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File: Legio, Advance, Title.png (561 KB, 1518x1016)
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Is it always this warm out here? The sun beats down on dust and debris and all the curling, serpentine line of soldiers strung out behind you. Each and all sweat-stained and wind-bit.

Six more miles and six more hills and then that'll be the camp and then - finally - this long, long wandering reconaise patrol can end, you can pry off your boots, sign off on the last reports and maybe at long last get some sleep.

Nothing ever happens out here, anyway.
It's always quiet on the eastern front. . .
>>
File: Legio Advance M1 R1.jpg (2.18 MB, 1984x3984)
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So, who is filling out the duty roster? And which one of us is going to get the perimeter sentries set? Someone has to, but then, the tasks never end and the patrol never stops and there is always - always - the reports to write. Command appreciates them so. Maybe they burn them to keep warm? With the heat out here and a warm bonfire going, maybe even icey High Command can feel a sliver of camraderie.

Well, campfire jokes aside, best you make sure your paperwork is in order.

>Officers are defined from a background, some assets, and a retinue.
>Then you customise a specific Command.

>It'll look a bit like . . . this:

# Decius Allectius Natalis
Authority 12 Reputation 08 Wealth 10
Scholae Traine - Service Records - Rikovol Windblade {Ashfog}
!Legion 2
!Mechalogistics
!Administration
---
[Listen Up!]
[They Wrote A Book On That]
[Best Parts of Valor]
---
Command:
[Volunteers] + Legion 2

--

>What's all this then?
Ah, don't panic. Think of it like a turn based multiplayer quest wargame with some light narrative elements and a whole heaping lot of surprises.

>You do this often?
Every now and again. The previous threads are not required reading, as things change and the world adjusts. But if you'd like to gander, try this: https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=art%3F

>We even have a slight discord, for tactical skirmishy stuff: https://discord.gg/wyRpUrQ6
>>
Rolled 3 (1d5)

>>5999232
# Sarjent Koras Auror
Authority 8 Reputation 11 Wealth 10
New Model Soldier - The Scars - Uthani Outlanders
!Houses
!Military Affairs
!Outlander
!Theurgics
---
[Tricks of the Trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Last One Out]
---
Command:
[Scout Cavalry] + Outlanders + Military Affairs

> Rolling for extra riders.

Out in the Uthani grasslands, the outposts of the Empire are lonely things- more markers on a map, than true signals of dominion. The wandering clans are far too raucous and wild to be worth binding down, and for the most part, are left well alone.

But just because it’s largely de jure rule doesn’t mean that generations of presence doesn’t *mean* things. The Houses set down roots, identify points of interest- and control them, through diplomacy, through force, through integration. Clans start to learn. Some even serve, if the price is right, then eventually because they grow used to it. New gods, new ways, new banners, and new Clans as well, who;ve grown used to the Empire’s light handed presence, who;ve sent generations of sons and daughters to ride alongside their legions, who’ve become… almost civilised.
>>
>>5999232
>>5999232
#Titus Caesius Perennis
Authority 10 Reputation 11 Wealth 10
Fireforged- The Scars - Legio Ferrata
!Legion
!Outlander
!Military Affairs 2
---
[Get It Done]
[That's Not Regulation]
[Last One Out]
---
Command:
[Raincatchers] + Military Affairs 2
>>
Rolled 338, 789 = 1127 (2d999)

Ah, this is what High Command loves to see. That tent line is regulation *perfect*. And that firepit? Dug to centimeter specificity.

You've done this before, haven't you? A hundred little fortified camps across ten times that in miles. Set enough of them up and you'll start seeing them in your dreams. . .
>>
Rolled 1 (1d10)

>>5999232
>Dice for added Volunteers
The very model of the modern pytherii officer

# Decius Allectius Natalis
Authority 12 Reputation 08 Wealth 10
Scholae Traine - Service Records - Rikovol Windblade {Ashfog}
!Legion 2
!Mechalogistics
!Administration
---
[Listen Up!]
[They Wrote A Book On That]
[Best Parts of Valor]
---
Command:
[Volunteers] + Legion 2

--
>>
>>5999232
What’s the difference between “increase numbers” and “increase troops”?
>>
>>5999266
Spelling, for one, but in a much more useful sense the raw *numbers* of a given formation influences how many of them there is to run about doing what you tell them.

Meanwhile, the *quality* of the troops influence everything else. It is the hardest thing to preserve and the thing most desired by an officer; that most rare of breeds: Competent Professionals.

All the numbers in the world won't help much if the troops are of such rawness that they break at the first sign of trouble. Of course, there is sort of an adverse selection pressure in this line of work. You're very unlikely to find formations with both good numbers and high quality of individual troops in it.

In general, numbers help you accomplish more things (There are in the most literal sense more hands to do the work), is useful in a pinch because having friends nearby tends to be useful, and lets formations more fluidly resolve who is fighting, who is resting, and who is guarding.

Quality on the other hand is a universal descriptor for the basic quality of the formation in question. When everything is down to the triarii, when pain and shock and damage rear their heads, the thing that makes a given formation stand and do and perform as required is down to their sheer basic quality.
>>
>>5999270
So having numbers is straight up having more dudes in the formation?
>>
>>5999274
A marvelous way to win most arguments, yes. If in doubt, bring more friends. Though, the scribes seem to have made a mistake. If you're inquiring about House and Outlander differences, the fact is, both supply *more* - it's just that House troops come unusually well supplied, benefits of deep pockets, and Outlanders are usually a little hardier than your average bar-brawler.

The House troops are noted as "per rank" because one could feel a large formation of well supplied soldiers, given sufficient House backing. The Outlanders only ever get +1d5 in numbers, but do get *quite good* at skirmishing.

---
>>5999239
>>5999246
>>5999248
Alright, fall in and stand down. The sand will which itself for a while, and the grass hides neither snake nor spike tonight. Even the last haggard stragglers are catching up now. A few days of desert patrol will turn the formations right around, half mirage chasing, half heat-stroke. Go over the troops, make sure everyhing is like it is meant to be.

Dispatch Courier delivered some sealed orders from the station up ahead, so we have that to look forward once we've ensured everyone is here, have remembered their water and gotten the tents assembled.

. . .
>Force disposition so far...
>>
Having ensured that all is in order, it is time for a camp a council. The dispatch courier hands over the sealed command orders, accepts your counter-sign to indicate successful delivery, helps herself to one refill from your water barrels, and rides off. Probably going to scrounge the Blindust Plain for the 9th. They've been out there for two weeks. About time they got a new order.

--

You make camp.
Sentries report . . . NOTHING UNUSUAL

With our cavalry core, scouting is . . . EASY in these conditions, and so we can be very confident that nothing untoward will happen to interrupt our standard camp.

The Legion Orders must be carried out, though this particular order seems straight forward.

Every Officer gains a Influence Action and an Affiliation Action. There will be a 2nd Camp Phase, but actions cannot be doubled (so no officer can "spam" the same thing twice).

Carrying out Legion Orders does not constitute an "action", though if you wish to devise a specific way to do something, an Officer can implement a Strategem. This means you will march "without" spending an action and you can assign a unit to be camp guard and guide without spending an action. But, again, getting clever or creative with it does require the planning effort.

If there are disagreements, the Officer's Council treats your actions as votes, and uses the influences stats to resolve ties if you cannot do so readily.

Tests are done via 3d6, that's dice+3d6 in the options field. Multiple officers can naturally work together; the total amount of margin is tallied (each amount by which the check is passed). You want low rolls, in this degenerate world.

--

You can, at this time, also ask questions.

--

The campground we set up our small fortified compound in is the leeway of a large hill, scrubbly with grass-stains and the lively actions of a buzzing, healthy insect colony. Sweet tang of salt in the air. Shimmering heat waves on the horizon, petrified wood long dried out sticking like teeth from the cracked scrubland. A small desultory trickle of water winds its way through the area, enough to filter and fill half a barrel if we stayed here for a month. Might have been a grand river once, but the sun out here will brook no contender. It's steaming off at the source, or choked further up the flow.

There isn't a vast array of quater-masters or interesting things to get up to, but the scouts report no great danger as mentioned, so, if you wish it, at least you can get some time to drill.
>>
( You may, also, naturally, adjust the moniker of your Command Retinue. The Legion beaucracy is effective, but they stamp a lot of papers. Surely, no oen will notice if you refer to your troops by a different name than the this-number-that-number. )
>>
Rolled 10 (1d10)

>>5999232
#Sacerdotessa della Luce
Authority 9 | Reputation 9 | Wealth 10 | Threshold 1
Legionflame - Ashmarked - Theurgic Aspirants
!Theurgic 2
!Legion
!Houses
---
[One of Us]
[Long Shadows]
[Names Writ in Bone and Sky]
---
Command:
[Volunteers] + Theurgic 2

The sun beats down on some of Legion's freshest faces. But they know it as a warm caress from an old friend, it only stokes the fervent flames of their souls. Making up for inexperience with sheer zealotry.

The Officer, however, stands with a glum face. She comes from a long line of glorious murderers, from her mother and father to her brothers and sisters. Maybe even her extended family can't escape the history. Will this cycle ever end?
>>
Rolled 6, 6, 2 = 14 (3d6)

>>5999305
> Influence Action: Transfer Paperwork

I count a lot of lumberfoots and Ironsides, but not enough marauders, and *certainly* not enough bows. If we have enemy raiders in the area, then a squadron of disciplined archers would do wonders in frightening them off. We certainly have the numbers to protect them!

(Rolling vs 11 Reputation)

> Affiliation Action: Military Affairs, The Scars

I take my best Outriders, plus any volunteers from the 338th, and scout the path ahead for danger and ambushes. The rest of the cavalry are left with the main force, in case they need a messenger. If we meet serious danger, we try to assess what it is, then withdraw. If we meet travellers- or enemies we can easily overpower- we can interrogate them for information.
>>
File: Crassus Primer 1.png (867 KB, 1356x976)
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While we stamp the papers and sign the signatures and make sure the Chef is cooking the right bootleather - I kid, I kid, its not boot leather this week - perhaps we should quickly refer to Crassus' Primer on Short, Victorious Campaigns. . . An officer needs to know some of this stuff, though, if you ask my mind, you can get by with a lot of guesstimating.

>Precise unit numbers are obscured a little in this system, as a joke on the universe, but rest assured the simulation background is . . . robust.

>The basic capacity of a given formation in the force can be gleaned from the basic overview. There'll be some more relevant information if you ever find yourself in a fight, but as a short-hand RED is NOT SO GOOD and GREEN is GOOD and YELLOW, the glorious sun, is *exceptionally interesting* (which is neither good or bad, all the time)
>>
File: Crassus Primer 2.png (752 KB, 1256x1004)
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Wrote a lot of words that man Crassus did. Maybe a little long-winded for a general who so favored speed?
>>
>>5999307
They whisper that one day it will have to, because one day, the sun will set and the next it will not rise. But such words are lies, surely, and what is the world but the cycle of the seasons? It all goes around and around and around. . .

Hey, is this camp warmer, all of sudden, or is it just a sudden easterly gust of warm air?
>>
File: Outrider Report 1.jpg (563 KB, 2480x756)
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>>5999312
On the distant wind, something stirs. The ground out here is craculature and hoof-traps for the unwary, the dry ground turned to a constant plain of trip-traps for marching feet - or worse, galloping hooves.

But, with some deftness, we have learned to make do. It's not all so bad, and there roads and there ways and there are means.

But on the wind something still stirs. Riders, horizon-distant, gone in a heat shimmer. Elos East Station is on the other side of Windchime Passway, which is supposedly held by Fireskellian's 2nd Cohort, which, nearer to the 1st, are deadly indeed.

So why are the riders that shy away from your approach not from Fireskellian's little lot? There are not many ways through the eastern mountainous terrain for horses. This line of geography has torn itself asunder, in the ancient past, spitting out mountains that like teeth and long rivers that cleave the plains. Yeah, you can go around. Theoretically. You can always go around. And eight years hence you might actually make it.

So as it is unlikely these distant heat-shimmer riders have been on the prowl for nigh a decade, perhaps it would be the wise thing to contrive to ambush three of them and find out who there? If they have a pass-phrase or some civilian business, then all joy to them.

So you do.

Or, try to. But they're wily. Two camps you come across, with embers still hot and cookfires undoused. Not a sign of Them. Except in the second camp, red dry stains on the ground and the smell of burning flesh in the air. A horse died here, lamed, from abuse and long rides, and the rider must have doubled back on a companion's steed. Scout-trick. And if they had to both kill a horse and eat it, then double-back at gallop, then far out scouts indeed running low on supplies and with news to report.

The news of *us* coming closer to *them*.

It looks like there are Sparksworn east of the Elos Station, and east of Windchime Passway, and both are places they should not be east off. And for all your far prowling and deft riding, the rumoured 4th and 7th Cohorts, supposedly patrolling this otherwise placid piece of plain have no deigned to make themselves appear. Perhaps more unsettling than strangers riders, that.

We're not supposed to be alone out here.
>>
Rolled 3 + 2 (1d10 + 2)

>>5999305

#278th Blade-Holders
Authority 8 Reputation 10 Wealth 11
New Model Soldier- Red Market Markers - Rebus Pathfinders

!Outlander
!Houses 2
!Theurgic
---
[Tricks Of The Trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Hazard Payment]
---
Command:
[Volunteers] + Houses 2

Led by the noble Arch-Stabbedmeister Mandy Knifearse, the Blade-holders are an ALLEGEDLY mercenary group, renowned for having my piles of flesh to throw at the enemy line, in order to keep the blades of their patrons sharp and stabby
>>
Rolled 6, 6 = 12 (2d6)

>>5999367
Rolling for houses
>>
Ah, I see the slicers have started arriving. Cutthroat fresh from the distance, huh? Took you stragglers long enough. Yeah, you're very good with those knives, people, but you know what soldiering is also all about? Following a map and keeping in march formation, which. . .

Well.

In the spirit of optimism, you'll have plenty of opportunity to practice those very skillsets in the time ahead. It'll be very different from gutting someone in an alley. You might even learn a whole new way to use a knife.
>>
>>5999312
[0 Rep]
In flagging down the Dispatch courier before she makes her sojourn to the 9th, you try to impress upon her the fact that if - just if - the 9th could see fit to ask the 10th to send over some of those Grassteppes people, that might be quite swell out here, in the sun and the rain? Excellent shots, that lot.

The Dispatch Courier tries to wash some dust off her face and does not quite have the heart to tell you that that is not quite within her authority to make happen. But she can certainly bring your message to the distant patrols. . .

==Requisitions==
Archer Assistance [. . . eehhhh, maybe Command will send someone. . .?]

--

Other present officers can join Koras in wheeling and dealing, adding weight to the request. Otherwise, it's down to luck and the smile of the Icons.
>>
>>5999305
#Severus Regulus Priscillian
Authority 10 Reputation 09 Wealth 10
Legionflame - Service Records - Legio Ferrata
!Legion 2
!Theurgic
!Houses
---
[One of us]
[Long Shadows]
[Best Parts of Valor]
---
Command:
[Raincatchers] + Legion 2

You know what this force is missing? A *real* legionary, that's what. A born-and-bred, cradle-to-the-grave consummate professional soldier like Severus Regulus Priscillian, always ready to go the extra mile and then some (within regulations) for Pyther and assorted notions of martial honor (again, within regulations).

How's the sheet? Did I miss anything?
>>
>>5999360
> Reporting Back

It looks like the enemy force outnumbers us by a *lot*, and somehow infiltrated friendly positions. They’re no fools at fieldcraft at either- catching them by surprise isn’t an option.

Unless we want to turn around- and we do not- then we should try to use the advantages they have. They’re overwhelmingly lightly armed, lightly armoured and lightly led, barring a few core units the iron sides can pin down. The rest?

Be aggressive, move as a single unit, keep the pressure. Don’t give them time to organise, and bleed them and bleed them and bleed them, and may both soul and sun be willing, their morale *will* tell. The horses will go first, punctured by our bows- many as we can find- and the cultists remaining won’t be hard to confuse and pick apart….
>>
>>5999381
…could I replace the Rebus fellas with Theurgic Aspirants? It’s fine if I can’t, I just didn’t realize there were more of the latter than the former
>>
>>5999392
All clear to us, and the high sun shines. We have everything we need, and you have your Crassus Martialis defined allotment of donkeys, spears, shield grease and rope.

>>5999403
The Rebus would . . . prefer that you . . . do not because they have a request from Legion Command that they need to be on hand to provide you with up to date information of a navigational character, though, when they say that, they do keep craddling their weapons. Also they have this odd way of always keeping three of them with a direct sight-line to you at all times.

It's nice High Command cares. They must have told the Rebus to *really* pay attention to you.

--
That said, some paperwork can be adjusted. But note the important distinction: The Rebus Pathfinders are the foremost scouts, sappers and skirmish specialists in this part of the world (Pick a part; it's that part). If you want people who can make other people hurt in a surprising amount of ways, the Pathfinders are who you task to do it.

The Theurgic Aspirants are clergy-scholars and helpful camp aides. They can provide advise, assistance, soothing, they're quite deft with field triage like the Chemiace, they can plot the weather and the stars and the numious numberous churnings of the high Other and If you ask them to touch a knife, they cite religious bans and cry.

