The Old Fort (Part 1 of 2)
Reports of panicked refugees and villagers chased from their homes flooding coming from the north into one of the outposts in the area have made it necessary for this small unit to first contact and interview these poor souls to learn more before riding out.
OOC: You need to contact Tobias to make IC arrangements prior to the +event if you want to tag along. This scene is social/investigative.
Feb. 24, 2017, 8 p.m.
Apostate's Dynamic GMing Room <OOC Room>
Comments and Log
"Its a fine point, you make." Says Branan. "But even the wolf has tactics and strategy. To underestimate our foe and presume him mindless, simply because we cannot see the perspective of his mind... is folly and hubris. What is the phrase? Tacitus, 302 AR - Ah yes... 'To refuse to consider your enemy your equal, is to give him the initive and element of surprise as a gift'."
Swift sorties like this have never been a good option in the opinion of Tobias, but with Copper, Emerald, and Bronze Company deployed too far out for this, he's has to spare the newly formed 1st Ruby Squad for this one.
The group made good time, with Lt Ywaine leading the squad on horses in a wedge formation on the way. This twenty man squad is ten heavy infantry and ten scouts/archers. Tobias and guests are behind the wedge screen as the Lord General lets Ywaine do his job. "That's assuming the Bringers think about strategy, Mister Dominici." (repose)
"Keep an eye on the father - slash brother, if things go up. If you see some odd tracks, yell out. If somethin' feels weird, just lemme know," says Ywaine to Mathias as they move along. "Finn, get yer fellas out about ten paces more," he calls to one of the outriders, watching as the mercenaries move along.
"... I'm sure the Bringers have strategies. What has been seen so far indicates /some/ intelligence behind their actions," Merek offers up. He is not necessarily in full formation, being that he is not with the Crimson Blades in an official capacity, but he does his best to stick to an advantageous position near Tobias if anything should happen. He has on his full armor, swords sheathed upon his hips, while he moves forward with the group. His bow is across one shoulder.
"Aye, will do, Sir." Mathias answers, glancing towards Branan, making sure he knows where the man is before returning his attention to his surroundings. He's otherwise quiet, focused and alert.
The days, and particularly the nights, are growing bitterly cold especially on horseback and the more hours the group rides on the colder it seems to get, as if the chill wind that sometimes lashes through the formation is trying to punish the band for venturing where they are unwanted. But in the distance you can see it now - a tiny garrison, only a few gray tents' worth, clearly visible in the distance; there are just enough soldiers present for the Compact to have a presence in the area at all and it's a good thing they were there at all because, less than a few hundred yards away from *them* you can already make out a far larger chaotic mass of people huddled together.
Even from this distance it's impossible to not notice the kind of disarray those people are in; the report called them villagers and that's likely exactly what they were. They don't even seem to have brought any provisions with them, entirely exposed to the elements, and the couple of fires burning there is probably quite insufficient to keep all of those folks warm.
At a glance there must be at least a hundred and fifty souls there. But you'll know more soon.
Ywaine covers his eyes and whistles, indicating one half of a section, and another half, gesturing forward. "Win, forward and west, Jay, east. Go wide 'round 'em an' give the sign if you see hostiles but circle 'round at a distance an' give us a security perimeter," he says as he shifts his weight on his saddle. He calls to Tobias, squinting his eyes, "Don't see no food with 'em general."
Mathias shakes his head upon seeing the villagers, and the state they're in. "Takes a lot for villagers to flee with nothing at all. Even the poor ones." the sellsword remarks grimly. "They know what it's like to be hungry." Spoken like a man who knows, too. Still, he waits for orders to do anything different than what he's been doing.
Branan hangs back, making notations in a notepad that Senza hands him without his asking. "Captain." He murmurs.. "Nightfall is only a few hours away. Snows are almost here. If a blizard comes - these people die."
Merek slows up when the contingent arrives, and looks out in the distance. He holds a hand to his brow and a frown marrs his features. He does not speak for the time being, instead just sticking with Tobias.
