Oct 11, 2012
  16. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Mazarun Zothyrr

    It took several slow, deep breaths for Mazarun to regain his composure. For a moment he wondered if he wouldn't have been better off after all if he'd simply left the city upon finding out what was going on, and joined the Red Hand, who at least seemed not to have this much trouble getting themselves organised. If he'd aligned himself with that cause instead, he'd surely not have had to deal with this sort of nonsense. But William wouldn't ever have been part of that, and he at least had made sense, even if the others in the room had seemed determined not to.

    Mazarun spoke slowly and evenly. "With all due respect to the lords and ladies here, I was not suggesting taking any of your troops anywhere. Making your defensive stand sounds wise enough to me, as does using your men to harvest whatever you can while there's time. But we do not need troops for what I was suggesting. To bloody them somewhat, long before they arrive here? We can do that, I am sure." He looked to Kerden Jaarmath, who had admitted to adventuring himself in times gone by, and who might understand. "Sometimes a small force can do what a larger one could not. A man sees and shields himself from a sword. He does not see a needle in the dark."

    He almost smiled. "We have unusual skills; let us be that needle. Let us seek to weaken them for you, so that by the time they reach the sword, they will not shield themselves from it with the strength they now have."

    TAG: Saint, all
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  17. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    Ragnar Ingvarsson

    The slouch in Ragnar's posture as he leaned against the wall gave greater insight into his attitude than he would have enjoyed. He was angry, frustrated over the way the incident in the tavern had gone. That man...that coward. If a man couldn't fight his own battles, then what good was he?

    And what good are these? He felt like spitting, but thought better of it. This is a war council?

    Then, just in time: Mazarun.

    "We have unusual skills; let us be that needle. Let us seek to weaken them for you, so that by the time they reach the sword, they will not shield themselves from it with the strength they now have."

    Ragnar rolled his eyes. "If we're going to harass an encamped army, we'd best have better than a needle. Should be fun, though. You lot spend an awful lot of time getting to the point. Point us in the right direction, we'll teach them pain."

    He shrugged.

    "Might get killed in the process, but at least it'd make a good story."

    In the end, he found himself grinning. Damn.

    Tag: All
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  18. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The party
    Great Hall, Brindol Keep, Brindol
    Nine Bells, Twenty-third of Mirtul, Morning
    Year of Scattered Lanterns (1378 DR)

    Skadi frowned, turning in her chair. The wood squeaked under the weight of her armour. "We have been asked for our counsel, Ragnar. Mens' lives rest on words we offer here -- and not merely ours. If you have no wisdom to offer, then keep silence while the rest of us try." If any of us have any wisdom, the cleric thought as she turned back to Lord Jarmaath.

    TAG: All
  19. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    Ragnar Ingvarsson
    Great Hall, Brindol Keep, Brindol
    Nine Bells, Twenty-third of Mirtul, Morning
    Year of Scattered Lanterns (1378 DR)

    The big man shrugged. "I am Illuskan and of the wolf; counsel does not suit me."

    He paused a moment.

    "...but if counsel I had, it would be this: despite Silver's poetics, the idea is sound. A small force could accomplish much against a larger foe, if they struck now. It's all in the timing. The question is, how long are we going to continue debating it?"

    He could almost feel his father's gaze, the influence. He'd been taught well, despite his dearly-held stubbornness. Against all odds, some of Ingvar's cunning had seeped into his youngest son. Not much, but some.

    "We'll do it. Won't we?"

    Tag: All


    EDIT: And yes, no wisdom to share :p
    Penguinator threw 20-faced die for: Wisdom Total: 2
    Last edited by Penguinator, Oct 14, 2012
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  20. cassie5squared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2010
    star 2
    IC: William Marshall

    "I think you've missed the current point," William said as he turned to Ragnar. "Our going or not is not the issue; it's what we think should be done with the city's army when the horde finally makes it here. Sending them to fight outside the city, or waiting behind the defence of the walls. And that will take a fair bit of discussion while we consider the options." He gave the huge tribesman a sympathetic look. "I know it's not what you're suited for, but it is necessary; your patience in the matter would be much appreciated."

    TAG: Peng, Saint, all (once we have a decision made about who's gonna do the main talking and which way we're persuading the council to go)
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  21. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    Ariel Elandinai
    Great Hall, Brindol, Elsir Vale - Eight bells, Twenty-third of Mirtul, morning

    Ariel tried her best not to sigh, or stare up into the rafters, as she listened to them argue. So many options and opinions. Ariel could feel for Jarmaath's position. It was not like simply being in a party. So many issues. He had an
    entire city to look to. Ariel stared at the large overall map, and flapped her wings slowly as she studied it. Grounder warfare. It was a strange thing.

    She heard the turn of events suddenly turn from defending the city, to deciding if they should even leave the city to fall, and move to the next city, Dennovar. Ariel studied the map, and after a very long pause, decided to speak.