>>5999400
This is a viable and useful report. Thank you, outrider. Let us see. . .
>>
>>5999407
The love of the Rebus for their weapons is absolutely respectable!

But quite simply, 25 bags of skin are walking out this fine morning. By this morning’s end, I’ll need someone who can stitch the bags so I may send out 12 tomorrow, instead of 6.

Unless the Rebus wish to try their hand at needles, it’s a needed change
>>
File: Desert Suns Deploy.jpg (2.71 MB, 4440x3001)
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The 9th (or anyone else) have not sent us more archers yet, but it is still late and we may still march towards the pass as instructed.

The old survey maps can be studied for some use. Though, you all remember the pass, right? Dry, long week manning the old river-carved rock. It's a good solid choke-point, erupting out of the mountainous rock around before it becomes vast montain and harder to pass, more of a long twisty set of stone that was once a mighty river and is now a slow trickle.

The air is dry, and then, in the shadows, clean, drinkable water, like a life-giving arterial vein.

--
We have our force disposition. We have our march orders. Koras has provided suspected confirmation of at least some hostile movement, east of where there should be any at all.

It is likely we will encounter some difficulties on the way to the pass, so let us plan for it. . .
--

>The old maps seem workable, so go by that intelligence.

>Command a formation to deploy to a location. Conflicting deployment orders are resolved via authority rolls, but the formation may be somewhat dazed by the uncertainty of the action.

--
Command Posts
Officers - such as yourselves! - principally operate out of defined Command Posts, where couriers and dispatch runners can find you and keep you up to do ate on information. It's also where supplies are stored and the quartermasters operate.

Posts have a rating, dictating the ease of operations there. An Officer can send as many dispatches/orders as the Post has Command Rating every phase. So, naturally, higher Command Rating makes managing vast forces much easier.

However, some Command Posts have easier access to information and being stationed there increases responsiveness of orders sent elsewhere, as the couriers get to where they need to be faster and you can recieve information back the other way. When seconds count, this can be the difference between victory and defeat.

You should assign yourself a Command Post, as that is where you will be found until you head... elsewhere. But we'll cover that when it comes up.
--

>[Deployment is now active]

--
>>5999403
>>5999415
You sure? You're absoluely sure? Well, no bones to them, they'll . . . be around. You get the distinct feeling the nearby bushes have suddenly aquired Pathfinder tenants, politely making sure your gaggle of contract-bound professionals don't develop *ideas* worth reporting on.

--
>>
Rolled 1, 5, 6 = 12 (3d6)

>>5999305
>Transfer Paperwork: Request a unit of Pathfinders (Reputation 11)
We do need some skirmishers, some ranged specialists, but archers? We can ask for better than that. We can ask for the best.

>Affiliation action: Legion 1, drill the 789th Light Mist in Formation Fighting, copying the 21st Monsoon
Look at them. Green recruits, drilled to perfection. We could learn a thing or two from them.

>>5999422
>You get the distinct feeling the nearby bushes have suddenly aquired Pathfinder tenants
Convenient! I didn't even send the paperwork yet.
>>
>>5999422
Instead of picking a command post, could I declare that I’m riding with the 338th?

I have no interest sitting at the back, nor the actual authority to command.

If that’s all possible, I’d like to lead my raiders around the canyon from the North, above Windchurner Rise, around the trees, and then onto the top of the Windchime rock bridge, still using the trees as cover. Hopefully we’re both fast enough to arrive on time, and sneaky enough to not be noticed.

(It’s also night for me, so missing the first two or three turns to go around suits me fine.)

If the enemy is actually here, then so will their camp, and so will their rations, and I don’t think their horse will like it much if they release the enemy has slipped in amongst their supply wagons. They struck me as somewhat *famished*….
>>
>>5999232

#Palatine Theramin Braccius Methodian
Authority 12 Reputation 08 Wealth 10
Scholae Traine - Service Records - Legio Ferrata
!Legion 2
!Mechalogistics
!Administration
---
[Listen Up!]
[They Wrote A Book On That]
[Best Parts of Valor]
---
Command:
82nd Kataphractoi Squadron
["""Scout""" Cavalry] + Legion + Mechalogistics
>>
>>5999305
The 307th Coaldousers all sit by a flame fueled by a certain Theurge's soul under the scorching sun, with sweat beading off of them. But none of them feel thirsty.

"All of us are here today under the magnanimous caress of The Empyreal Eye! Remember that even if The Sun sets, your Inner Flame will always carry a part of it! If our enemy has fervour, then we will outmatch it! If they have a hunger for victory then they will simply be vultures attempting to leech off our prey! Vince in Bono Malum Sotto il Sole!"

>Perform the Rite of Glories, Ascendant.
>>
>>5999428
All in due time, all in due time. For now, assign a deployment for your favoured fighters and a command post for yourself.

You won't be in that post very long, I think you'll find, because the thing you intend to do is entirely possible - but there is still those Accord Regulations to conform to.

Officers must have a command post, or the army is a mob! Page 3!
>>
>>5999422
>>5999437

Sir yes sir.

We’ll earn those boni yet!

> Windchurner Rise, with the 338th

I also vote we leave the 266th Duskeaters behind as the logistics troops, and plead with mine fellow officers (with actual authority) to remember to Plan our March
>>
>>5999422
>Comand Post: Fort Forlorn
>Deploy 789th Light Mist at C
>>
Rolled 4, 5, 4 = 13 (3d6)

>>5999305
>Transfer Forms
More ragtag bands of fools are gathered, to bring more hands to fill with swords, to fill out the horde.

As the manual of the Sword-Bearer says, a big enough pile of guts is indistinguishable from a rope-trap after all

>Affiliation choice: Theurgic
>Perform the rite of Firekeeper’s Vigil
>>
Rolled 10 (1d10)

>>5999422

#Echo
Authority 8 Reputation 10 Wealth 10
New Model Soldier - Ash Marked - Theurgic Aspirants
!Houses1
!Outlander1
!Theurgic2
!Threshold1
---
[Tricks of the Trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Names Writ in Bone and Sky]
---
Command:
[Volunteers] + Theurgic2

There are many icons, high and low, near and far, and sometimes the legion has a problem that requires a non-combusting solution. Contract theurgy, it's going to be big - tell your friends.

>Deploy Fort Forlorn
>Dice for Volunteer numbers
>>
Rolled 5, 3, 5 = 13 (3d6)

>>5999422
>Strategem: Sunlit Marches (vs 12 Authority)
>Mechalogistics 1: Prepare surplus water supplies.

>Command Post at Fort Forlorn
>Deploy 82nd Kataphractoi to D
>>
Rolled 3, 5, 4, 6, 5, 4 = 27 (6d6)

>>5999305
>>5999422

>Stratagem:
Ensure the Cavalry and the Lights can arrive faster in position. The Cav link with Fireskellian command 1st. The Lights invest the position over the Windchime from Path A and C. Raincatchers block the path from B and have stairway to reinforce C depending on the situation.

Thats the plan for now?

>Affiliation Mechalogistics
Get some additional supplies for Desert Warfare and additional Water. Make sure the men remember their Desert Training.

>Deploy A
>>
>>5999430
And I see the *heavies* have joined us. And just in time too. Going by Koras report, there's traces of Sunlancers roaming the landscape. Last thing anyone wants is to be caught out staring down that sort of weigh without heavy lancers of our own.

>>5999500
Is there an echo around here or . . . Oh, no, that's just . . . The wind playing tricks.

>>5999427
>>5999387
>>5999312
A sun-burnt, somewhat parched troop of Uthani auxillary catch up with us on the march - the Dispatch Courier must have convinced the 9th to send their skirmishers. Extra assistance is always appreciated.

Sadly, Legion High is too far away to ship us a fresh contingent of Pathfinders. We have the command Rebus, here to assist the efforts of the officers and ensure the proper facilitation of information. A job they do well. Unfortunately, they're stretched a little thin, running courier duties and dispatch operations to keep our little advance going at a proper pace.

The northeast front is quiet. It's always been quiet. All the real damage happens far south of here, around Mothwell, where the walls still stand and the Sparksouls still hold dominion. Though, the way the rumour has it, those walls will fall any day now.

Still, even if we won't have the proper crack of mechalogistics support, this little band of Vulpes are fierce shots.

--

>>5999500
Quite rather a lot of them, as it turns out.

>>5999517
>>5999509
We advance at speed. Though as the new skirmisher arrivals struggle to beat up, and the outriders fall in along the path, friction and physics grinds down our momentum. We're not late, because we're not arriving for anything with a deadline, but we're not early, either, in the cosmic sense, of may have been or could yet be.

>[Column average speed achieved]

But, we are, and this will likely prove to be a saving grace in the hours to come, *prepared*. Windchime Pass trickles moisture, slow, in the old and deep river bed. There are wells there. So we can be liberal with our own barrels and wagons, and so, some troops positively slooshing as they march, we rid ourselves gradually of heavy loads and this acceleration almost regains the bleed speed from geography and minor inconvenience.

>[Troops are Well Watered. . . And arriving in good order, neither fatigued nor exhausted!]
>>
File: Pleasant Greens.png (176 KB, 1024x928)
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Korsas and the 338th outrange the marching footsloggers, sloshing as they go, footfalls hitting the dry ground in tune with the marching song of the sun's rising. Traditional, although, perhaps, around these parts, a little uncalled for. Feels like inviting the wrong kind of attention. But spirits are high and the sub-officers lets it pass for now.

One of the Uthani, leaning down across his horse, runs his hand across the greenery clinging to life in Windchime pass. Deep roots are sucking moisture form the stone and the earth. But as long as there is a trickle, there is hope.

Though it's odd. . . This plant is stained with a slight patina of some red spray. One wonders where the Watchkeepers are? Does the 2nd Cohort not have optios, to set perimeters, or proper protocols? No, Fireskellian is an unbending kind of steelsoul. She sets a schedule and keeps it. . .
>>
File: Spark of surprise.png (338 KB, 1420x980)
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A little further along the stone and its pitted wind. The greenery is fighting fierce for every bit of rock and grows dense. The cavalry-scouts navigate along the rocky surface, happy to simply be riding on solid, proper ground and not the cracked hoof-trap of the last twenty miles.

A horse whinies, detecting a change in the air. There, yes, we smell it too. Campfires! Cookfires! Low chatter. Friends, and companions and the famous march soup of the 2nd. . .

. . . Contact!

That campire is 2nd Cohort style, long low rocks warmed by the embers to prevent spark brought fires, but the smiling gaggle of twitchy people around it is not the 2nd Cohort.

A single little cloud passes the sun, high, and there is a brief momentary lapse of shadow. . .
>>
>>5999305
>>5999529
Good Good. Oh right we need to assign some people to the whole pointing.

>Assign the 266th Dusteaters to maintain position in camp and act as way-guides
>Have them pass supplies to the 248th 'Ashtenders' Light Troop.
>>
Rolled 2, 2, 6 = 10 (3d6)

>>5999529
>>5999305
Yes, yes, yes - I feel the celestial attentions upon us this day. Perform, for we are upon a stage and our audience is fate!

>Influence: -1 wealth, Commission for my 762nd to add Motivated.
>Affiliation: Theurgic, perform the rite of Glories Ascendant targeting my 762nd and Methodian's 82nd.
>>
>>5999232
# Camercus Allius Vitacius
Authority 9 Reputation 9 Wealth 10
Legionflame - Ashmarked - Theurgic Aspirants
!Theurgic 2
!Threshold 1
!Houses 1
!Legion 1
---
[One of us]
[Long Shadows]
[Names Writ in Bone and Sky]
---
Command:
[Raincatcher] + Theurgic 2
>>
>>5999588
Or, hear me out here: You shove a spitescorpion down your own throat and *choke to death*.

Campguard can do, will do, shall do, but you're not Akatoni and you're not *getting* Akatoni goods. Your medals don't impressed me none.


>The 266th will guard the camp!
>>
>>5999587
> **CHARGE!**

[Scars] [Bloodied] [Eager] [Loyalty] [Cavalry charge into lightly equipped, disorganised opponents]

Koras does not waste a second, despite the mutual surprise. With a low whistle, he leads the 338th, and his own retinue, to mercilessly slaughter the foe with axe, spear and hooves!

He trusted his men to take care of themselves, to crush flat encamped light infantry. Instead, he drives into the crowd, focusing on anyone about to raise the alarm.

Operational stealth could still be maintained, and this accident could, if anyone important *survived*, turn into opportunity….
>>
>>5999606
Well, just time in too! From the sound of that scout report, things are about to go slightly sideways. . .
>>
Rolled 6, 6, 5 = 17 (3d6)

>>5999609
(More specifically, I’m invoking the Last One Out tag from my Scarred background.

…I’m not really sure if this requires a roll. The odds seem really in my favour. Just in case it does, though- rolling 3d6 for a spot of spontaneous brutality!)
>>
Rolled 3, 2, 5 = 10 (3d6)

>>5999305
>Influence
Assist Decius with the Strategem >>5999517 (1st roll vs 10)

>Affiliation: Legion
We're good, as the men from the 789th have noted, but a tool left unsharpened grows dull as a matter of course. 21st Monsoon Raincatchers gain Formation Fighting 4 for this deployment.

>>5999422
>Command Post: Fort Forlorn
>Deploy 21st Monsoon at C
>>
>>5999615
………

I refuse to believe, with every advantage, that we do not squash this gang into the dirt.

Unfortunately, I do think we can say goodbye to operational stealth.
>>
>>5999618
Don't worry, from our scouting reports, I doubt we ever had "operational stealth" in the first place.

I say let the tired fools bawk as we gleam in the sun and skewer them upon our lances!
>>
>>5999422
> Deploy from D
>>
File: Sunlit Patrol Phase One.jpg (2.5 MB, 4440x3001)
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The cloud holds, the world cast in slight shadow. The light cavalry, eager at the best of time, let the moment linger. They haven't had orders to engage with encountered hostiles.

But they haven't had orders not. Is a warrior not entitled to the spray of blood from his opponents?

One of those delicate, balancing moments - and, in the back, one of the thin looking, wild-eyed fighters screams and epitepth and draws a wicked looking knife. . .

---
Elsewhere, rounding out of corners in the ravine, marching along the preplanned paths, checking maps, the soldiers under our various commands arrive...

CRITICAL SCOUT FAILURE, NO PATHFINDERS IN ATTENDANCE

. . . And contrive to blunder right into the lead elements of what appears to be a sizable Sparksworn contigent, cloth in the smokey swirls of campfire smoke. Lingering haze dragged low by the rising warm air exchanging with the cooler flows from the wet ground in the flood-carve channels.

Is that. . . is that a body? Over there? On the distant wind, low, faint, dying out, a shrill scream and a brief burst of metal on wood.
--
PHASE ONE
--
Our march-line is staggered and things have gone a tiny bit awry through no fault of our own. Sometimes, critical scout failures simply happen - but at least the sun is kind today and the shadows whisper support.

We do not have any established command posts so we do not have any cohesive way of organising our forces. Formations will arrive as previously dictated.

Luckily, we planned somewhat for this! We'll secure the area, set up a command post, get the troops shaken back into order and . . . Let's find out what is happening in this place . . . ?

>STAND BY FOR BATTLEFIELD COMMAND INTEGRATION. . .
>>
Rolled 6 (1d15)

>>5999232
# Lutarius Lutatius Cerco
Authority 8 Reputation 10 Wealth 11
New Model Soldier - Merchant Cartel Contacts - Chemicaes
!Outlander
!Houses
!Theurgic
!Administration
---
[Tricks of the trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Bulk Discount]
---
Command:
[Volunteers] + Outlanders 1

Lutarius began as just another Uthani chieftain, fighting the encroachment of the legions upon the grassland. Tired of outrunning the legion's long shadow and seeing the way the wind was blowing, the outrider turned his coat on the rolling plains. Cunningly seeing an opportunity in the chaos of recent defeats, Lutarius brought together the campaigning scion of House Cerco (part of clan Lutatius) and the allied chieftains of the tribes he was on friendliest terms with. A bargain was struck; Lutarius would be adopted into the family Cerco. From there the path was set, he would marry a girl from the wider clan of Lutatius, as would his allies. Now with Uthani riders at the legion's flanks and guiding their path, the lesser among Lutarius's 'allies' fell to the sword, former competitors sold into slavery for the enrichment of the houses and to the benefit of the turncoats. The bloodsoaked land split amongst truer friends.

The roaming tribes settled, with that change came a change in fighting style. As pasturage shrank and fields grew, horses grew scarce and men numerous. Loosely ordered and flexible, like the ways of old. Potent auxiliaries, backed by the strange alchemic ways of House Cerco.

The empire relies on men like Lutarius to balance its network of 'allies' and keep its subjects in check. A valuable alternative source of manpower when the treasury is flush with coin but the census does not allow for citizens to be levied for the legions.
>>
>>5999422
#Sacerdotessa della Luce
Authority 9 | Reputation 9 | Wealth 8 | Threshold 1
Legionflame - Ashmarked - Theurgic Aspirants
!Theurgic 2
!Legion
!Houses
---
[One of Us]
[Long Shadows]
[Names Writ in Bone and Sky]
---
Command:
[Volunteers - 307th Coaldousers]

Tessa sits in a Fort, looking at the Windchurned Temple. Looking at all of the rabble surrounding the sacred place. Her blood boils, and not in the good way that lets her know the Empyreal Eye is within her, but the ugly kind that threatens to torch her heart.