"We'll find out soon enough." Tobias grunts, before they come across the camp. Tobias gives the 'halt' whistle. "Lt, come with me. Guests as well. The rest of you, you have your orders. If anything pops out as 'shit, that might be bad' give the warning whistle." With that, the blood red armored behemoth known as Lord General Tobias Telmar brings his horse to the camp.
The soldiers in the outpost aren't the most veteran ones - it's the nature of the assignment after all, which until a few days' prior wasn't supposed to be very critical, to place them here in the first place in order to gain some experience - so when one of them finally notices the mounted force coming their way at first it doesn't dawn to them you're coming from the *south*. "To arms!" a man who can't be in more than his very early twenties he calls out, grabbing a spear and getting up before someone else - probably the officer among them - silences him with a raised first. It's a woman, only a few years older, already rolling her eyes at him. "Are you blind or stupid? Shut up."
With that they start coming out to meet the Crimson Blades and those who ride with them. "Well met... although I was hoping to see more of you, if you don't mind me saying so. I am Sergeant Arianna Dolenir." she informs them when they are near enough to pick up her voice in this blasted wind. "At least you're on time."
Ywaine gives the circle up gesture to the men, rising in his seat to do so, pointing out to gesture for a security perimeter, "Bear," he tells the trainee Mathias, "On his hip," with regards to Branan. He shifts his weight, gauging the readiness of the men around them before he spurs his head forward to come up next to Tobias but a touch behind. "Ready general," he calls, "Security perimeter out to 100 paces." Then they are riding!
Mathias gives a nod, and falls into step with Branan. He doesn't strike up conversation with the scholar, the situation doesn't call for entertaining conversation, nor diversion. He otherwise keeps his eyes moving, checking his surroundings, his people, and making sure Branan doesn't run off somewhere interesting. Never know with scholars, right?
Swinging down (Well, more like, trying to dismount and all but falling to the ground in a tumble) from his horse, Branan decides to approach on foot. From his packets, a few blankets are taken - he brought extras, being as he is a preist and did expect to run into refugees. "Senza. Get the food stores out. Prioritize the young and the old for blankets." he glances then to Mathias, gesturing him over. "Help her, if you would... There's dried meat and hardtack in the sacks... It's something until the train catches up to us, yes?"
Merek dismounts and moves with Tobias and the others that are called to him, while he moves forward. He brushes some hair from beneath his helmet, and then frowns up at the skies. He adjusts his belt and pulls out a flask of water, to take a small drink from it, then he decides to watch Branan, perhaps helping him for the time being.
"Lord General Tobia Telmar, Lord General for short. We're the scouting force, Sergeant. I have a supply convoy a few hours out and a large force being mustered as we speak waiting for me to report back." Tobias gives a gesture around. His tabard and Crimson cape flowing freely in the wind, the Sigils of the Crimson Blades on both plain to see. "I was given very little information about the situation out here other than refugees and a raiders. What can you tell me?"
"Reckon they could use whatever they can get." Mathias nods to Branan. "Just stay within sight, all right?" he asks of the man grabbing the sacks and easily carrying them wherever Senza needs them to be.
Ywaine slides forward to look around. The Crimson Guard men and women circle around the group - not aggressively, they are facing out and away-ish, to set up a security perimeter. "Sergeant," Ywaine calls to the fella that now has the job he had a few days ago. "Take one of the boys and find us a layup point. Ideally somewhere with somethin' from the elements we can defend for a day and night if necessary." to Mathias he calls, "Bear, help the father with 'em but I need a count soonest of who can and can't travel at a good walkin' speed. If we need to set up litters we can do that. If ya got any smart ideas for cover for us from the storm, feel free to let 'em fly," he says. He reaches into his saddlebags, tugging free a pack of jerky and bread and tossing it to the other man, "And distribute that." to Tobias he'll call - not loud, just loud enough for him to hear and not interrupt his conversation, "Pickets out, general. Got sarge searchin' for cover from th' storm an' big Bear there will help figger out who can move and who ain't movin' but for a litter."
You can sort of *hear* before you even actually see the shuffling of many feet approaching the garrison - the peasants had been probably told to give the soldiers more room, as they are obviously staring at the Crimson Blades and would have flooded right in to bombard them with questions otherwise. There is exhaustion in those faces but also something very much akin to desperation; in fact this force's arrival may have been the first good news they have received in who knows how long.