    "There is no other recourse. You must defend the city." Ariel stated plainly. She looked at the map. You have already sent out requests for help. To abandon the city now, would leave you cut off from those resources. And if the Horde takes over the city, they can effectively stop any other help coming from this direction to Dennovar."

    Ariel looked over towards Lord Jarmaath and Norro. "There would be no way, you could protect the others you plan to send ahead. If you all travel, the Horde would quickly overtake you, as you have to travel the speed of your slowest person. Women, children...you would get mowed down, with NOTHING to protect you."

    Ariel frowned, as she pointed at the city of Dennovar. "And, if the Horde was following THAT close behind your group, you are assuming that Dennovar would open its gates. There is no guarantee that they would. They have the same worries as you do. It would be putting a great strain to the city. And if that one falls, where do you go then?" Ariel pointed to the other map. "Dennovar is not listed as a city to be attacked. They might simply consider it, and excuse me if I am being blunt.. 'your problem, not ours.' Ariel flapped her wings, and folded them around her shoulders. "Are they sending troops here to aid you?" Ariel stretched out a wing wide, as she pointed to the general map.

    "If Bristol is simply 'given' to them, it gives them a major advantage. Centrally located to everything. They can stop any reinforcements from this side of Dennovar. And it would give them a huge mental advantage as well. And with this city, they can sit through the winter, and then launch attacks from here, giving them a wider rein." Ariel looked up. "These creatures are driven by the dark promises and whispers of Tiamat." Ariel looked back at her party. "I cant speak for the party, but I would wager to guess we would have no problems with .. how would you say, testing the Horde's resolve'.." Ariel gave a slight grin. "But to meet them outside of the walls, would simply give them a victory, they do not need. We have cut off, or destroyed many of what they planed to use against the city. We dont need to give them anything that would motivate their troops. What small gain we might obtain, we risk by loosing those troops to fight inside the city. There is quite a bit of wall to keep track of, and those troops might be needed to move about and stay mobile within the city."

    Ariel looked towards the man who seemed to be the most battle ready, Captain Ulverth. "As you stated earlier, if the goblins expect that it might be more of a fight than they expected earlier, they will push their troops, to keep from giving the city time to dig in." If time is to be spent, then it should be done trying to fortifiy the walls as best as possible, using whatever spells and resources are available. Outside the walls is lost. The city must stand."

    Ariel crossed her arms, and pulled her wings back. There. She stated it. Now, perhaps they could finally get something done. She stood, and walked away from the table, looking briefly out of a window, before she turned once more to the proceedings.



    TAG: The Party

    OOC: Whoever is gonna say something..Batter up! lol :p
    Last edited by Ktala, Oct 19, 2012
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  22. cassie5squared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2010
    star 2
    IC: William Marshall and Maeghen

    The wizard remained silent for several moments, rather bemused. This was the most he'd ever heard the normally distant and abrupt avariel say at once, and certainly the most helpful thing she'd ever said, in his opinion.

    Finally, however, he decided to speak up again. "What Ariel says makes perfect sense." He looked from Jarmaath to Ulverth to Tredora. "You cannot abandon the city, or you will have to fight your way back into it."

    "And if you send out troops to fight the horde, you'll lose far too many to be able to defend the city once they're killed," Maeghen added. She'd been losing patience with all the bickering herself and decided to speak up.

    TAG: All
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  23. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Zanaek Grahorn

    Great Hall, Brindol Keep

    The cleric was surprised that Ariel had spoken. Until now she had mostly been quiet, something he had noticed about her lately. He listened as she attempted to persuade the leaders of the city what would be the best course of action for them and he found that he agreed with her. Defending against a siege was far better than sending out an outnumbered force to die and leave the rest of the vale defenseless.

    "It will also buy everyone time," he inputted after William gave his support to the avariel. "Time for reinforcements from the north and south to arrive and link up with Brindol. As my companion had pointed out, falling back to Dennovar will cut you off from any such reinforcements and make it next to impossible for you to retake the vale."

    TAG: ALL
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  24. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Mazarun Zothyrr

    Mazarun blinked a little as Ariel spoke up. From what he'd seen of her so far, this seemed totally atypical. He'd been gradually coming to the conclusion that she cared about nothing except Zanaek, and him only barely. Yet here she was, being interested and involved. The drow shrugged mentally and reminded himself not to pass up a stroke of luck, even from this unlikely source.

    "The city must hold," he noted calmly. "If there is no resistance here they will simply overrun those who flee. It would be a massacre. Here, you have the walls. Here, you can choose the battle - they must come to you, so you have that chance to plan for the defense. Out there, they could choose their own fight. Why give them the advantage of that choice? Why look over your shoulder all the way to Dennovar, waiting for their forces to overtake you?"

    TAG: ALL
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  25. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    Ragnar Ingvarsson

    With a shrug, the Illuskan dismissed the confusion. It didn't matter to him if he had to hold a wall or not; he'd do it.

    "The city will hold," he said to Mazarun. "The city will fight. It must."

    And we'll lead it. I'll lead it, if need be.

    Tag: @Rilwen_Shadowflame @Ktala, all
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