Not only that, but there seems to be Heretics of some sort speaking about a "Choir". At this point she feels like she could explode in anger.

"All ye Faithful! Gather like the flames of a sun-scorched forest and turn our enemies into ash!"

All of the Coaldousers cheer, they have been galvanised, or rather ignited, by her command. Death to Heretics and Blasphemers.

>[Double Rations, Triple Feast]: Spend 1 Wealth to make the Coaldousers [Well-Supplied]
>[Commission]: Spend 1 Wealth to make the Coaldousers Motivated.

>Command from Fort Forlorn
>Deploy the Coaldousers at Point C
>>
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As per Allectius and Methodian's precise planning, our troops will arrive, lights and cavalry first, and heavies following rapidly behind. The march here has been kind, but horrid things are on the wind.

Still, our troops are rested and fed and have plenty of water in these dry hateful environments. Meanwhile, those Sparksworn, they look haggard. They've been struggling . . for a while? But then, where is the 2nd Cohort? Where is Fireskellian? Up head, their Command Post is smoke-blackened and swirled by haze, the clear sign of Threshold violations building by the gradual degree. The fervor of the Sparksworn draws the attention of the grand Icons. Nothing will happen for hours yet, but still. Watch the sparks, from the campfires. They've started . . . dancing.

We should move fast. Organise. We blundered slightly into the enemy, but these things happen to the best prepared of troops!
--

COMBAT INTEGRATION COMPLETE
Officers may now issue orders to troops!

>Each Phase, officers - YOU - have 1 personal action. Since speaking is always a free action, naturally, your Retinue, which is usually right there with you, can be given an order fairly easily as well if you wish it. Otherwise, they follow you as best as able.

>For anything else, you require either personal presence or a Command post, to send orders to distant troops without running there yourself. And running about in heavy armor? That's tiring work.

>Submit your Actions and Orders, if any, using naturalistic language. Don't worry *too* much about precise micromanagement, our troops are professionals.

>Once we get a COMMAND POST setup, which the soldiers will do the moment the area is clear, grid references and better surveys become availble. But right now, we don't have a *table* for our *maps*!

>Get some control over this chaos!!

-
>>
>>5999625
>>5999621
Ah, Grand House Cerco. Did they ever fix that 'when exposed to air it catches fire', issue? Good to have the proper medicants with us. The Aspirants can part time handle the deft needlework, but I do feel safer with a proper surgeon-professional. As for the heavy elements, Vitacius, they are arriving at speed.

--

Sometimes, you just fail a scout roll. No grand horror. Officers (you!) may act from any deployment area, A to D, and - since you had hopefully pre-arranged this - point out where you'd prefer your command retinue to start arriving also.

Though whether they arrive on time is . . . a little up in the air. They're getting there, but these flood-carve channels. They string out the troops. It's what makes this place so defensible!
>>
Locking force Disposition, final Disposition update. . . coming now!
>>
>>5999645
> Command retinue arrives from D
>>
>>5999642
Looks like we don't have an easy line of communications with the 82nd, we'll need to link up with them soon. For now, I'll have to trust Sarjent Actinius' initiative.

"These sputtering SparkMumblers defile our fort with their pathetic mewling. We must be rid of them, immediately! Cathaphractoi, with me! CHARGE! FOR THE EMPYREAN!"
>Charge with my retinue into the mob in front of us in Fort Forlorn. Aim to kill the theurge as fast as possible if feasible.

#Palatine Theramin Braccius Methodian
Authority 12 Reputation 08 Wealth 10
Scholae Trained - Service Records - Legio Ferrata
!Legion 2
!Mechalogistics
!Administration
---
[Listen Up!]
[They Wrote A Book On That]
[Best Parts of Valor]
---
Command:
79th Kataphractoi Squadron
[Scout Cavalry] + Legion + Mechalogistics
>>
>>5999642
>>5999673
Is it appropriate for me to roll here, or are all of the mechanics of combat handled behind the scenes?
>>
Quite a cohort, I would say. Rustling, rambling, marching - good fine, good core, and a sizable contigent of various specialists.

If we live out the day, we might have some thing good here.

>>5999676
You can, if you'd like, to exert control over your own Fate, always up to associate personal action with a roll.

There's a fair amount of modifiers; but you can, generally speaking, treat your core competence as an officer as 10+ Affiliation, or your particular influence skills. Or, in some rarer but still common cases, your influence skills + your affilition.

Suppose you wanted to order a gaggle of Legios, personally, to form up around you and fall in. Your Authority (12) is combined with your Legion (2, for 14), and having both Service Records and Ferrata backing your authority adds +1 per (16). The issue here, of course, is that is the shaking formation is dazed, half shattered and down 4 members, penalties modify up.

For Orders, it's actually easier - your particular affilitions and authorities add a slight bonus to the Formation(s) in question carrying out the deed if the test succeeds (you got the orders right, as it were). Generally speaking that should immediately confirm for you that a Scholae (Auth 12) commanding Legion troops (2) can be fairly assured that the base check on the Order side is passed with scant difficulty. Then the troops, sufficiently commanded, carry out their particular actions with more vigour.

Of course "carries out their particular action" is doing a lot of work in that sentence. All the best orders in the world won't help a recruit wrestle a spitescorp.

--

Direct rolling and tests become more relevant at certain points; it will be quite apparent. Great big letters and told text apparent. Up until then, it remains an optional courtesy.
>>
>>5999642
>>5999601
Forward! Sing out! Catch the Eye of The Other, lay waste to the enemy - forward!

>Order 762nd to charge the 15 Sparksworn West.
>Order retinue to beg Ashonti's blessing upon Methodian's retinue, granting weight to their charge?
>>
>>5999689
Stats might help, though I see you already have them.

#Echo
Authority 8 Reputation 10 Wealth 9/10
New Model Soldier - Ash Marked - Theurgic Aspirants
!Houses1
!Outlander1
!Theurgic2
!Threshold1
---
[Tricks of the Trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Names Writ in Bone and Sky]
---
Command:
[762nd Pyrewatchers] + Theurgic2 + TerrorResist1 + Offensive Theurgics
>>
Rolled 1, 2, 4 = 7 (3d6)

>>5999684
>>5999673
RAH
>>
Rolled 4, 4, 5 = 13 (3d6)

>>5999642
>Deploy C
>Charge with my retinue into the 7 Sparksworn in that passage north of the Palatine's charge. Aim to kill the theurge as fast as possible if feasible.
"Forward! Give them no chance to rally!"

#Titus Caesius Perennis
Authority 10 Reputation 11 Wealth 10
Fireforged- The Scars - Legio Ferrata
!Legion
!Outlander
!Military Affairs 2
---
[Get It Done]
[That's Not Regulation]
[Last One Out]
---
Command:
[Raincatchers] + Military Affairs 2
>>
>>5999305
>Influence Action: Transfer Paperwork

The situation ahead looks dire. While I'll do my best to keep who I can alive, more flesh and blood will be required to keep Elos East. Requesting more outlander volunteers.

>Affiliation Action: Houses

Surely there is some profit to be garnered in these wastes? Poisonous creatures tend to reside in locales of either extreme abundance or...extreme absence of water. A buyer could go a long way to funding this venture's expenditures.

>Administration Action: Release a flare; get the 4th and 7th patrol elements over here, now!

>>5999422
>>5999645
>Deploy C

"Afraid not. The clotting agent has been repurposed as an accelerant. With an emulsion of pig fat in hay it creates a thick black smoke, useful for smoke screens, or as an airborne irritant. It isn't stable long enough even for that though, so we usually just use it to set things on fire, explosively even."
>>
Rolled 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 3, 5, 5, 1 = 27 (9d6)

>>5999305
>>5999704
Forgot the rolls.
>>
>>5999705
>>5999704
No firestart so fulminant it's not good for something. One day, we'll get that improved woundweal recipe. One day. It's a wonder how much the human body can bleed if struck right (as is about to be amply demonstrated).

Well, I suppose until we get the grand newest medical marvel, we must stick with what we have ...
>>
Rolled 5, 4, 1 = 10 (3d6)

>>5999642
>Deploy C
>Join Perennis' charge.
"Advance. Slaughter them."

#Severus Regulus Priscillian
Authority 10 Reputation 09 Wealth 10
Legionflame - Service Records - Legio Ferrata
!Legion 2
!Theurgic
!Houses
---
[One of us]
[Long Shadows]
[Best Parts of Valor]
---
Command:
[Raincatchers] + Legion 2
>>
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The cavalry thunders on ahead, spears and lances ready, eager scouts and heavy cataphrachts all learning forward in the saddle. Bracing. Accelerating. The surprised opposition doesn't even know what really hits them - one moment they're a fully functional enemy formation and the next they're either dead or a scattered gaggle of fleeing, shaken soldiers.

Methodian's Heavies thunder straight through the enemy formation, fair shattering them, and with a surprised shout of " About time! " a weary looking group bursts from inside the grain storage, swinging everything they can get their hands on. Back behind Methodian, it descends into a brawl - but up ahead, a much sterner formation, fully formed. The others were disrupted and ocupied, taking by surprise, but this lot is forming up, officers shoving to their troops in line. And behind them, worse yet - barricades and stone walls. Even if the flesh and the flame yields, the collision might be painful.

--
Sarjant Korsar's surrounding riders holler and jeer, chasing a breaking Sparksworn formation on their way. A few arrows clutter in their wake, but up ahead, the Sparksworn have tangled into each other - their archers trying to step aside and make way for their fighters, but the passage across the rock is too treacherous. No one's making much progress. . .

--

Which is about Echo's experience too, scuttling backwards to keep a blade from his eye as seven angry soldiers burst from the building in the wake of the Cathapract charge. Mumbling praying Aspirants do not a fighting force make, and the whole march comes up entire short, gridlocked on the narrow confines, the formation shattered and everyone blocking everyone else!

--

We have the advantage! They're at least as surprised as we are! They certainly weren't expecting reinforcements! GET 'EM!

--

>Phase Two!

[Additional Info to Come. . . ]
>>
We got it up and going. Right, let's straighten up these lines a bit, shall we?

Admin expenditures are now authorised, since we hold a Rally Point. However, fairly naturally, to set such things in motion, you must be at such a rally point.

Reserves coming in or undeployed units can be fast-tracked to the rally point - this is an order. You're sending a courier back down that way to get them to come up this way. Otherwise, they'll fall in as able. Apparently there's a bit of a traffic jam building for our heavies.

It's a Personal Action to set up at a Command Post/Rally Point. Sometimes, there's travel time - especially if the intervening distance is held by the enemy. Send a courier instead, or make 'em go away. If you set up, of course, can immediate start penning orders, organising the cohort(s) and answer any unanswered rapid dispatch mail from back up the chain of command.

>To be specific; it's a personal action to setup at a point if you haven't already set up at one. Once you've done so, you can carry on taking personal actions, but they're by nature limited to the local surroundings of the point. Otherwise, it's helmet on and back out there.

--
Speaking of incoming reports . . .

13th Blue Rats report enemy contact in the stairway on the 2nd flood channel! They'll have them on the run soon!

272th Porcune Winds reports establishment of Command Post at Windchurn. They're requesting a new tasking!

The . . . huh 13th Wetmurk Light Scout-Skirmishers report that they're very much relieved to have been saved from a bad situation, and would we happen to know where the rest of their cohort is? They've been locked inside the Grain Store, fighting the worldst most cramped siege action, for two days. They're request permission to refill their water canteens; it's getting a little dehydrating out here.

338th Light Horse reports full destruction of enemy formation, but one of their lead elements see Sparksworn Light Cavalry mustering around the large rock face to past Fireskellian's (Presumed) Command Post. [u]Seems like almost a full century of horsemen![/u]!

We've recieved today's first casualty report. Echo is down a retinue member!

--
>>
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>>5999813
*Ahem*
>>
>>5999813
Ah, the cavalryman's worst enemy, a wall...

Nothing to it then. Even if I charged through to the north, it would put me in an even worse position, in the middle of a kill box. We'll have to hold here until the reinforcements replace us.

"HALT! Form Up! And Hold!"

>Cease our momentum, and form up with my retinue into a line. Prepare to receive an attack from the front.

#Scholae-Palatini Theramin Braccius Methodian
Authority 12 Reputation 08 Wealth 10
Scholae Trained - Service Records - Legio Ferrata
!Legion 2
!Mechalogistics
!Administration
---
[Listen Up!]
[They Wrote A Book On That]
[Best Parts of Valor]
---
Command:
79th Kataphractoi Squadron
[Scout Cavalry] + Legion + Mechalogistics
>>
>>5999809
"Excellent! Our cavalry are already getting to work! Lets ensure to keep these flanks clear. Ashfog? We begin!"
>Personal Action: Set up Command at Rally Point Windchurn.
>Spoken Order to Ashfog: Coordinate the Ashtenders in their attack South through the bushes. Careful of the cliff.
>Command 1: "Ashtenders. I hear and see some unlikely archers currently South of the bushes we were facing. Mind the edge of the cliff and get rid of them in short order thank you very much."
>Command 2: "Excellent work Porcupine Winds! You next task is to use this commanding position to support our middle lane near Fort Forlorn. Fire a volley on the enemy position West of Scholae Palatini. You can see the enemy by the distasteful flag they've setup on the other ridge."

"All understood? Good! Legio Advance!"
>>
>>5999813
aaaaAAAAAAA! The echo, the choir, our collective voice diminishes - we cannot work under these conditions!

>Drag, push, and throw my retinue out of the way so the heavy metal can make way

#Echo
Authority 8 Reputation 10 Wealth 9/10
New Model Soldier - Ash Marked - Theurgic Aspirants
!Houses1
!Outlander1
!Theurgic2
!Threshold1
---
[Tricks of the Trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Names Writ in Bone and Sky]
---
Command:
[762nd Pyrewatchers] + Theurgic2 + TerrorResist1 + Offensive Theurgics
>>
>>5999813
>Move forward, kill any enemy in our path
"Out of the way! Ferrata, advance!"

#Titus Caesius Perennis
Authority 10 Reputation 11 Wealth 10
Fireforged- The Scars - Legio Ferrata
!Legion
!Outlander
!Military Affairs 2
---
[Get It Done]
[That's Not Regulation]
[Last One Out]
---
Command:
[Raincatchers] + Military Affairs 2
>>
>>5999809
>>5999813
#Sacerdotessa della Luce
Authority 9 | Reputation 9 | Wealth 8 | Threshold 1
Legionflame - Ashmarked - Theurgic Aspirants
!Theurgic 2
!Legion
!Houses
---
[One of Us]
[Long Shadows]
[Names Writ in Bone and Sky]
---
Command:
[Volunteers - 307th Coaldousers]

>Personal Action [Names Writ in Bone and Sky] : Bless Echo and Echo's Retinue
>Speak to my Retinue of [Theurgic Aspirants]: "Do any of you know of these... Heretics? Where they came from? Their twisted beliefs? Their goals? So we can more easily crush them, of course."
>>
>>5999809
‘Keep going! Keep going!’

> Continue leading the charge of the light brigade, using our agility to turn and slam into the tangled archers upon the Windchime Rock Bridge
>>
# Publius Quinctilius Varus III
Authority 9 Reputation 09 Wealth 11
Legionflame - Red Market Markers - Chemicaes?
!Legion 0! What do you mean you want them back? I don't have them to give.
!Theurgic 2
!Houses 2
!Outlanders 1 At least my friend Armi doesn't make fun of my name.
---
[One of us]
[Long Shadows]
[Tricks of the Trad]
---
Command:
[Volunteers] + Houses 2

--
>>
Rolled 5, 4 = 9 (2d5)

dice
>>
>>5999898
>>5999816
# Sarjent Koras Auror
Authority 8 Reputation 11 Wealth 10
New Model Soldier - The Scars - Uthani Outlanders
!Houses
!Military Affairs
!Outlander
!Theurgics
---
[Tricks of the Trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Last One Out]
---
Command:
[Scout Cavalry] + Outlanders + Military Affairs

[Last One Out] [Blooded] [Eager] [Loyal] [Extra Water]
>>
>>5999912
>>5999305

>Admin Action: Perform the Firekeeper's Vigil at Theurgic 2 to bless the troops. Ve vill not die.
>Deploy A
>Personal Action: Work with the medicaes to patch up any wounded on our path as we advance west.
>Command (the volunteers): Advance West to support the advance and protect the archers.
>Tricks of the Trade - Hire some looters to come in and gather gear from the fallen Reds. I recognize that they are starving False Sun worshippers, but they've got to have something.
>>
# Publius Quinctilius Varus III
Authority 9 Reputation 09 Wealth 11
Legionflame - Red Market Markers - Chemicaes?
!Legion 0! What do you mean you want them back? I don't have them to give.
!Theurgic 2
!Houses 2
!Outlanders 1 At least my friend Armi doesn't make fun of my name.
---
[One of us] - Better ordering of allies
[Long Shadows] - Impetuosity
[Hazard Pay] - Spending on Looters (who needs engineers in a minefield?)
---
Command:
[Volunteers] + Houses 2 +9 troops

--
>>
>>5999809
> Command 1: 762nd Pyrewatchers. Pursue the shaken Sparksworn. Encircle. Execute.
> Command 2: 404th Soft Moonfall. Follow 82 Kataphractoi. Shields high. Wedge formation.
> Personal: Officer and retinue falls-in behind 404th Soft Moonfall's formation.
>>
Rolled 10 (1d10)

>>5999232

#Mizana
Authority 8 Reputation 11 Wealth 10
New Model Soldier - The Scars - Rebus Pathfinders
!Outlander
!Houses
!Theurgic
!Military Affairs
---
[Tricks of the Trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Last One Out]
---
Command:
[Volunteers] + Outlander

An tribal levy of [Esvacian Peltasts], come to answer the Empire's call for aid (and to fulfill their military obligations, those are important).
"Let loose your cries of war, that all might know that the Outlands breed warriors!"