"These came started arriving about three days, Lord General." the Sergeant answers. She's a blonde, broad shouldered woman who seems quite tired herself but she stands with her back straight and gives short and consice answers. "More continued to come after that, almost all on foot, a few on mules. They come from Serene Rest - I've been there, it's about a day's ride north from here." She stops and looks over her shoulder to those broken villagers. "They took longer. Some didn't make it. It's not easy out there."
The pause didn't last long though - she has a duty to uphold, so the answers continue. "You can talk to them but what they told me is they encountered a large number of shavs. Dunno... pardon me, I don't know how many, it's hard to get answers from them. They thought they were about to get slaughtered so they ran."
Her eyes narrow. "Sir, they can't be this far south. We are practically at the city's doorstep. We thought we had them pinned *a long* way from here. Is... are we being invaded?" To her credit she's not faltering; she just seems to want information to prepare her squad.
"Sir, yes sir!" comes Mathias' response to Ywaine's orders. And while he's helping Senza with the supplies and giving them to those that need it the most, he also takes the time to count, those able to walk and those unable to, whether there's any carts at all that might be used to carry the wounded, what kind of wounds they suffered, whether blade, blunt or something else. He also looks around for something that might be used to protect the wounded during the travel back, cloth or leather, or even conifer branches that could be worked into cover against rain or snow.
"Thank you, Soldier." Says Branan to Mathais as he moves to help Senza. Follwing along with them, Branan starts to stop and talk to people. A joke, a smile, a card trick and a blanket or bite of food. Unassuming, undemanding. He's making friends before he tries to pump them for information.
"There's an 80000 strong abandoned force split into five armies led by supernatural things intent on killing us all. Whether we're being invaded close to Arx is what I'm here to determine. What's your House, Sergeant?" Tobias looks over and listens to Ywaine, "I hear you, Lt." Then, Tobias looks back to Arianna. "I'll talk to them soon enough. What's the condition and how many soldiers do you have out here with you, Sergeant?"
Merek helps to hand out some of the things Branan brought, but soon he is back over to where Tobias and the Sergeant are. He seems to be listening in on the information that is important about this whole thing, his gaze scanning the displaced villagers a bit, as he scratches his cheek.
It would be an unfairness to say the villagers swarm toward the few offered supplies being brought out but many of them are elderly - or too young - and their protectors are trying their best to step forward and claim what they can. They smell, too, for there is barely enough clean water on the road to drink let alone to wash themselves with, but that is obviously the very least of their concern. Hands are raised though and the glimmer of hope dawns on eyes that have gone long, arduous days and nights with very little of it; some are crying. They hadn't all this time, but relief and hope are sometimes heavier burdens than despair.
The Sergeant snaps to attention, making sure to put on a solid, brave show on behalf of her soldiers who probably share many of the same concerns the villagers do if there's some kind of massive army of barbarians and horrors heading this way. "I have twelve soldiers; eight men, four women Lord General." she answers immediately. "I sent a second missive at the same time I contacted you, Sir." It's standard protocol in case one of the couriers doesn't make it through for any reason. "This is the report, it arrived only an hour ago."
She hands it over to Tobias, opened of course, since it was addressed to her. "We are rested and in good spirit. We'll tackle anything that comes our way, Sir."
The sight of the young ones hit Mathias particularly. Too much like his younger siblings for him to remain unaffected. He reaches into his pack and takes out some of his own food supplies to give to the young ones, though he won't refuse to give it to the guardians of the elders or children either. "Here, take some. Reckon you need it more than I do." And while he does that, he begins to ask questions. "What happened?" he'll ask some. "What did you see?" He'll ask others. "How many were there?" And through it all, he continues to count, continues to look for anything at all that might help get those people safely up north.
Tobias checked composure against difficulty 15, resulting in 17, 2 higher than the difficulty.