>Deploy, if still possible at this late hour
>>
>>6000170
>>6000019
Reinforcements, is it?
Finally! Full cohort strength! The warm sun shines. And worry not - making fun of anyones name is an Accords offense. There was that whole spate four decades ago about naming your favorite child variations of adjectives for being bright.

If we were allowed to laugh hard at people's given cognomens, we'd have be sick with laughter from every report signed some variant of -shine.

--

>>5999983
Plenty of things worth having, though some things not so market-ready. Still, hardly seems a reason not to ensure a little bit of our old coffers. Religious iconography do go for quite a pretty coin these days. . .
>>
>>5999813
>Advance and slay the Theurge.
"Make way. Codex Martialis decrees that heavy infantry has right of way in case of congestion during close-quarters combat. Aspirants to the back."

#Severus Regulus Priscillian
Authority 10 Reputation 09 Wealth 10
Legionflame - Service Records - Legio Ferrata
!Legion 2
!Theurgic
!Houses
---
[One of us]
[Long Shadows]
[Best Parts of Valor]
---
Command:
[Raincatchers] + Legion 2
>>
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>>6000285
Get shoving, but not too hard. A bad fall down a cliff-face can get horrendous in these conditions.

Fortunately, with the presence of troopers trained to work in a fluid formation, this blockage is clearing right out.
>>
>>5999813
# Lutarius Lutatius Cerco
Authority 8 Reputation 10 Wealth 11
New Model Soldier - Merchant Cartel Contacts - Chemicaes
!Outlander
!Houses
!Theurgic
!Administration
---
[Tricks of the trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Bulk Discount]
---
Command:
[Volunteers] + Outlanders 1

"Fall in behind the Ferrata, we need to reach that wounded man!"
>Order my retinue to stay behind the Ferrata. When we push past the first friendly casualty of the day, we'll tend to him by the wayside.

"You! Get back to Chemhounds, tell them to make way for the Raincatchers! The way is too narrow to permit fluid battle."
>Tell one of my retinue to order the 625th to the wayside, the heavies have priority in this fight.

If I can only order my retinue to do one thing, then my second order has priority. My retinue will do the 1st naturally, I assume. If they don't or I can't make it work, then I'll rush up and grab the casualty myself and drag him to my Chemicaes.
>>
Shouts, shoves, pushes and locked shields. The 21st Decani makes his way through the throng and deliver a snap report - he doesn't look uncomfortable at all. A little at home, even. The push and pull of an enormous heaving body of troops is practically comfortable to some people.

The 13th Rats inside the stairwell slam into the Sparksworn guard, but lack the follow-up to finish it. Regulus, Caesius and the combined weight of six Ferrata Legio provide all the mass the push needs. The building might need some new doorframes. Well, it was old and stoney nontheless.

Lutatius sends off a runner and the deft handling prevents a much worse pile-up. Look, it's all clearing now, and to the south of that position, Mizana's pathfinders have taken a positon on the rock and the started shouting movement order as well.

Every cohort on the march is a lumbering beast where it should be an agile wolf. It is a testament to your combined leadership that the situation is not infinitely worse.

Speaking of such, Koras light riders make good way through the first line of archers and Sparksworn cludging cudgels and knives, and then they bleed momentum, slowly, bit by bit, as a the officer of the formation raises his voice. Loud, clear, like the rise of the dawn, and on of the 338th has to shake his head to avoid to clear off any lingering desire to fall in. The Sparksworn on the bridge do something fervent, and lock arms.

The charge runs out of momentum There's *too many* of them.

And below, now, the thundering sound of a hundred hooves sing out . .

--

>Reports have come in to Windchime! Admin responses to these take no action.

>Saevus Salvagers are reporting an interest in this contract bid. They've made an estimate and give you good odds of succes.

>. . . [Minor orders still lingering to be resolved, please hold for Phase Three]
>>
Ten men to Ten officers to ten formations and thus the Accords proscribe that one should wage war.

Well.

There's been some adjustments and if the Sarethian's that wrote those hallowed words down right and true so very long ago could see us now, perhaps they would comment on the lack of specifiy in our formations and the somewhat lacking march-precision of our troops.

But they could not say one bad phrase about their valour or their will. And even Sareth never won half as many wars as Legion High.

You've formed a full cohort! Such pleasing adherence to the Accorded Regulations of the Martialis makes every Legio feel like they're part of something much grander! ( The Outlanders don't see entirely what the fuss is about )

--

The Luperni Strikers and Publius Quinctilus Varus have report good ordered arrival!

The Esvacian Peltasts and Sarjent Mizana report good ordered arrival!

The 248th Ashtender Lights report complete success and capture of surrendering hostiles!

The 762nd Pyrewatchers report. . . dead allies. 2nd Cohort 555th Thunderlicked Raincatchers. They died in formation, pushed against the rough stone walls. Combat kit up and standing. They were *not* taken by surprise.

338th Light Horse report they've spotted a Flamesworn Officer!

338th Light horse report they've spotted Flamesworn Heavy Cavalry!!

625th Cerco Chemhounds are letting the raincatchers pass by. Expected arrival . . . earlier than expected!

--
>>
>>6000411
>Admin Responses
>To the 13th Wetmurks
"Legionflame Regulus will be near you with his 21st Monsoon, Blue Shields can't miss them. These are not the men who will help you but will be passing you to get to the frontline. Behind them is the ones who can help you.
[Send your wounded to Lutarius Lutacius Cerco and his chemicaes on the wayside near another casualty. For now the wounded will be taken care of by him him and his 625th Cerco Chemhound by the Wayside.]"

>To the Quartermasters
Send supplies to A lane, Rally Point Windchurn for now. We are still clearing the other lanes but this one is the most safe.
>>
>>6000445
Sir!
>>
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The 625 Chemhounds split open with some prodding and the 789th Light Mist Raincatchers accelerate to paced a march, swirling into a single line and pushing to the front.

A young aspirant, the only casualty so far, clutches at his side, trying to stem the ocean of red. Mutters a quiet prayer. At least he gets to die among friends.

This is no place for medical care or triage, there's too much noise, too many troops, too much shouting, a fight is still half winding down as the last Sparksworn standing surrender near the Grain Store. Panting 13th Wetmurks wavering on their feet as a Ferrat legio sees off the last hostile and corrals the surrendering ones. The 13th Wetmurks raise their collective hands in a shaking but rather stoic salute.

None of that will prevent Amelius from dying. The 789th formation leader, civic service marks on his armor, takes one look at the absolute churning morass of troops around the fallen and shoves one of Saccerdotessa's retinue, too busy giving an information lecture on pyrotherugic spark-speaking, out of the way. And then he raises his voice. One of the 21st, more paradeground perfect, less possessing of a aquifiers worth of sheer, undiluted disregard for the chaos, responds. What are they supposed to do? They can't just lock shields and form a square!

The formation leader of the 789ths glares.

The 21st lock shields, forms a square, and executes an oblique sideways two-shuffle formation shuffle. It's pretty impressive, though the Accords specify the maneveur itself has little practical combat utility unless one is facing down an advancing formation of Twinsouled Arbitant-Servitors, though no library can tell you what that is. The 21st fan out, kicking dust and dirt on the fire and dousing it. One of the 789ths grabs a chemicae scholastic and *lifts*.

A little shuffling later, Lutatius finds himself staring down at a dying man in dire need of stitches, cauterising and a friendly reminder that life, as a whole, is worth experiencing for a full score of fifty years at least. Scant sense in quitting at twenty. Alas, the chemicae's carry all the fine needles and -- a bemused looking 21st Legio deposits a chemicae in the little square. Alright, fair shine, but what about the chemicae adjutant, we need his steady hands so -- ah, there is he, thank you. Can you shuffle outwards a little, there may be call for wide arm movements.

The 21st shuffles outwards a little, expanding the square.

--

Command Point Fort Forlorn is likely to be established at the end of this phase, as the jam is clearing out. Alas, for now, there's too much uncertainity up there.

--

338th reports light enemy cavalry!
338th reports incredibly rude gestures

762nd Pyrewatchers have stopped their advance. There's a pyre here (they're watching it). They're investigating. Is that. . . a humanoid shape in there?

We recieve an intelligence update!
--
>Phase Three starts . . . NOW
>>
With a little good will, Phase 3 can occur rapidly - we'll need an officer to accept this by ordering the cohort to proceed when they feel it is acceptable to do so.
>>
>>6000480
> Command 1: 762nd Pyrewatchers. Don the equipment of the fallen 555th. Carry their valiant spirits with you.
> Command 2: 404th Soft Moonfall. March past the pyre and corpse pile. Assume a defensive posture.
> Personal: Officer and retinue fall-in behind 404th Soft Moonfall.
>>
>>6000480
>Command: Yell at the 789th to follow me, we're going to reinforce the cataphracts ahead
>Personal action: Move forward to reinforce Methodian's cataphracts ahead
>>
>>6000485
OI, YOU PUT THAT DOWN RIGHT THIS INSTANT OR I'M AUTHORISED TO DEFEND MY COMMERCIAL COMPETITION. I'VE BOUGHT ACCESS RIGHTS TO THIS BATTLEFIELD. YOU CAN'T GO STEALING MY PROPERTY.

> What's he going to do? You're the one with the *army*
>>
>>6000480
# Sarjent Koras Auror
Authority 8 Reputation 11 Wealth 10
New Model Soldier - The Scars - Uthani Outlanders
!Houses
!Military Affairs
!Outlander
!Theurgics
---
[Tricks of the Trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Last One Out]
---
Command:
[Scout Cavalry] + Outlanders + Military Affairs

> Order the 338th to disengage and Skirmish away, joining with my Outriders, making a path for the Strikers to take their place. All yours.

> Personal Action: Lead the combined Outriders and 338th to crush the light horse who tried to flank us!

> Personal Action (2), if possible…

‘So your wits haven’t been cooked by your fire and irons! From the pace you ride, you could have fooled me! Two dozen of yours are dead to ‘chickens’; two dozen you were too *slow* to save. Do you need remounts because that laggard’s pace is your fastest stride- or because your bloated egos is too much for the beasts to bear?’

‘Come! Dance with us! See worthy we are of our mounts- and, by sunset, yours as well!’
>>
Rolled 2, 2, 4 = 8 (3d6)

>>6000480
>"Waste these poor fools."
To specify, I am joining them in doing so

#Scholae-Palatini Theramin Braccius Methodian
Authority 12 Reputation 08 Wealth 10
Scholae Trained - Service Records - Legio Ferrata
!Legion 2
!Mechalogistics
!Administration
---
[Listen Up!]
[They Wrote A Book On That]
[Best Parts of Valor]
---
Command:
79th Kataphractoi Squadron
[Scout Cavalry] + Legion + Mechalogistics
>>
>>6000480
>Command: Units fall in, quick march to the west past the 762nd Fyrewatchers
>Personal: Exhort troops to move like they got a purpose!
Nothing stirs the blood like battle! Can you hear it? It calls for you!
>>
>>6000498
A remarkably important distinction. Thank you!
>>
>>6000480
>>6000497

IMPORTANT NOTE
*If* we actually do fold the light cavalry near instantly, and the Sunlancers use that suddenly clear path to charge us, I will not suicidally match my light horse against their lances.

If they charge, we’ll run *away*.
>>
>>6000480
All right, all right, all right. Now we're getting somewhere. Somebody bring up the folding table - no, a crate won't do - I will not have my maps resting on an uneven surface!

>Personal: Set up Command Point Forlorn
>Retinue: Tend to the 13th Wetmurk, give them water and beg the attentions of... Ashloshl? Hydrate our boys.
>Order1: 762nd, keep staring into that pyre, looting the bodies, but CLEAR THE WAY

#Echo
Authority 8 Reputation 10 Wealth 9/10
New Model Soldier - Ash Marked - Theurgic Aspirants
!Houses1
!Outlander1
!Theurgic2
!Threshold1
---
[Tricks of the Trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Names Writ in Bone and Sky]
---
Command:
[762nd Pyrewatchers] + Theurgic2 + TerrorResist1 + Offensive Theurgics
>>
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>>6000512
>>6000485
" Sirs! "

The 762nd Pyrewatchers report they are unable to carry out your requests! They'd very much like to "loot" the "bodies" but all the bodies of the 2nd 555th Thunderlicked Raincatchers appear to mysteriously have gone missing in a flash arson incident! Damndest thing! May their willing spirits and souls in grand motion return to the Empyreal Eye high above, to watch over us below, in sancticity and safety.
>>
>>6000527
>>5999983
" Re-evaluating the profit outlook for this operation I think I can say Saevus Scavengers are willing to accept a contract order for the north side of the battlefield. Good money in cavalry equipment these days, very popular. And if your archers kill them all, the repair cost shoud be minimal. "
>>
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>>6000480
#Sacerdotessa della Luce
Authority 9 | Reputation 9 | Wealth 8 | Threshold 1
Legionflame - Ashmarked - Theurgic Aspirants
!Theurgic 2
!Legion
!Houses
---
[One of Us]
[Long Shadows]
[Names Writ in Bone and Sky]
---
Command:
[Volunteers - 307th Coaldousers]

>Personal Action - [Names Writ in Bone and Sky]: Bless Scholae Palatini and Scholae Palatini's Retinue.
>Command Action: Command my Retinue of [Theurgic Aspirants] to take a look at those... Afflicted folk.

Tessa breathes in, then out. Okay, their agitation is corrosive. Better to keep her emotions in control.
"My companions Sotto il Sole, look at those folk over there mumbling while seemingly holding back headaches. Whispering... never was a good sign in all of the texts I read."
>>
>>6000532
>Admin action: Yes I do believe we can have an arrangement over that. Of course we'd need to do something about the Cavalry also running amok in B lane. Which... we can get on soon. For now scavenging enemy equipment in A and eventually B is allowed. In the case of 9th Cohort in these lanes at least allow us some process time before we make final decisions. Finding Fireskellian would probably help clear that better.

>>6000480
>Personal Action: to the Porcupine
I need a focused volley on the lead cavalrymen in B lane. We need to try and disturb their entire 'charge'.

>Command 1: Instruct the Ashtender to
"Repurpose the enemy dead bodies as projectile to toss at the enemy cavalry in lane B. Specifically the Lead cavalry." Send the enemies who've surrendered to be processed for intel and to "cool off".

>Command 2: to House Luperni Strikers,
Await for the 338th to get out the way and take their spot at the Windchime Rock bridge. We'd like that bridge back thank you very much. Show them three things. As a demo.

>To Ashfog
Kindly point the arriving supply train to a set up in a spot where they won't be in the way and supply the Porcupines thank you.
>>
>>6000483
Cohort, Proceed.
>>
>>6000483
>Cohort proceed
>>
Rolled 1, 2, 6 = 9 (3d6)

>>6000480
# Lutarius Lutatius Cerco
Authority 8 Reputation 10 Wealth 11
New Model Soldier - Merchant Cartel Contacts - Chemicaes
!Outlander
!Houses
!Theurgic
!Administration
---
[Tricks of the trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Bulk Discount]
---
Command:
[Volunteers] + Outlanders 1

I'll do exactly that.

"Legionnaire, I *request* that you pass a message onto my unoccupied Chemicae, just around the corner. Should you deem such a task worthy of your attention, the message is as follows: Quintus, give the Blue Rats a stimulant, and get them to round up and police the prisoners. Then give the prisoners a sedative and something to make them pliable for questioning. If nothing else we need to reduce the noise polluting the battlefield, their whining will prevent orders from being heard. End dispatch"
>Order: *Request* one of the Monsoon Legionnaires to tell my unoccupied Chemicae near Perennis and Priscillian to give the 13th Blue Rats a pick-me-up, and to get them to police our prisoners, whereupon he is to sedate them and make them pliable in preparation for interrogation. [Authority Roll]

"You're alright, you're going to make it. You'll live 'til your face wrinkles from the sun in old age, and not a desire unsought after, a life fulfilled. Now bite down, the adjutant's hands are gentle, but the cauterization is not. Just focus on my voice, I'll give you your rites, bless your soul for travel or permanence."
>Personal Action: Comfort the wounded man, reassure him of continued life and its value. Prepare him for his passing should the Chemicae falter, the proper rites will ensure the aspirant leaves this earth without regrets.
>>
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>>6000571
Well, I was polite at least. That surely has to count for something to these parade ornaments, right?