"Ey, Merek, if'n we got anyone speakin' different languages, lemme know ey?" says Ywaine to Merek, indicating the group. A lean down to the other man, just so he can speak quietly to him. "If anyone things odd, off in yer gut as you move through 'em, lemme know. They prolly jes' scared. But lemme know if y'see anythin' weird with 'em." Not loud, just man to man, since the other man is a trained investigation with that eagle eye. The sergeant comes riding back at a gallop to talk to Ywaine, Ywaine leans in to talk to him, pulling out a map to peruse it with a grunt. He nods to the sergeant and issues some quiet orders, the Crimson Guard unit splits off one or two trained medics to begin to try to check out the folks that Mathias is pointing out. Ywaine makes a small mark with charcoal on his map, handing it to Tobias for him to review when he is done with his current stuff. His jaw grits.
"I am with House Ashford, Sir." the Sergeant adds in the end. "Serving under Maude Ashford, Lord General."
Merek nods to Ywaine, "Yes sir," he states, while he takes his time to move off into the crowds. He has some food, and offers some to some kids and old people he finds, "Here you go," he tells them, just doing his best to be nice, and generally try and find out any information that might be heard. He isn't the kind to pry direct. He knows they likely don't want to talk about all they have seen.
There's a moment as Tobias looks around, then gives a nod as he takes in the situation after reading the report, and the map from Ywaine. "Alright. I'll speak to these refugees, then get back to you. Who is their leader?"
Who knows what finally causes a teenager - he's barely older than that, with the first few tufts of hair growing on his chin and cheeks half frozen against his pale face barely able to prove he's hit puberty at all - to come forward. None of the others have although many are still sobbing softly, responding to the kindness these armed strangers are showing them after having ran for so long and so hard for other hard men themselves. "I uh, I am sorry sir I am ... can you please?"
Someone else tries to hush him but he shakes their hand away from his shoulder and gulps, stepping away from the rest to boldly place himself near the encampment. "Missus Karea sir, her family, they stayed back. If you go there can you look for them?" He cringes like he expects to be reprimanded or smacked down for the audacity to address them directly - it doesn't even look like he knows *who* he's talking to or who's leading the Crimson Blades.
Branan checked perception + investigation against difficulty 15, resulting in 45, 30 higher than the difficulty.
"We'll look, for them and anyone else still there." Mathias reponds to the boy. Teenager. The sellsword comes over to stand before him, offering the food and water he's been giving away. "What can ye tell me about them? Where did they stay? Know of why they stayed?"
Ywaine looks around, raising up in his seat a bit. He reaches for a bit of parchment, a journal, to scratch down his counts, the names that Tobias has heard already, so on - some quick field notes, to refer to later on.
The blood red armor from head to toe, the tabard, and the crimson cape easily mark out Tobias as 'this is an important person'. As Mathias talks, Tobias states sharply. "Recruit, I didn't give you leave to speak for me, or to speak for the Crimson Blades." The reprimand is sharp authoritative, but not unkind. Tobias looks to the teenager. "As the man asked... and I'll also need to know how many you know of from the raiding."
Tobias checked command + leadership against difficulty 15, resulting in 74, 59 higher than the difficulty.
Branan turns to the child asking about the families who stayed behind. There's a critical gaze from the preist, the kind of thing that disassembles the boy and recompiles him, noticing all the little details. "Son." A pause as he comes closer, to talk to the boy.
Branan checked charm + manipulation against difficulty 15, resulting in 33, 18 higher than the difficulty.
Branan pulls his new friend, the boy, to the side. A conversation insues, held low, with Branan taking the occasional note in his pad. Lots of smiles, a coin trick - a joke. Something to keep the boys spirits up, it seems.
Mathias turns to look back where Tobias stands with the sergeant and the others, then back to the teenager. "Well, ye heard the man." To Tobias, Mathias gives a salute and then goes back to his business of counting and keeping an eye out. Whatever he thinks is hidden from his face, instead focused on his work.
"Missus Karea, she's our baker sir." he almost shouts like he's expecting to be told to shut up and just *has* to get it all out. "She and her family, they refused to go nowhere sir." he tells Mathias, then glances up in confusion when Tobias steps forward instead. "There... there's a castle." he gulps, suddenly intimidated by all the attention; a few steps behind him there's an older boy - not by too much, perhaps two or three years on him - who rolls his eyes but backs off, not wanting to confront this one in front of everyone but who mutters 'moron' under his breath.