Ruinous sixes! A pox on all sons named Sextus
>>
>>6000413
>DEPLOY THE BLADE HOLDERS to provide backup to the Luperni- they may not be the best at… anything, but if we can dull an enemy charge, we will
>>
>>6000546
>>6000480
Sorry, but we've got some looting opportunities to create old sport.
>Admin: Follow me and grab the horses Saevus. You'll be able to carry more loot with saddlebags and get there quicker on horseback
>Command the Strikers charge to the NW and take that flag. Kill any enemy horse warriors in the way. Try not to kill the horses.
>Personal Action - Advance with the Strikers to take the flag.
>>
Ah, a hands on customer. Yes, I think we'll have a splendid relationship.
>>
The Light Mist, living up to their name and their long professionalism, weave *around* the hustle, the bustle, the command post being raised, the table. One of them briefly pauses to adjust Echo's map, so it's all where it should be, and then they dip back into formation and fair flow to the front. It's like they don't even quite notice the turmoil, they just follow their commander.

As they gather speed, the Steel Legio don't *see them*, but they hear the synchronised footfall - thomp thomp thomp - and break away. One of them grabs the reins of Methodian's horse, in the doing, and the way is clear.

Impact follows. Then the Steel Cathaphracts shout and join the fray.

--

The Pyrewatchers below studiously live up to the full extent of the orders they've recieved. Unfortunately, they report back, there are no bodies here. They've all mysteriously caught fire.

The 404 and the Esvacian peltasts join them, the roaring pyre and smaller campfire in resonant symphony. The heat should be horrendous. It is almost soothing, instead.

Up ahead, the over-eager 82nd Cathaphractoi have gotten themselves stuck deep inside an enemy formation - multiple enemy formations. The cavalry charge down this funnel never got properly started, five over-eager recruits charged fifty riders first and now the whole business has broken into harassment and strike and counter-strike. But the Cathaphractoi have formed up in a square, and guard each other. The Sparksworn cavalry, lighter, faster, more nimble, have little answer to such patently unfair tactics, and dart around kicking up dust trying to find an opening.

The 404th, warmed by the pyre, raise their voice in song and hammer on their shields as a backdrop.

--

Of cavalry charges elsewhere, it is harder to speak. The dust is so thick in the ground sense is impossible; arrows fly into the dirt but how do we know if they strike? The Ashtenders grunt and get to the scutwork of body pushing. Horses cry out, clashings, screams, but is that pain or victory?

--
The Blade-holders report arrival in *some* order!
The 307th Coaldousers report arrival in *some* order!
The 625th Cerco Chemhounds are next, but they let the others pass first!

--
>Stand by for incoming end of phase reports...
>>
The Luperni Strikers report wounded! Their engagement at the bridge is growing weird; the Sparksworn adherents are biting and scratching. They're not *dangerous* but they're fucki-- sorry, Accords - they're tremendously motivated!

404 Soft Moonfall reports the 82nd Cathapractoi are stuck in and unable to extract themselves!

625th Cerco Chemhounds report the road is finally clear, they're coming up on Fort Forlorn B at the end of this next phase!

272th Porcupine Winds are requesting additional supplies, they've been mass volleying and they're running out of wait nevermind the extra arrows are right behind us sorry sir!

13th Blue Rats report AAIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAHHHHH THE SPIDERS ARE IN MY BLOOD maybe it's a code?

789th Light Mist report complete victory! They've seized the passageway! They're holding it for now. Requesting clarification on orders. They recall the winding old ruins ahead - hellish terrain for proper formation fighting. They'll need to break formation to take it; can we send in the skirmishers first?

338th Light Horse reports they're engaged with enemy light scout elements and winning!

762th Pyrewatchers report the souls and essence of the 2nd Cohort 555th Thunderlicked is ascending to the Empyreal, safe and sure. Their spirits are with us.

404th Soft Moonfall reports the 2nd Cohort 555th Thunderlicked's memories are safeguarded in their banner.

13th Wetmurk report they're resupplying and appreciate the medical attention. They resubmit their request to join the vanguard assault.

Chemicae Ostomo, currently resupplying and giving the 13th Wetmurk medical attention reports that they're all suffering from delusional adrenaline overstimulation. And they've been chewing Shimstims for two days straight. He's willing to sign off on them being combat fit - because against all odds they are - but he notes that they're likely to run out of energy fast unless they're engaged. They'll start collapsing unless they get back in the fray.

--

A Chemicae at Fort Forlorn reports he is ready to sedate and process the captives, and see to their wounded. But Sacerdotessa is asking him to wait, to ponder a possibility first.

--

>Stand by for phase 4. . .
>>
>>6000480
"That would be foolish. I don't foresee these riders climbing up the steps and there are more suitable men here for flank guard duty. It is not regulation for a commander and his retinue to be tasked with such in the midst of a battle. Let us go."

>Go with retinue to the 21st Monsoon. Shout in the general direction of the gaggle of men outside for someone to mind the flank.
>Command the 21st to form up and advance behind the 789th.

"21st, Look alive! Form up! Three ranks! Advance!"

idk process this in phase 4 or something since it's so late. I'm going to bed.

#Severus Regulus Priscillian
Authority 10 Reputation 09 Wealth 10
Legionflame - Service Records - Legio Ferrata
!Legion 2
!Theurgic
!Houses
---
[One of us]
[Long Shadows]
[Best Parts of Valor]
---
Command:
[Raincatchers] + Legion 2
>>
The Luperni Strikers report they've acquired a nice bounty of horseflesh!

The Luperni Strikers report casualties!

--

>Phase Four. . . IS NOW
>>
>>6000571
Lutatius, be aware, you functionally typed your first order twice! In this somewhat curious type of game, the troops are *excellently* able to read full plain text orders.

The only *hard* requirement is that you indicate if the activity is an ORDER sent to someone, a STATEMENT (talking being generally free) or a PERSONAL ACTION.
>>
>>6000722
> Personal: Activate [Names Write in Bone and Sky]. Resonate with northern-most campfire in the Secondsky Outrider's midst and bend it to the Empyreal's will. "Roar and rage little light. Erupt in incendiary reverence of the Grand Eye's splendor and scour the impious with your fidelity."
> Command 1: 404th Soft Moonfall. Shields up. Press forward slowly and pressure the Secondsky Outriders. Restrict their mobility.
> Command 2: 762nd Pyrewatchers. Add your strength to the 404th's bulwark. Harass through the gaps in the shieldwall. Savage the Secondsky Outriders.
>>
Rolled 4, 6, 1 + 3 = 14 (3d6 + 3)

>>6000743
Is it getting warm in this shadowed flood bed?
>>
>>6000722
Doc, thanks for patching up my man - we're not quite the fighting elite, but we can push a mean paper. I'd say he's worth his weight in reports.

>Admin: 13th Blue Rats assigned to support the 789th in rough terrain.
>Admin: 13th Wetmurk denied vanguard deployment, assign them to fortify Forlorn against rear assault. Uppers are to be issued to prevent collapse.
>Order: Dispatch a rider to update the 266th Dusteaters on the situation, specifically adversary cavalry movements.
>Personal: [Names Writ in Bone and Sky], bless the 13th Blue Rats before they sprint off. They are a lucky sort, one could say fated to survive this day.
>Retinue: Dispatch 3 aspirants to directly oversee the 762nd Pyrewatchers, leading them in song.

#Echo
Authority 8 Reputation 10 Wealth 9/10
New Model Soldier - Ash Marked - Theurgic Aspirants
!Houses1
!Outlander1
!Theurgic2
!Threshold1
---
[Tricks of the Trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Names Writ in Bone and Sky]
---
Command:
[762nd Pyrewatchers] + Theurgic2 + TerrorResist1 + Offensive Theurgics
>>
Wouldn't want to interfere with a Grasscloak's duel. Oh well, time to spend some supplies.

>Retine Action: Throw kinetic bombs into the middle of that red formation on the bridge to knock them into the dry riverbed.

>Troop Action (Strikers): Fighting withdrawal to the NW so the kopeshi advance into the pocket and the Blade Holders can assist us in flanking them. Don't want to be too greedy and steal all the kills. Fewer of my men dying too.

>Action: Turn over the contractually agreed percentage of the captive horses to the Saevus Scavengers. We leave it to Corvax and Co. to distribute these goods among themselves according to their own order.
>>
>>6000747
IIt's not - it's much colder, as the shadows lenghten and the campfires and larger pyres give out.

An Outrider, half inbetween some far-east insult about the countenance of someone's brother's sister runs out of air in his lungs and the insult die in his mouth...
>>
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>>6000750
Plenty precious of you, there, Publius. Obliged. Though, I haven't called in the Co of Corvax and Co yet. We usually don't attend, uh, let's say ""live"" kinetic situations?

Though other than that man down there wearing eight thousand bits worth of scavenge, it does look like it's dying down on this side of the fray.

Well, sometimes you have to take some risks. You want me to whistle for my people, then? They usually do all the heavy lifting. I can use this here horse and go get them! We're camped nearby, found ourselves a lot of ironshells from a Legio patrol that appeared to have run right into a gaggle of cavalry.

Odd, you don't usually see the Easties out so far west. Thought they were all meant to be kept at bay for Elos East Station. We were just heading home from there to off-load earlier scavenge in Fideli.

Then we found that dead Legio patrol and thought we migt as well camp and out and you know, my mother always told me my instinct was all wrong but I think that turned out to be an eminently wise decision.

Well, I talk on. Pass me the reins and I'll go round up my people...


>[Admin] . . ?
>>
>>6000722
"789th! Clear those sparkie stragglers, then give the cavalry and the skirmishers space to work!"

>Order: See above
>Personal: I will join the 789th in clearing the last red circles around Methodian's cavalry
>>
>>6000722
>>6000722
Urgh, fuckin' profit marginers.

>To Ashfog: Get ready to give the Porcupine a sterling example. Shoot down one of their officers would you?

>Command 1: Porcupine. Most of you fire a volley on the rock bridge and the rest aim for the officers. Follow the lead of Ashfog then ressuply arrows

>Command 2: Bladeholders! The Luperni are letting the bridge open for you. Kick and slash them off of it would you kindly? They can only come from 1 direction afterall

>Personnal Action: Ashtenders return to rally point an ressuply. Get ready some choice throwables to disperse and disorient enemies.
>>
But they're charging into our pincer maneuver? Why stop them? You're just taking on 2:1 odds instead of letting the Hounds help you.
>>
>>6000768
# Sarjent Koras Auror
Authority 8 Reputation 11 Wealth 10
New Model Soldier - The Scars - Uthani Outlanders
!Houses
!Military Affairs
!Outlander
!Theurgics
---
[Tricks of the Trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Last One Out]
---
Command:
[Scout Cavalry] + Outlanders + Military Affairs

> Retinue Command: Pull back the 338th slightly to give me space. Make sure everyone drinks water, checks for injuries, and cheer and jeer as loudly as possible!

> Personal Action! Duel! Duel! Duel!

Equipping a shield and a quiver of spears, and hurl them at him and his horse from just outside his reach- alongside a steady stream of taunts. Hopefully evading his strikes with agility and deftness, I fight defensively, dragging out the fight to exhaust him and subtly retreating to lure him into worse and worse terrain, until he makes a fatal error.
>>
>>6000807
*Equip a shield and a quiver of spears, and hurl them at him and his horse from just outside his reach- alongside a steady stream of taunts. Hopefully evading his strikes with agility and deftness, I fight defensively, dragging out the fight and subtly luring him onto worse and worse terrain.

(With actual grammar, this time. Bloody phones)
>>
>>6000722
The Legio have finally arrived, and my complement are ill suited to assaulting barricades in walls. On the contrary, there seems to be a worthy quarry up ahead, now that the raff has filed out through the riverbed... There might yet be something to write about today.

>Make a fighting reposition to the North and West into the riverbed

#Scholae-Palatini Theramin Braccius Methodian
Authority 12 Reputation 08 Wealth 10
Scholae Trained - Service Records - Legio Ferrata
!Legion 2
!Mechalogistics
!Administration
---
[Listen Up!]
[They Wrote A Book On That]
[Best Parts of Valor]
---
Command:
79th Kataphractoi Squadron
[Scout Cavalry] + Legion + Mechalogistics
>>
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The 13th Blue Rats report - to Perennis, since his esteemed officership is standing right there, cleaning Sparksworn off of his blade - that they've run into exceptionally heavy resistance. Might be a hot minute or ten or twenty or thirty taking this place, Sir. Cramped hallways, twisting turns, and they've setup actual honest-to-the-sun *barricades* in there. Spikey ones, Sir!

Can't the Legio do this? They have all the *armor* and *helmets*! Or ask the coruscant bird of fire dancing on your helmet to do it, that one looks dangeorus ! And maybe the enormous spiders crawling out of your eyes? We have options here, Sssss-S--Sir!
>>
On the stone bridge, soaked by sun, sprouting arrows by the minute, the Dawnlighter formations spot an opening and advance. The Luperni House troops perform an admirable fighting withdrawal. Maybe the House tutors do good instruction? As the 278th Bladeholders charge in, a slight mistiming occur - the Dawnlighters aren't quite so much pincered as they are slightly misaligned. The formations clash, and the lines ripple. The medium infantry have neither the numbers nor the angle, but their formation is adaquate. Casualties are low on both sides, as the soldiers push and prod at each other, avoiding the slippage that would send them down to the flood channel below. Wounded Luperni peel back and away, towards Rally Point Windchurn where the Chemicae shake their head and point them to the triage stations. A Bladeholder, then another, join them. The sun shines down.

Sometimes, blades simply vital organs. Stumbles that should have sent you careening over the edge avert at the last moment as a friend reaches out. A shield holds one more strike than it should have. Luck. Just luck. Or the gentle, benign attention of the distant Sun. . .

--

The dust from the cavalry charge begins to die down. A few scattered of them lie in the riverbed, moaning and groaning. Some more have been thrown from their horses! But where are they headed? What were their orders?

--

>Stand by for end of phase reports. . .
>>
File: Midday.png (814 KB, 1408x1018)
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The Cerco Chemhounds are arriving at Fort Forlorn!

The 13th Blue Rats are encoutering heavyresistance! This place is a killhouse! Voided Stars, they've got *spiked barricades*!!

278th Blade-Holders report wounded!
Luperni Strikers report wounded!
These Dawnlighters are harder to kill than they have any right to be; it's as if blades don't quite. . . cut right. We need a field specialist in counter-theurgy and ward operations over here, they're damn right cheating!

338th Light Horse reports their grass-cloak is absolutely going to win this!

404th Soft Moonfall reports they've cleared the floodbed in the south-west section near Fireskellians' (presumed) command post. No further sign of hostiles. Everyone down here is a little dazzled and half-blinded, but morale is high and they're ready to proceed.

726nd Pyrewatchers report their supplies are running lower, they might need time to resupply and reform.

>Stand by for end of phase orders. . .
>>
The Glory, Triumphant, the High Eye at the apex of its arc, and the world below, sunkissed and beautiful. Spare a thought for the things the rays touch, all the greenery and blue water that make life worth living. Some things are worth dying for, but so much more is worth living for - as young Amelius has learned, today.

In the shaded floodchannels, the heat is less, the shadows deeper. The water more accessible, in canteen and in the clear trickle below boot. But in the open areas, where Koras struggles, on the high bridge where the Dawnlighters stand like mountain stone, chipped away by arrows and blows, the heat grows more intense and the sun much more a cut than a caress.

It is good we prepared as much water as we did, and that the various troops are well supplied. Now that the engagement has run its morning course, Supplies will begin to matter in the utmost. A fighting force sheds weight as it advances, first canteens, then rations, then munitions, then, in the final counting, manpower.

Perhaps if we do our job well, and pray, and proceed with competence, much more of the former three than the last.


>Phase Five begins . . . NOW!
>ETA: Please, if possible, within 12 hours from this point. At 70%+ activity, we may proceed faster.
>>
>>6000952
"Surrender? That's a good joke, sand muncher. You only outnumber us 2 to 1. Your boss Turdovich seems decently motivated enough, perhaps in a few dozen years you might have the skills to challenge me 10 on 1 on a good day, downhill, with the Empyrean on your side.