"... A.. a fort, not a castle I mean."
The Ashford Sergeant clears her throat - she seems to have heard something about this before. "It's barely even that, Lord General." she informs Tobias. "Barely four walls any more, we used to maintain it but there was no real need... it's not been used in decades. I'm surprised it even stands any more."
But the teenager, once enticed, apparently won't shut up as Branan approaches him as well since at least *he* seems nice; there's a shiner on the left side of his face, someone must have punched him fairly recently. "They holed up there, they're nice folks... you gonna look for them, won't you? Please?"
Branan continues - as the soldiers do their jobs, to circle among the people. Names are leanred, where they are from - writing it all down, drawing a little map. "I will certainly make sure the Lord Captain hears about it, my friend... BUt let me ask you." He asks, showing him the map and making sure that its as accurate as the boy thinks it can be. "Why does your brother not want you to speak of this? Don't worry - I won't tell him. It's our secret."
"I promise to do what I can, son." Tobias gives in a kind voice, the clanking of his red armor muffled by the wind. "An Old fort with barely any walls? Did any among you get a good look at the Abandoned who destroyed your homes? Numbers, descriptions?"
The sullen teenager looks up then shifts his gaze away again. "They think you're gonna leave them here." he grunts, shivering from the cold and what must be a long time going without sleep or proper food. "That you're gonna ride off back home to rescue them." It's hard to not be selfish even for the most tightly knit communities, and fear for their family is a powerful motivator. "We saw the monsters up on the hills around 'Rest, si...sir. Lotsa them, big ol' swords and cleavers and all. They really... will they really kill'em and eat'em? If they catch'em?" he asks Branan, looking like *he* is barely holding it together.
Branan checked charm + performance against difficulty 15, resulting in 29, 14 higher than the difficulty.
Ywaine takes his horse around the area of the fort, around a hill, checking the area out. He'll stop by to snag the report from Mathias on the sick and wounded, Merek, and talk to the sergeant that he brought along and a private. The entire time he's jotting down notes in his scraggle hand in his field journal and then his horse is picking it's way back towards Tobias as he finishes scribbling out his report.
Branan puts a hand on the boys shoulder, giving him his best preistly smile. "Have you ever heard the story of Tobias Tolmar and the Thousand Man Band?" He asks, glancing ascance at the mercenary leader, so the boy can follow his gaze. HIs voice drops hushed, it becomes a whisper, like its a secret. "Now... no one will ever admit there was a bandit brigade of a thousand men. You know how soldiers and nobles are... but I tell you, I heard it from a man who heard it from his mam... who's son was there." Don't try to work out the geneology.
Branan then spends a few minutes spinning an outragious, but curiously beleivable story about TObias Tolmar and the Crimson Blades, something akin to Paul Bunion or Pecos Bill or William Wallace. All power and pride and heroic sentimentality.
"So I know, if anyone wil save them... It's Tobias Telmar... and his CRIMSON BLADES."
Tobias gestures Ywaine over, and gives in a voice just loud enough for the refugees to overhear. "Lieutenant, send a messenger back to the supply convoy to the south that they're free to come up. I want these people fed and supplied before night is out." Tobias gives in an authoritative tone over the wind. Before he heads over to the Sergeant, out of earshot of the Refugees. "Sergeant Arriana, I'll be leaving half my people with you, as directed. My Lieutenant will have his Sergeant direct these people to shelter we've found until they can be evacuated properly. If anything goes wrong, my people will stand with you while these people head further south. Any concerns you'd like to bring up?"
Ywaine hands over his report to Tobias, leaning over for a few murmurs as he arrives. "Aye sir," he says crisply. "Waisty!" he calls to a private. "C'mere." As the lanky private ambles his horse over crisply Ywaine adds in, "Get back to that supply convoy. Get 'em here at all maximum speed. We need supplies, food, medical gear and we need them resupplied before hte night is out. Run son, run," he says as the young private heels his horse around and heads out at a gallop. He will make his way over to where Mathias and Merek are, "You two are good with the keen eye. As we're headin' south, we're gonna need trees with leaves, lumber fer fires, so on. Stuff to help us keep these folk alive," he says - quiet, not designed to travel to folks. "We'll get 'em fed up and water in 'em and move out to a safer location. If we need sleds t' move the most sick, lets get 'em going now an' ready to go.'