Wait, what the fuck did you just say to me? "I will lose"? I'll have you know I graduated top of my class in the Pyther Scholae Officer Academy, and I've been involved in numerous secret raids on the Rikovians, and I have over 300 confirmed kills. I am trained in skorpion warfare and I'm the top lancer in the entire Pytherian armed forces. You are nothing to me but just another shishkabob. I will wipe you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my fucking words. You think you can get away with saying that shit to me on the battlefield? Think again, fucker. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of theurges across the continent and your soul is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot. The storm that wipes out the pathetic little thing you call your life. You're fucking dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can kill you in over seven hundred ways, and that's just with my bare hands. Not only am I extensively trained in unarmed combat, but I have access to the entire arsenal of the Pytherian Cathaphractoi Corps and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent, you little shit. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little "clever" comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your fucking tongue. But you couldn't, you didn't, and now you're paying the price, you goddamn idiot. I will shit fury all over you and you will drown in it. You're fucking dead, kiddo."
>>
>>6000952
>>6000954
"Ahem, excuse me, sorry I get a little worked up when ants act overconfident. I understand that weaklings have their coping mechanisms. Look, I'm not so merciless that I wouldn't accept the surrender even for a gutless weakling like the lot of you that can't even comprehend the concepts of initiative, dignity, or honor unless your commanding officer smacks them across your face, which I doubt they are inclined to in the first place from what I've seen of them. Leading from the back. Telling their men to die for them while they cower. Ha. Anyways, I am perfectly willing and able to accept your uncharacteristically gracious surrender. I hear you poor aimless lot have been having trouble with the water supply in this desolate wasteland. We have ample provisions for even you gormless dustslimes. You will have no want for ration or water in our care provided you behave. You need not look further than how your sorry associates are being treated at Fort Forlorn. Those that had the sense to give up your hopeless cause in favor of life are being treated and tended to, and probably drinking the first non-sawdusted water they've had in weeks. When's the last time you've tasted genuine fresh water, dustgummer?

How many of you need to be trampled below our blessed Cathaphractoi for you to realize there is no hope of victory? How many need to be skewered on the unforgiving lances of justice for you sandchewers to get a hint? Can you explain to me the delusion that perturbs the minds of gravellickers that gives them the bizarre impression they stand to defeat a foe that towers over them like the heights over a tick? I like to think I have quite the flexible mind but this really does behoove even me. In any case, I would like to hear, do your men surrender?"

>I am stalling for time for my retinue to catch their breaths

#Scholae-Palatini Theramin Braccius Methodian
Authority 12 Reputation 08 Wealth 10
Scholae Trained - Service Records - Legio Ferrata
!Legion 2
!Mechalogistics
!Administration
---
[Listen Up!]
[They Wrote A Book On That]
[Best Parts of Valor]
---
Command:
79th Kataphractoi Squadron
[Scout Cavalry] + Legion + Mechalogistics
>>
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>>6000954
>>6000956
We shall hardly need to wait ten years. A mere score of hours will do, Scholae.
>>
>>6000952
# Sarjent Koras Auror
Authority 8 Reputation 11 Wealth 10
New Model Soldier - The Scars - Uthani Outlanders
!Houses
!Military Affairs
!Outlander
!Theurgics
---
[Tricks of the Trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Last One Out]

Well, I tried defence, and it’s not working. Blood will tire me faster than the weight of his armour ever will. Time has turned against… but I will not yet admit defeat!

*I see a line*

When his lance has passed me and is in backswing, just after wounding me, I raise my sabre in an unassuming manner, as if I’m considering surrender- before hurling the blade at his face!

In the single moment of confusion that buys me, I [Push] myself and go [All In], surging forwards. Leaping out of the saddle, I tackle him, vigorously and repeatedly smashing my buckled against his helm while trying to wrestle a knife into his joints or neck- throwing all of my weight and desperation into hurling both of us into the water.

His armour is aneblrmous advantage, but if we are both dazed and prone and lying in two feet of water while two angry horses try to trample us, I think it will matter less.
>>
>>6000977
*buckled -> buckler, against his helm.

aneblrmous -> an enormous advantage, unfortunately, but if the radiant ancestors want me to survive and have kids, they’ll hopefully make his armour sink into the mud quite thoroughly.
>>
>>6000952
Right, right, right. Paperwork finished, I can finally do the job I was contracted for. Don't mess up in front of my peers, don't... Ahem.

"Celestial heavens, I beg thee to lend me your kindest caress - shatter not this resistance before me, but allow me to alter its ebb and flow!"

>Admin, Chow: Half of each unit is authorized chow, the other half are on duty with a priority on guarding the southern ramp.
>Admin, Prisoners: Chemicae to treat the prisoners in the building where the 13th Wetmurk held out.
>Order: 762nd Pyrewatchers to scale the northern cliff face, perhaps having packed climbing gear to speed them along with their [Tricks of the Trade]. Objective is to seize the accelerants, slay the theurge, and THEN collapse on the manned barricade.
>Personal: Tap the aspirants, have them echo my chants as I work my theurgy. Reduce friction in the riverbed, turning it into a slip-n-slide. Slap that friction onto dust clouds adversary riders kick up during the impending charge.

#Echo
Authority 8 Reputation 10 Wealth 9/10
New Model Soldier - Ash Marked - Theurgic Aspirants
!Houses1
!Outlander1
!Theurgic2
!Threshold1
---
[Tricks of the Trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Names Writ in Bone and Sky]
---
Command:
[762nd Pyrewatchers] + Theurgic2 + TerrorResist1 + Offensive Theurgics
>>
>>6000934
> Personal: Activate [Names writ in Bone and Sky]. Bless the 404th Soft Moonfall. "Though we are but dust, sunlight resplendent pours from our hearts eternal."
> Command 1: 404th Soft Moonfall. March, double time. Do not allow the scattered Outriders to regroup. Push them out of the riverbed.
> Command 2: 82nd Kataphractoi. Sally forth towards Fireskellian. Cut down the heretic preacher. Ravage the enemy's backline.
>>
>>6000952
"Blue Rats retreat, tend to your wounded. If any of you are still eager and able to fight, flank the enemy position through that slippery passage to the south.

Light Mist, to me. We'll deal with this obstacle head on."

>I'll personally lead the 789th to swat the barricade and its defenders aside.
>>
>>6001018
#Titus Caesius Perennis
Authority 10 Reputation 11 Wealth 10
Fireforged- The Scars - Legio Ferrata
!Legion
!Outlander
!Military Affairs 2
---
[Get It Done]
[That's Not Regulation]
[Last One Out]
---
Command:
[Raincatchers] + Military Affairs 2
>>
>>6000952
"Perennis! Codex Martialis decrees that frontal assaults on fortified positions are—...! Oh, void. Monsoon! Double file! Follow the 789th!"

>Take command of the 21st. Have them form into a two-wide column and follow behind the 789th, but not too close, so as to give them room to disengage should it come to that.

#Severus Regulus Priscillian
Authority 10 Reputation 09 Wealth 10
Legionflame - Service Records - Legio Ferrata
!Legion 2
!Theurgic
!Houses
---
[One of us]
[Long Shadows]
[Best Parts of Valor]
---
Command:
[Raincatchers] + Legion 2
>>
>>6000952
Ah, the path ahead, I see it! Forge ahead, brook no delay!

>Command: Esvacian Peltasts to scurry up the bank to the North and begin pelting the Dawnlighters, lets hope it goads them into breaking formation
>Command: Pathfinders to follow as all speed permits
>Personal: Remind the Esvacians to keep up their momentum, a peltast who halts is a peltast who is dead!
>>
Rolled 4, 4, 5 = 13 (3d6)

>>6000952
#Sacerdotessa della Luce
Authority 9 | Reputation 9 | Wealth 8 | Threshold 1
Legionflame - Ashmarked - Theurgic Aspirants
!Theurgic 2
!Legion
!Houses
---
[One of Us]
[Long Shadows]
[Names Writ in Bone and Sky]
---
Command:
[Volunteers - 307th Coaldousers]

>Free Action: Tell my Retinue to keep an eye on me and restrain me if I do anything... Unbecoming of my status.
>Admin Action: Ward the Afflifcted to soothe their pain. (Theurgic Skill-test)
>>
>>6000952
"I AM HERE! THIS BATTLE IS AS GOOD AS WON!"
>Deploy
>>
>>6001161
The forgotten sheet, left behind in the wake of VICTORY.

#Lucilla Maximus Superbus
Authority 9 Reputation 10 Wealth 10
Legionflame - The Scars - Legio Ferrata
!Legion
!Theurgic
!Houses
!Military Affairs
---
[One of us]
[Long Shadows]
[Last One Out]
---
Command:
[Raincatchers] + Legion + Military Affairs
>>
>>6000952
>Admin Action: Loot that fine Destrier that is now unmanned as the grasscloak Koras pulls Terkovich into the river.
Personal Action: Use my knowledge of wards from my Theurgic affiliation and disrupt the Dawnlighter's magic. Maybe throw salt or holy water or something at them. Whatever works.
>Troop Action: Strikers advance on the Dawnlighters.
>>
>Ask the 272th Porcupine Winds to shoot those heretics using earth magics. The can advance a little bit behind the 278th Blade Holders to get the angle if they need to.
>>
>>5999232
Rereading the rules, sheet should look like this:

# Publius Quinctilius Varus III
Authority 9 Reputation 09 Wealth 11
Legionflame - Red Market Markers - Chemicaes
!Legion 0! What do you mean you want them back? I don't have them to give.
!Theurgic 1
!Houses 2
!Outlanders 0 At least my friend Armi doesn't make fun of my name.
---
[One of us] - Better ordering of allies
[Long Shadows] - Impetuosity
[Hazard Pay] - Spending on Looters
---
Command:
[Volunteers] + Houses 2 +9 troops

--

I think that I accidentally conflated Legionflame and New Model Soldier and basically gave myself the New Model Soldier affiliations with the Legionflame Authority, Rep, and Abilities.
>>
>>6000729
Will do, skyvoice. Sorry about missing phase four, was away all afternoon.

>>6000952
>Personal Action and Orders: "Chemhounds! Listen up! Drink your fill of water now and pop a stimulant, we won't have time for it in the midst of combat. We're going on a little excursion, into the central flood channel, up the wall, right in between two groups of Dawnlighters corking the way to our final victory. Some heretical theurge is to be the first soul we send to the Maker in despair, then we open the flood gates and stab those bridge bugs in back! Load up on supplies, be generous with your piton use, and remember, the Empyrean Eye is always watching! Lets go! Chemicaes Quintus and Ostomo with me, Civilla you stay here and tend to anyone who needs you, or do whatever the grasscloaks need you to do. Move, move move, NOW!"
>>
>>6001334
>>6000952
# Lutarius Lutatius Cerco
Authority 8 Reputation 10 Wealth 11
New Model Soldier - Merchant Cartel Contacts - Chemicaes
!Outlander
!Houses
!Theurgic
!Administration
---
[Tricks of the trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Bulk Discount]
---
Command:
[Volunteers] + Outlanders 1

Forgot my sheet.

Not sure if it needs to be said, but I will be using Tricks of the trade.
>>
>>6001334
Never a need to apologize. All is forgiven.

>>6001312
>>6001210
So you did, and for reasons unknows, no clerk managed to catch it and apparently High Command signed off on it. What a mistake! Ah, sometimes, these things happen.

>>6001161
>>6001164
Ah Maximus Superbus, I am superplussed to finally have you here. Surely, nothing will stop in our wake now!

>>6001136
They nod. They smile. They put their hands in their pockets. You know that's where they keep the extra-strength rope.

>>6001036
A sign of mistakes made elsewhere, yes.
>>
The Accord Regulations, on the question of how to go about assaulting a motivated enemy in a fortified position possessing superior local advantage has the following somewhat laconic advice:

Find a different path or a different war.

--

The Cohort moves, and all across the lines, contact is made. Dispatch couriers try to reach Command Posts to provide proper updates, but the thundering hooves of cavalry cut them off. Are we winning? We are succeeding?

Methodian stalls, blusters, talks terms, threats, boasts, the Sunlancers - cut from the same cavalry man's cloth - offer it in likewise terms. And each breath is joy to the lungs as the Steel Legio feel energy slowly flit back into their hands, legs, their hearts.

Somewhere, near Fireskellian's (presumed) Command Post, something goes cataclysmically wrong for someone, barrels spill, troops die, screams are cut off.

Down in the flood channels below, the officers try to make sense of it! But there are too many soldiers too tightly wound, pressing, pushing, too much dust, too much struggle.

Wait, is that . . . the sound of cavalry?

Behind us?

--
>Stand by for END OF PHASE REPORTS
>>
>>6001471
>Admin: All not engaged. Permission granted for water and ration. if some don't have do share. Supplies are also found in Windchurn
>>
>>6001471
*Cough* *Cough* "Hhhhhhhuuuuuuhhhh...just...just...gimme some water and a stim. I...I was an outlander too...once. This barely qualifies as a light jog." *Hacking cough*

"I'm serious, up the ropes, now! There's two lancers for every one of Methodian's horse lovers. We're in dange- is that...do I hear hooves...from behind us-"
>>
Nothing ever happens on the eastern front.
Except when it happens all at once
--

House Luperni report victory! And a few wounded

278th Blade-Holders report victory! And a few wounded!

272th Porcupine Winds report . . . a very, very light cavalry force coming *back* down the flood channel!

789th Light Mist report enemy position seized, prisoners processed (zero), surviving hostiles processed (zero) and one enemy banner taken in storm action! Requesting new deployment sir!

21st Monsoon report--- SIR!!! SSIIRRRR

307th Coaldousers report-- whatever he was going to say got cut off, as he got stabbed

Evascian Peltast report light enemy contact from the rear! And more coming! Reform! Reform!!

404th Soft Moonfall reports they've seen off the enemy outriders to the west, but they gathered some good speed doing. Turning about will be slow. These ones look utterly broken, we're unlikely to encounter them again. Success!

Maximus Superbus and the 777th Stormbinders report they're en-route from the camp to the Command Post Forlorn but there's a bunch of cavalry in the way, they've had to lock shields and form square to avoid being over-run! They'll get there, but. . . Apologies for the delay!

--

Outlander Ak, of the Eight Fingered Smiling Fox Vulpes, reports Korsas Auror is alive and he's putting in a request to carve his name in the Pillar of Valour. Denied, naturally, but we may see about a medal.

--

>Phase Six...!
>>
>>6001534
> Command 1: 404th Soft Moonfall. Fall back to the slope linking the riverbed and Fireskellian. Dig in at the apex of the incline. Brace against assaults from the riverbed.
> Personal: Officer and retinue take position between the 82nd Kataphractoi and the 404th Soft Moonfall.
> Command 2: 762nd Pyrewatchers. Form up around Allius Vitacus and his Retinue.
>>
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Meanwhile, elsewhere, in events of dubious cannocity:

The 777th Stormbinders report the cavalry harassment is abating, they must have run past them. One of them also reports that their officer singlehandedly slew ten score Outriders by beating them to death with each other.

That last part seems . . . unlikely. Must be sunstroke
>>
>>6001534
>Orders: "Ooooh NO! What the fuck! CHEMHOUNDS up the ropes! Rain spears! Rain flash-fulminants! Startle the horses! Porcupines, loose arrows! Ostomo, you're young and spry, get back to the command post, evaluate, meet back by the bridge via the access passage with Civilla in tow. If there are enemies in the command post, then you remember our crates of fulminant-woundweal paste? Furthest from our current position? Good, use your discretion, all it takes is a spark. Empyrean protect you!"

>Personal Action: Up the ropes with my groundbound Chemhounds and Quintus. Hopefully the bodies trip those horsemen up, if not, then some pointy sticks should do it.
>>
>>6001534
"Hm. I see. Decanus, into the temple! Rescue the Fulminant!"

"Now, as for us, we shall secure that theurge there while he is indisposed. You, Chemhounds! Give over any spare rope you have!"

>Order the 21st to assault the temple and save Fireskellian.
>Personally rush the panicked theurge and thump them upside the head a few times. Tie them up and send one of the Ferrata to deliver them to Windchurn.

#Severus Regulus Priscillian
Authority 10 Reputation 09 Wealth 10
Legionflame - Service Records - Legio Ferrata
!Legion 2
!Theurgic
!Houses
---
[One of us]
[Long Shadows]
[Best Parts of Valor]
---
Command:
[Raincatchers] + Legion 2
>>
Rolled 2, 4, 5 = 11 (3d6)

>>6001534
Ah...
I don't suppose we packed caltrops? Blight it all, throw everything you have! BATTLE COMES FOR YOU
>Pathfinders to throw anything that might trip up the enemy horses, up to and including their (ranged) weapons.
>Peltasts: about face, launch a volley of javelins, and introduce these foul horsemen to the ends of your spears!
>Personal: lead a rousing war chant! (Roll?)
>>
>>6001573
Sirrrr? There are people in this world who leave their homes without caltrops?
>>
>>6001534
>Orders: “GET ME THE DAMN THEURGES, I’VE GOT WOUNDED AND I NEED HANDS!”
>Personal: start grabbing weapons from the dead
>>
>>6001534
>[Admin] Nay, let them cower.
The sounds of thunderous hooves come from behind. Up on the ledge above, the masses of infantry that could more than match the parched and tired enemy cavalry shake and bawk. To my front, more cowards, tiptoeing around engaging Koras and his lights. Shameful.

"Are these the kinds of men who call themselves soldiers these days?"

To my retinue: "Take a quick swig of water to refresh yourselves. Let us show them what it means to be men."

To the sand slushers: "It appears you have more time to consider my generous offer. Gutless knaves, observe how true soldiers conduct themselves in battle, and dream of the day you will have an ounce of our mettle!"

>Turn around and counter charge the oncoming outriders

#Scholae-Palatini Theramin Braccius Methodian
Authority 12 Reputation 08 Wealth 10
Scholae Trained - Service Records - Legio Ferrata
!Legion 2
!Mechalogistics
!Administration
---
[Listen Up!]
[They Wrote A Book On That]
[Best Parts of Valor]
---
Command:
82nd Kataphractoi Squadron
[Scout Cavalry] + Legion + Mechalogistics
>>
>>6001534
Good, good, good - you've saved me yet again, Amelius! I reckon a raise might be in order. For the time being, take a step back - nary a profit to be found in death.

Then again... with the sun at its zenith, lifeblood spilling thusly, and souls burning freely...

>Personal: Distance myself from the rear assault. Enact some theurgy, attempting to call the Empyreal Flame, the Spark of Life into the bodies of the fallen. Just some husks, as a treat. Nobody will notice, honest.

#Echo
Authority 8 Reputation 10 Wealth 9/10
New Model Soldier - Ash Marked - Theurgic Aspirants
!Houses1
!Outlander1
!Theurgic2
!Threshold1
---
[Tricks of the Trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Names Writ in Bone and Sky]
---
Command:
[762nd Pyrewatchers] + Theurgic2 + TerrorResist1 + Offensive Theurgics
>>
>>6001534
>Grab that rider's lance shaft and throw salt in his eyes. These polearms aren't that dangerous when they aren't moving.
>Command Action: Strikers Strike! - have the Strikers come down the path to attack the Heavy sunlancers. Cerco and the Blade Holders can manage the heights and the Porcupine Winds have new horsey targets moving in, but based on previous charges we'll have time to establish a defensive formation after hitting the Sunlancers before they arrive.
>Looters: Where are you going? Are your packs full? There's plenty of loot to be had on the bridge.


"
>>
>>6001623
Oh, I'll be back, with the rest of the Saevux Scavengers! I see you've all produced rather a lot of merchandise, we'll get right on it. But I can hardly stack half a hundred bodies by my lonesome.

I'll be RIGHT back with you, good luck with the batttleeee!
>>
Eh, I guess you need to acquire the capital to leverage opportunity. Stay safe Saevux.
>>
Question: Approximately how much wealth would it take to outfit the most valorous of the surviving Strikers as a Luperni Knight, and how likely is the House to approve such an elevation if I pay for the equipment?
>>
>>6001534
# Sarjent Koras Auror
Authority 8 Reputation 12 (!) Wealth 10
New Model Soldier - The Scars - Uthani Outlanders
!Houses
!Military Affairs
!Outlander
!Theurgics
---
[Tricks of the Trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Last One Out]
---
Command:
[Scout Cavalry] + Outlanders + Military Affairs

> Personal Action: Scream in adrenaline fuelled victory! Try not to faint.
> Personal Action (2): Retreat up to dry ground and start to tend to my wounds.

> Command: Look! Behind us! The outriders are coming back; I send the 338th thundering to Fort Forlorn, swift as the wind, to drive off the enemy raiders. If Command doesn’t give you a heroism bonus, I will!
> Command: Rest and regenerate with my Outriders, and parley with the Sunlancers. Admit that they are *very* good at this cavalry business. You’re obviously no Imperial, nor Ulthani. Where are you from, and why are you here?
> Command Action: …;But if they ignore me and suddenly charge, either flee from their lances (if at us), or follow after them and flank them as they flank the cataphractoi.
>>
>>6001534
#Titus Caesius Perennis
Authority 10 Reputation 11 Wealth 10
Fireforged- The Scars - Legio Ferrata
!Legion
!Outlander
!Military Affairs 2
---
[Get It Done]
[That's Not Regulation]
[Last One Out]
---
Command:
[Raincatchers] + Military Affairs 2

> Lead my retinue and the 789th back to Fort Forlorn, to drive off the attack! Double time! Go go go!
>>
>>6001636
>>6001633
You run a few quick calculation as you grab a fistful of sand and huck it at a heavily armored cavalry man and your troops, yelling, try to pull you to safety.

Accounting for the metal, the cost of the forging, replacement remounts, tutors for blade training, it might come out to roughly one measure of Wealth for each Striker, to ensure the full regalia and equipment. Conveniently, this is quite well within your budget - if a little hard to swing.

And the House troops, being well paid professionals, are quite willing to accept the elavation to higher officer. Can the distant Hound Lords entirely gainsay it? Perhaps. But they trust your discretion, surely, or you would not be in this position, and so it does seem fair passing likely you could raise a more armored force.

The real issue - aside from monetary cost - is (estimating quickly, assuming the cavalrist being swarmed by four light infantry is the standard) - heavy armor is so costly. And delivery times out here very. You'd need to find a large source of pre-fabricated equipment to outfit the troops in time. If only you knew some kind of fast operating, agile business operative who might have a few stacks of lightly used heavy military equipment. It's good stuff, that stuff. The cavalrist lancer, tearing his way free of the throng, demonstrates how effective it makes you at not being stabbed


>There is a way to accomplish just this, but it must be . . . after this engagement!
>>
>>6001534
>Admin: General Advance Granted.

>Personal action: 248th Ashetenders, once more we're kicking bodies down from the bridge on top of the light horses returning. If they stop or don't approach we will still clear the bridge off of bodies and then you will move to reinforce Fireskellian. In simple orders:
1. Clear the bridge of enemy bodies and hostile. Try to toss them on top of the incoming cavalary.
2. Find a way into the temple. There should be a back way through in between the bushes on the right turn at the bridge.
3. Save Scholae-Fulminant Fireskelian, clear area of hostiles in the temple.
3.5 I will be joining you on shortly on this task for now Ashfog will lead you in.

>Retinue Action: Ashfog, please lead our Ashtenders with proper timing and maneuvering on the above^ I will be with you shortly

>Command 1: Porcupines it appears the Lighest Cavalry is returning. Give them a proper welcome back with arrows.

>Command 2: Reorganize and take care of your wounded. Make sure the area is clear. When that is done join in at the temple.
>>
>>6001703
>Command 2: is meant for the Blade holders
>>
>>6001703
Please do NOT push the bodies over, you will hit me and my retinue >>6001594
>>
The Esvacian Peltasts report hard contact with a considerable enemy cavalry formation. They're holding, as Mizana chants, pelting them with spears. But the less eager among them already scaled up the rockface before impact, and they don't want to stick it out here for much longer!

--

The high sun above shines down on us, with affection. That is the truth of it, and all the truth there needs to be. What are we, if not the children of the sun?

--

The eastern front is meant to be quiet. This is anything but.

--

>Stand by for end of phase reports. . .
>>
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A Ferrata Legio reports they've captured a hostile sparkspeaker. And they'll transport him to Windchurn the moment he -- Hey --

sunfed from the midday point, where the grand Eye above lends the most strength, the sparkspeaker theurge growls and whips his head up, suddenly stronger than three men and warmer than ten. Heat radiates. The Ferrata legio grits his teeth and maintains the steel-grip on his prisoner despite the sudden white-hot pain this act entails and he brings his fist up once - twice - again - trying to reduce the fulminant stargazing madman to concussive darkness but it avails him not. Theurges, when pushed to extreme, fed by sunlight and adrenaline and sensation, they're more Other than they are Here, and pain is more sensation that draws in more attention that lets them channel vaster things across the Threshold. This one is leaving humanity behind, at pace, sparking his own soul in a last ditch spiteful spate of sheer, undiminished desire to watch us and all our works dim to ash.

The Sparkspeakers, each and all, are recalcitrant to be taken alive. They do not abide by the polite conventions of the Accords of War. Few theurges will ever willingly be prisoners when they can instead go out, sunbright, hallowed and exalt themselves to the Eye in their final moments.

Sometimes, staring too long at distant stars erodes human fragility and perspective both.


SIR! THE ACCELERANT! MOVE! HE'S SPARKING OFF
>>
13th Blue Rats bannerleader, taking the chance to sip from his canteen. Packed extra, on command orders, and haven't that just been a good thing today? It's unusually hot. Well, best be rid of the weight, and up ahead is allies, so maybe now is a good time to empty this one and be prepared to move fast. He unscrews the lid and moves. As he navigates the remains of the barricade, rounds a corner into a crime in the doing.

The sun above stares down, hot and piercing.

It is a point of theological debate if Icons have a sense of humour. Traditionalists would claim not, that such things are beyond them. What use does the Empyreal itself have for laughter?

Another viewpoint is that a sense of humour is all the Icons really have.

The bannerleader glances down at the canteen in his hand. He looks up at the sparkspeaker two arms-lengths away, shimmering in heat, the Ferrata Legio desperately trying to *move him* as his own gauntlets melt, Regulus beginning to turn with the sudden whaft of heat at his back.

He looks down

oh

type seven alchemical accelerant

spilled all over the floor by the sudden crush of fighting

The bannerleader does the only thing he really can do in this circumstance
>>
404th Soft Moonfall are reforming near the incline to the temple!

The Esvacian Peltasts report hard contact. They desperately need reinforcements!

Luperni Strikers are reporting total success. They've slewn eight enemy knights in single combat. Ten, at least. Glory to the Lupes! The left flank is entirely secure, as befits the best troops in Pyther!

307th Coaldousers are relieved to see reinforcements. They have multiple wounded and are nearing the breaking point. They're resupplying now. Good to see you, Sirs.

789th Light Mist report they've re-captured Command Post Windchurn. Thaumatheurgic feedback event report; the Sunblessed made contact with water and the bindings blew out. Warm souls, warm memories, Sir.

278th Blade-Holders are reporting success on the bridge-span. They're ""resupplying"" and ""re-arming"" now.

272th Porcune Winds and 625th Cerco Chemhounds are reporting they've seen off the enemy light cavalry in the secondary funnel. The Cathapracts stole the glory as usual but it was their hard work that did it.

625th Cerco Chemhounds report the Sparksworn are retreating in disarray to the west, on foot, with wounded, in slow trickles. But there appears to be . . . one or two cavalry elements out there that are less panicked. They're not advancing or approaching, but the Chemhounds would recommend sending someone *else* in pursuit. Not them. They're too expensive on a per man basis to walk into an ambush. Please.

762nd Pyrewatchers report the Temple is secure.

21st Monsoon reports success. The Temple is secure. Sizable Sparksworn in attendance but their office was shot with an arrow. Lucky shot. They're running on fumes, but so is the enemy. Do we engage or stand down?

--

It looks like . . . We've done it ? For now ? Almost ? The last of the Sparksworn are retreating, or pulling away in some disarrayed order. But the Peltasts; they're in a rough bind.

7th Wetmurks, on behalf of Scholae-Fulminant Fireskellian, requests the attention of a chemicae. They have wounded, they've been fighting for two days straight, and they're damn sore thirsty too.

--

Supplies are running low across the entire line!
The troops desperately need a break!
Fatigue is starting to set in!

No outrider reports of circling enemies. Perimeter secure for now!

>Phase Seven!
>>
>>6001803
> Command 1: Retinue. Enflame the righteous zeal of the 762nd Pyrewatchers. Oversee the sterilization of the temple. Excise the blasphemers with steel and spite.
> Personal: Officer. Quaff a draught of water. Steady your breath. Still your soul. Soak in Glory's paternal radiance.
>>
>>6001803
>Send a retinue to fetch the 82nd to rendezvous with us back at Fort Forlorn, and see to saving that downed lancer if possible.
>Make for Fort Forlorn at a relaxed pace, and once arrived, set about winding down, the battle for us is over.
>>
>>6001803
"Three three eight! Run them down! Don't ride into a trap!

Light mist! Triage! You've seen the aftermath of a battle before.

Coaldousers! Stand down. Good work holding the line. You can rest now soldiers."

>Personal action: I will see if Echo requires immediate aid, then go check if any of our fallen happen to still be alive, at death's door and in need of some quick first aid. Are the Blue Rats so outrageously lucky, by any chance?

#Titus Caesius Perennis
Authority 10 Reputation 11 Wealth 10
Fireforged- The Scars - Legio Ferrata
!Legion
!Outlander
!Military Affairs 2
---
[Get It Done]
[That's Not Regulation]
[Last One Out]
---
Command:
[Raincatchers] + Military Affairs 2
>>
>>6001803
>>6001830
Perennis, you and yours arrived right in the nick of time. We'll be fine after a little rest. I'd recommend you take your 789th and the 338th to cut off adversary cavalry in the riverbed.

Good work everyone, it was a tough hold.

>Take a breather in the shade, mingle with the faithful. Send a runner to the 762nd requesting they resupply and return.
>>
Given the nature of the way these operations are resolved, it is possible to send other orders if you change your mind. We go by the last sent. Just try not to do it too much, it can get a bit messy
>>
>>6001838
That cavalry have a head start and little to delay their advance, we'd just waste our time trying to catch up to them
>>
Publius wrapped a sash around his spearwound. The chemicae would address it soon and the Spider would look favorably.

"No stimulants for the Strikers thank you. They'll heal better without hurting themselves further without feeling pain, and the enemy are on the run anyway. Now lads, good work. Since the Saevus sauntered off, those scallywags, lets get looting. Armi, you grab that cataphractoi. See who his armor will fit. Everone else, follow me and let us investigate the lost legionairre regalia.

>move SE and start looting the bodies near the fire. Publius will sit next to the fire and supervise while he does his best to stabilize his wound until the Medicae have a chance to look at it properly. Koras can run down the retreating troops if they want. Publius was too short on horses for that task. Now, what sort of regalia would the lads like for their knightly banner? A hound motif of course. They liked bondsteel, so maybe a forge? And he'd need to write some letters to the family of the lost and see replacements. Hmm... The scholae processed reports during battle, but Publius at least had the luxury of waiting until after.
>>
>>6001803
>Admin: Get the wounded healed and back in shape. Worst cases 1st then on to the lightly. The Aid Station will be at what used to be Fort Forlorn. Send the Medical supplies there and have those who haven't drunk some water get hydrates

>Call the next supply from the Logis at camp

>Command 1: Ashtenders come with me we need to get water to the Temple, Firskellian and her troops must be parched.

>Command 2: Anyone able and near Lane D and C who are not injured and still capable. Clear these 2 lanes of enemies. Everyone else, get some shade, get the place back in order when proper rested.

>Personnal action: Go greet Fireskellian with water and the Ashtenders. Make sure the area is clear first then we can tend to the each other proper. We'll attempt to walk there thank you very much
>>
>>6001803
No reinforcement forthcoming, eh? There's only so much a peltast can do. Send this problem riding on down the line. These horseboys will watch their backs while they do so, if they know what's good for them.
>Pathfinders, scoot up the incline to the North, with haste!
>Remaining Peltasts on the riverbed, clear up after them while their comrades already on the ridgeline cover them with a hail of javelins
>Personal: Be the last one up. Make sure any rider who takes his chances comes to regret it. What sort of war leader daren't risk themselves as the men under them?
>>
>>6001963
One of the peltasts - chanting - toss you a spear. Maybe out of courage. Maybe because he needs free hands to shimmy up a rope.

Ah, join the Legion, they said. Go interesting places, meet wonderful people, improve the world, aid the civic connective tissue of society, do a good turn, honour the old oaths, face down eighty or so fast riders in a single channel without reinforcements, maybe try some of that jerky they make in Pyther, all new and wonderful experiences. . .

Though admittedly.
Some of them you only get to have once.
>>
>>6001858
>>6001810
> Command 2: (If in range) Offmap elements of 404th Soft Moonfall. You are critically out of position. Regroup at Fireskellian immediately, double time.
>>
>>6001803
> Lead my retinue to track the enemies retreating West. Don’t engage; just observe, at a distance. Where are they going? What are they trying to do?
>>
>>6001969
We only get one death. May it be a good one, that those who came before may welcome us without shame, that those we left behind may remember us without grief, that those who are yet to come may celebrate us without compunction.
>Begin singing a death song.
Minds death naught a brave man, though he be bound or free
Knows he comfort in his end, beyond mortality
>>
>>6001994
>>6001803

Actually

If it’s alright to change my mind

After realising how *fast* Light Cavalry can go, I would like to propose a different plan.

Leasing my Outriders to blitz down from the North, I rescue the peltasts with a heroic rear charge! Let’s put this new halberd to work!
>>
>>6002059
*Leading

Not Leasing

Damned phone. ; (
>>
>>6001803
"Thank you Kerenza, I'm not as young as I used to be."

>Orders: "Good work Chemhounds! Methodian's metal horses will get all the credit, but it was you who cleared the way, fended off the riders. Take pride, bask in the Glory's radiance! After your prescribed detox though, go on, pop those pills, it'll ease the come down. And make way for the passerbys, to the left side, easy now, don't fall. Rest easy, take a load off and drink some water, you've earned it."

>Orders continued*: "Quintus, dose that wet sparkspeaker. If not for the lucky 13th, I'm pretty sure we would all be dead right now. When you're done, head into Fireskellian's command post, see if anyone needs you. I'll wait here for Ostomo and Civilla."

>Personal Action: Take a breather and drink some water. Sit with my men and shoot the shit.

*For neatness, if nothing else.
>>
>>6001803
>Entrust the prisoner to the 13th. Have them deliver him to our nearest theurge for further containment. Send one of the Ferrata with them.
>Head into the temple together with the retinue.