The young lad is listening to Branan and smiles - it's not much of one, he's no better off now than he was before, but now that he doesn't only have to *dream* of heroic deeds but he can *see* soldiers bearing steel coming to the rescue of everyone he knows his heart seems to be steadying... until his brother, from somewhere behind him, comes to clap up upside the head.
"Fucking idiot." he grumbles like he just can't take this any more and stares at Brenan. "He left Missus Karea's daughter preggers. That's why they fuckin' stayed back, a'right? This stupid idiot did this. A'right? And now you're all gonna go riding to the fucking barbarians - but it's too late. A'right? I saw them shavs and the castle-forged blades and axes they got, and by now they've already chopped them all up into tiny fuckin' pieces. It's not gonna help anyone."
Branan returns to Tobias after a few more minutes of crowd work. Moving on to other refugees, a few more bits of bacon and hard tack, some dried stew vegitables and the like. A blanket is given an old woman before he finally comes back to Telmar. "Lord." He says quietly. "The old fort is a trap. This group has been infiltrated - or at least mislead and manipulated. I cannot get to the center without revealing myself. But take the brother of the boy I was speaking to and be strenious."
"Aye, sir. Reckon conifer branches might help against rains and snow, if we need shelter." Mathias points out. "Dunno if there's many here, gonna keep a look out." And then he's off to do his part of the duties, and hopefully get enough to get the refugees through.
Branan looks to the older boy. "Go back." A pauase. "CAstle forged weapons. What do you -mean- by that? THese shavs had equipment like ours, not like the usual shav stuff? I don't care that the girl got pregnant, pregnancies not a sin... and usually speaking you can't blame a young man for such moments."
Ywaine leans down to listen to the younger priest, and he leans down to clasp a gloved hand on the other man's shoulder, "Good on ya, father-brother," he murmurs. "Thank you. These folks gonna need ya tonight." More quiet murmurs. "It ain't gonna be pretty or easy but we'll do what we can to get 'em all back to a safer location." A pause, a lean down, another last whisper, "If'n y'can figure out who is inside 'em, lemme know soonest, kay?" He'll grab his map, eying it, and scribbles on it with a frown, making his way over to Tobias, "Sir, abyss'n map don't read no good.," he says as he points at the map, "This where we headin'?" The map, held up to angle towards and no one else, has scribbles in his weird writing.
The brother looks *pissed* with his younger sibling but of course Branan asked him a direct question so he manages to put his anger aside long enough to answer it. "We saw them a few hours earlier. I dunno, like close to a couple of hundred of them at least but more were comin' from the hills. They were well armed, swords and axes and shit. We have shovels and pitchforks, no horses, no armor, nothin'. I thought the fuckin' war wasn't here yet, how we supposed to live like this?! Where are we supposed to go now? All our things are back home, pa's worked his whole life and we just ... I didn't even... shit." He turns away in disgust. "But yeah, that place is crawling with those assholes now. I hope you kill'em all."
NOW Branan does some more crowd word - talks to some old women - flirts with some young woman - then makes his way back to TObias.
"Lord Captain." Says BRanan, lowering his voice. "The situation to the north is surely a trap. Well armed shavs, a half hope of defense. A juicy heroic bait?" A pause as the priest gives the Nobleman one of those looks that says 'even stories with these elements have shitty outcomes'.
Branan then shows the nobleman his map - and the notes. "Castle Forged Weaponry. They eithe raided an armory, which seems unlikely. OR they are benig supplied. Which is far more reasonable."
Sergeant Arianna Dolenir steps forward again and looks to Tobias. "Lord General", she asks, "we will assist you in whatever way you need but may I advise haste? Our main force is probably going to be here by tomorrow, and I will make sure to send them immediately after you. By that time you should have managed to assess the threat more accurately?" She seems hopeful - despite her competence this is someone *way* out of their depth, with hundreds of refugees to manage and inexperienced soldiers depending on her for everything.
"Lord General, if you please." Tobias gives to Branan, before he nods. Tobias gestures for a roundup, (aka PCs get over to him to talk). "This entire situation is ridiculous, yes. father Branan, can you talk to some of the others and see if they can confirm this woman? Regardless of whether or not there's any trap, we need to know what is actually out here." Tobias looks to Ywaine, "We'll be taking a stealth approach to scouting for this one. The priest can confirm things while your Sergeant starts to help them get underway."
Ywaine checked command + leadership against difficulty 20, resulting in 54, 34 higher than the difficulty.
Merek continues to assist some people, before joining back up with the main group.
Ywaine makes his way up and down the group, "Section alpha, get over here." he says, pointing at the hill and the sergent. "Help the sarge get this place set up. Go to bravo section and get our spare water and rations, bandages. Huddle up," he says to the twelve or so soldiers, until they are around him, "Take a knee," he says as he gestures, taking a knee himself. Lord-lieutenant Telmar may be a noble but he sure doesn't talk like it, he talks like a commoner, an Iron Guard through and through at that. His voice is growly, his gaze intense. "Look, lads, here's how it goes. This is what we signed up for. We love this stuff, right? Y'got a hill. Y'got some shavs heading for ya in an advancing screen. Y'got a hill an' some soldiers with ya. What is this? This, lads, is an abyss-damned opportunity. An opportunity to make 'em pay. To stand in th' breach for the man on the left an' right of ya." He points to the other section. "We're headin' south an' gonna hole up in some natural cover an' ride out the storm. Reinforcements will be here quick enough. But in the meantime, y'know what ya do? Ya stack the bodies. YOU STACK THOSE BODIES. You plant that flag in th' groun' an' tell those bastards and mebbe they thought they could run through our innocent and village folk but guess what. They facin' soldiers an' the Crimson damn Blades now. An' guess what?' His eyes search their faces. He smiles, slow and easy, a war like one. "They day just got AWFUL. Freakin' awful. Warris, y'get some wood down 'fore nightfall. Sergeant, plan for attacks here, here, here, an' here. Get yer coupla archers up. Pre-position yer medical supplies. These soldiers are ready t'kick some ass, an' lets show 'em how we do it in the Blades. So ya got one simple order from me, lads. Y'protect us as we huddle up to get these folks t'shelter and you STACK. THOSE. BODIES."
A pause, "An' if you don't? If ya feel like dyin' on this here battlefield or runnin'? Y'best run far an' fast, lads, cause I will run straight t'the Abyss itself t'find ya and PT y'ass until you DIE AGAIN." He rises up. "Get th' defenses ready."
Branan is able, through the night, to confirm the fort's existance. He matches it to maps of the area that are brought up - and starts marking landmarks and notations on it drawn from the refugees. Where a large tree as fallen, where the wall has a hole, where a gully has been cut by runoff rain. Litttle details. "I am not a soldier or war maker... but this is what I have, Lord."
Mathias, after taking a knee as ordered, listens to the Lieutenant's speech, and is grinning fiercely by the end. "Reckon we'll be making a fort of our own with them." And as he glances back to the refugees, the light in his eyes makes it clear. He'll be using that claymore of his like a mason uses his hammer. And build a bloody fort.
Tobias has rolled a critical success!
Tobias checked dexterity + medium wpn against difficulty 15, resulting in 112, 97 higher than the difficulty.
Tobias checked command + leadership against difficulty 15, resulting in 63, 48 higher than the difficulty.
As Ywaine does his speech, Tobias gives the squad a nod. It's Ywaines squad, and Tobias isn't about to get in the way of his command. Instead, the caped, red armored behemoth pulls out his rubicund blood red sword in a flash, and lifts the sword into the air. The motion of fluid, practiced, like the sword is an extension of his arms, rather than a tool of war. "TONIGHT, WE RIDE TO AVENGE THE COMPACT! CRIMSON BLADES, WE RIDE TO THE BRING DOOM TO THE BRINGERS! CRIMSON BLADES, MOVE OUT!" Tobias heads for his horse and steps up onto it, ten Crimson Blades and their guests riding along as his cape flutters in the wind as a beacon to their backs for the refugees.
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