"Scholae-Fulminant. At your service. What would you have us do?"
>>
>>6001803
#Sacerdotessa della Luce
Authority 9 | Reputation 9 | Wealth 8 | Threshold 1
Legionflame - Ashmarked - Theurgic Aspirants
!Theurgic 2
!Legion
!Houses
---
[One of Us]
[Long Shadows]
[Names Writ in Bone and Sky]
---
Command:
[Volunteers - 307th Coaldousers]

>Personal Action: Help with the Aid Station to recuperate the Wetmurks.
>Free: Tell my Retinue "Help with caring for the wounded. And prepare materials for a Ward. Apparently we're expecting a Theurge soon."

>Command Action: [307th Coaldousers], Come to the Aid Station and rest. You guys need a break.

Sacerdotessa's force was cut in Half in a moment. A sad time that reminds her of the cost of all this.
>>
Ferrata Legio Esmond and the 13th Blue Rats report capture of a Sparkspeaker!!!

--

The thunder of hooves abates, slowly, dust churned high in their wake. The peltasts, scrabbling up the rockface, do so while - between snatched breaths and grunts of effort - half whispering half singing verses of an old song. The one ones safer up the clifff hurl javelins into the dust, to the horror of the riders below, belting out the last verses in a salute.

The Sparksworn outriders, complying surely with the orders of their commander, do not give battle or allow themselves to be penned in. They take their wounds and keep going, securing dazed riders, grabbing sudenly available reins, and push, push, push. They hammer through the Esvacians and continue on the path. Hard riders, each and all, but from the gruesome sounds, very lightly armored.

--

Scholae-Fulminant Fireskellian, Servicemarked, requests you join her in her command post.

--

>Stand by for end of engagement reports. .
>>
Ahem.
>>
338th Light Horse reports they've hunted down the dismounted outriders. A few of them reached horses and scattered away into the plains, but the formation is effectively destroyed. They're breaking for rest.

789th Light Mist reports they've restored Command Post Fort Forlorn. And found a fourth enemy banner. They're counting securing the Legion command-station as "retaking a vital combat objective", which is banner-worthy, and so they're five for five. Not that anyone is keeping score or anything. It's just that if anyone was keeping score, they'd be winning.

625th Cerco Chemhounds are downcycling and reporting full success. We hold the bridge and no enemy is in attendance.

13th Blue Rats and Ferrata Legio Esmond is reporting safe transport of a Sparkspeaker Theurge to Fort Forlorn aid station. Warded and guarded, Sirs.

248th Ashtenders are reporting that the path up to Fireskellians (actual) command post is a little hard to navigate. They're forming single-file and getting up there, with some water barrels. Once we clear a path through the bridge-span, the secondary supply convoy will arrive there too.

307th Coaldouser reports they've rallied some of their formation, and are otherwise tending to the wounded. They thank Scholae Perennis for his assistance.

Maximus Superbus and the 777th Stormbinders are arriving, with the 338th in tow. Thanks for chasing off that cavalry, though, honest, they had it. They were only otnumbered four to one.

21st Monsoon report they've secured the temple and are disarming the Sparksworn. Victory.

762nd Pyrewatchers have begun reconsecrating the same temple and offering emergency triage to the wounded. Allius swift orders may have saved some lives. They're requesting permission to spend their supplies to shepherd the fallen that need it onward safely, the command station is a *charnel house* [Admin]

404th Soft Moonfall report they've lost contact with the rest of their formation; there's, uh, seventy fast moving Sparksworn outriders between them and their companions. Too much dust to see what's going on down there. Permission to affect a rescue? [Admin]

--

All across the lines, troops sink to their feet, lean against walls, breathe, paw for canteens and rations, break open water barrels, loosen armor. Victory. Victory!

--

>Stand by for officer council...
>>
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Scholae-Fulminant Fireskellian accepts the water ration with a hand that only shakes twice, lightly. But she empties the canteen in slow, careful draughts while maintaining eye contact before she deigns to speak. Survival is thirsty work.
>>
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She has a lot to say. You can see it in her eyes, her stance, the glance she keeps giving the map behind her, worried something in the commotion disturbed the careful arrangement of markers and lines and intelligence . . .
>>
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. . . She dips her head once, clips her helmet to her belt and waits for you to lead on. Perhaps this conversation is best had in private? Perhaps she trusts you, and shows this mark of favor, to be led to the station of a lesser officer and perform her briefing there, to reinforce her vast appreciation of a timely rescue and as a testament to your skill and valor.

Or perhaps she waits for you to lead her to your command post because there's nigh on a hundred corpses in hers, more wounded, shaking prisoners, guards, wards, medics and barrels of water being delivered at peace, and, in the corner, a heavy war destrier from the 82nd is gently whining its last before a Pyrewatcher silences it.

Who can say?
>>
Victory! The Sparksworn withdraw from the field!
---

There is an officer council to attend, which will occur once the formations have shaken themselves into some semblance of order. Until this time . . .

>The battle is victorious!

>With more time to roam and no hostiles in attendance, Officers may perform one final Personal Action.

>Your troops, generally speaking, will take care of themselves, cycle down, refit and resupply, as appropriate. Worry not about them, doing that, you do not need to attend to it.

>This is for any larger personal actions that you wish to personally attend to in this aftermath. You may, naturally grab troops along on any venture that you wish to see to. It's simply that you do not need to specifically spend your efforts "making sure they resupply"; that's part of soldiering!

---

>ADMIN: Any officer may submit any general down-time standing orders, requiring an Admin roll, to the formations. Think of this as more general, such as: " By the way, make sure we round up all those crates " or " By the way, send some scouts out to rustle up the lost livestock ". There is a minor chance that in the hustle and bustle of a battle ending, such orders go missing or get misinterpreted, so keep that in mind. You might not want to give tired, worn-our troops very complicated standing tasks...

--

[But What's The Status Of Our Troops?]
Force Disposition Updates is part of the downcycle; the sub-officers are making headcounts right now and restocking and resupplying. Information to come later. But in the horrendous chaotic aftermath of a victory, it is hard to know how our troops are doing, before we get all the proper reports. So you will have to go by >>6000413 and hope.

--

> THANKS FOR PLAYING !!
>>
> As you go about your business, ask your questions, take your final personal action, and we proceed to CAMP & COUNCIL, this is also a fine time to offer any feedback or comments, as part of your... reporting duties? Officers might have those.
>>
>>6002626
Mizana died? RIP. Man thought he was Koras with Ferrata-tier armour with that last bout of heroics, but he died a worthy death. A lesson for all us underarmoured folks.

>Admin Action: Stamp the paperwork that needs approval for the 762nd Pyrewatcher's requisition of supplies. I'll put my merchant contacts and logistics experience to good use.

I'll think of a personal action later.
>>
>>6002626
Command, in the chaos of the melee we lost both our first and second band leaders...
We'll need some time to collect our fallen, send off their belongings, call upon our kin for more men, and vote on a new leader for our band. Glory to our honored dead.
>>
>>6002626
>Personal Action: Strengthen the Ward keeping the Heretic Theurge restrained. We can't afford a dangerous malefactor going loose. (Theurgic 2, Threshold)

>Admin Action: Have a small group of people transcribe any words the Theurge rambles, watched over by some of my Retinue.

Tessa exhales a deep sigh. The hardest part is over. Her people are recuperating. Now to make absoultely sure that we learn more from this heretic.
>>
>>6002626
"Scholae-Fulminant. I shall rejoin you at the command post after I take care of this lot here."

"Decanus. Ready the men. We are marching these prisoners to the aid station."

>Personal Action: enlist the 21st in marching the surrendered dawnlighters in the temple to the aid station. Disarm and search them first, though, of course. As per regulations.
>>
>>6002626
>Personal Action: Setup a proper command tent at Windchurn with proper shade. Ashfog and I have an officer council to attend. Although Ashfog isn't obligated to attend.

>Admin: Make sure soldiers get proper shade and get access to water source if they haven't received any. Soldiers who are wounded or have been in combat need to get proper rest. Others if able, need to return this place to proper order. Some if they can will need to setup scouts and patrols to figure out what the heck happened and where the hell the horse riders and their leader went. They seemed to be heading out West so that's a start.
>>
>>6002626

>Admin: Make sure we find and frisk all the fallen theurges. If anyone is going to be carrying mission relevant information, it'll be the officers.
>Personal: Support the above, keep an eye out for items of theurgic significance. Maybe we can learn a bit more about this Second Sun.
>>
>>6002626
>Feedback
I really liked the format of controlling a cool commander dude with a retinue plus a command unit. It was a bit awkward to have to deploy our personal unit + retinue to a command point and the command unit somewhere else, it meant I ended up being immediately and permanently separated from my command unit from the very start of the battle because of unexpected hostiles. It was especially awkward because the command points weren't even active for a little while. I suppose I would just like to be able to expect to command my units from the onset, though I suppose I can mitigate this by ensuring I deploy immediately next to my command unit whenever possible.

Also, this map was really cramped for the numbers involved. Traffic jams everywhere. I know "amateurs discuss tactics, experts talk logistics" and all but I don't think most people's ideal fantasy of a wargame involves "how do I get past the blob of friendlies in front of me so I can actually start fighting?"

>Personal Action: Personally see that the fallen Cataphract receives immediate and apt medical attention. This man fought well today.
>>
>>6002631
Feedback/questions.

I think I have 2 more troops than I should, I rolled a 6 for how many additional outlanders I get, not an 8.

Is Mandy's sheet legal? My understanding of Red Market Markers was that you had to have a point of Legion affiliation in the first place to take it. Hence the -1 Legion, and it capping at 0. You can't go into negatives is what I thought. I only ask because I was initially thinking of taking it, but was married to my character concept and didn't want to avoid taking New Model Soldier.

The camp phase sheet is just straight up confusing to me. Specifically the layout makes it hard for me to tell which thing belongs to whatever category of action, influence, affiliation, admin. Maybe I'm just dumb.

>>6002626
>Personal Action: Search the crags and valleys of this place for poisonous creatures, my contacts will want a sample. (related to this late affiliation action >>5999704) I'll take a bunch of antidotes from our supplies and have one of my less busy Chemicaes accompany me for security and treatment if this goes poorly. Money and/or an improvement to our offensive capabilities is always a good thing.
>>
>>6002648
Warm souls, warm memories.

>>6002662
We're sending out double-strength probing patrols. Scholae-Fulminant Fireskellian also has some insight, although she is being reserved for now. Though judging by the pain in her eyes as she moves towards the new tent, it all relates to how many of our people are dead. The 2nd Cohort made a fight of it, but their people *litter* the pass. No force we fought today could have caused that.

>>6002690
Horrific, wasn't it? Sudden pitched engagement will do that. With a little more setup, the initial confusion should abate tremendously going forward - this one you can blame on surprise action, sudden enemies where there should be none and lack of pathfinder coverage!

A fair amount of this is down to lack of *formation fighting* in the units tangled up at different spots; unfortunately for the visions of war, it is rather important to the way the entire world resolves actions that formations have a physical "mass".

In general, you can assume that any rank of formation fighting makes the units rapidly more maneveurable through/among/with/in relation to, each other. Skirmish action reduces casualties tremendously and is really good for harassing formations, but it tends to get everything a bit cluttered.

>>6002703
Your Chemhounds should have the correct troopcount. You rolled 1d15, which while (remarkably) admirable, actually downshifts your odds because 1d10+1d5 ensures a minimum of 2 on rolling 1 1 whereas 1d15 ensures a minimum of 1. Command treated your 1d15 getting 6 as a 1d10 getting 6 and diced a 1d5 on the back-end, bulking up the Chemhounds with another 2 troops!

As for Red Market Markers, you cannot go negative, correct, but you can have 0, take a -1, then go to 0 because of the cap. So it is possible to do such a combination. Technically you actually sort of *can* go negative, but that's becaus your affiliations relate to your command presence and there's situations out there where you might have Legion-2 for a map

>Personal order: execute the prisoners

Behold, the entire Legion *disregards your commands* for a while.

But in character generation, yeah, it caps at 0 to avoid a punishing effect where a good chunk of the units under your command are mechanically likely to disregard you. Though be aware that the various officers of the Legions are quite observant, you can be *very* confident that they'll have noticed and noted if you were 1 going to 0 or 0 taking -1 and capping at 0 to avoid a negative. And that last one has some consequences. Fun ones!

As for the readability, you are most assuredly not dumb - these things are hard to read because they were produced at speed. Readability was a secondary concern*. There will be some adjustment for readability going forward.

That all said. . .

*It often is.
>>
>>6002626
>Personal and admin action: Me and the 789th will help with triage before I join Fireskellian for that briefing. None of us would have lived long enough to become veterans if we weren't at least passable in first aid. If some of our casualties can be recovered, that'd be great.
>>
>>6002626
> Admin: Organize an expedition to locate the lost members of the 404th Soft Moonfall. Escort survivors to safety. Else, send the bodies on to the Eye with honors.
> Personal: Assist retinue in purifying the temple. Expunge all traces of seditious sacrilege. Preserve the spiritual health of the men investigating the conquered outpost.
>>
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Shall we not simply solve this with practice?

Influence is the left side. Affiliation is the right side. Basic admin operations are marked in boxes on the lower end. This may be more readable next time.
--

Scholae Fulminant Fireskellian, in the new command tent, staring down at maps, shifts tokens around. Runs her fingers across the rough surface of a freshly carved one. The icon is a a horse, sleek, hooves raised, thundering in gallop. And with a faint twinge of distance, she places it on the decidedly wrong side of Elos East Station.

Her elaboration is brief.

The passages and mountaineous in this region is meant to be impassable for mounts and men, except at great effort and sustained supply convoys. Windchime pass, here, and further east, Elos Station, safeguard the easiest passes. There are others, smaller ones, in worse terrain, which is where recon patrols such as the one your cohort recently finished come in. The 4th, 7th, 9th, all these are meant to be distributed throughout the landscape because the terrain here favours for it. A single distributed force can block off the ways through. The rivers, when they flood in the wet season, will thunder in with voluminous masses of water from the high mountains. No Sparksworn force can advance far, pinned in slim passes, stopped by forts, knowing that unless they manage the very thing they cannot - speed - then the rivers will eventually rise and drown their formations and rent their blessings. These River Wars are meant to ensure the eastern front is relatively calm, that all the intense activity can occur around Wellmoth down south-southeast, where the rugged terrain gives way to more open plains and centuries of cultured agrarian fields. There, Legion High commits enormous amounts of material, manpower, munitions, all in some atttempt to break the deadlock around Wellmoth and because if they did not, surely the Sparkspeakers would drive their people west and eat civilization.

So, all rather pleasing theory, Fireskellian notes, Legion High is very proud of it, which rather makes it a fantastically awful time that it appears the Sparkspeakers have found a cavalry commander who *could* somehow contrive to get enough troops over the terrain that when the Sparksworn came rushing down Windchime from the east, as expected, and the 2nd Cohort formed for battle, as instructed, then they found themselves beset from *behind*.

Yes, it was a force of emanciated, half-starved cavalrists wearing light armor. So the passage across must be for the daring or the dead. But you try holding formation when you're penned in from both sides. The Legion is good. They almost managed.

But: We have a problem. . .
>>
>>6002741
. . . Because while the Sparksworn ate the energy inside the flares prepared, and the couriers were run down by the outriders, this is not the reason why the 2nd Cohort had to fight alone.

That man Saevus? He mentioned he was returning home from other ventures and were stopped by the findings of a dead Legio patrol. This people stripped them of armour and gear, for re-sale, and consecrated the fallen.

The 4th and the 7th cannot reinforce us here, in Windchime, because they no longer exist. The cavalry force, after crossing whichever pass they found in these eastern rugged cracked terrain, ran down our dispersed troops.

Nothing but sheer luck seems to have prevented them from encountering and destroying your entire formation while they were on the prowl for others.

And *this* places us at a significant impasse, in this here pass...
>>
Personal Action: Get tended to by the medicaes. While there, talk shop with them and see what supplies they have. I noticed a distinct lack of kinetic explosives. How are they set for noise-makers, smoke-grenades, flaming pitch, and the like? Or are they focused more on medical chemistry than explosive/offensive chemistry?

Admin Action: Send a soldier to contact the scavengers and escort them so that they don't get treated as hostiles.
>>
>>6002626
Personal Action: Go round up the 338th. Congratulate them on their lightning charge, and ask them for the stories. Check for any wounded, and immediately submit them- and myself- to the chirurgeons.

Also, see into that heroism bonus.

Admin Action: Make sure our horses are well watered and rested. After attending Mizana’s funeral, I expect we’ll be out ranging again, soon enough.
>>
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. . . Because Elos East Station is a fortified post to the further east, meant to bar the advance of any larger force. It must, right now, be under siege and lock by the Sparkspeakers. No force they can muster could crack Elos open. The units that blew through Windchime were all lightly equipped, low on supplies, moving fast. No engineers, no theurgic batteries, no field formations.

The exact force you would send to block a pass. Nestled here, if they fortified it, they would have made a fight out of any attempt to get to Elos.

But meanwhile, behind us, in the open plains and more pleasant lowlands that you have spent the past weeks reconing?

The force riding around murdering our Cohorts and scrambling our communications cannot be the people we fought here, either. Because the light outriders are lethal, but they are not able to uniformly destroy cohorts entire.

This means there *must* be a heavier force out there.
So, we find ourselves locked between two enemy formations.

If we withdraw towards Fideli city and its gates, we forfeit any chance of supporting Elos East. But if we advance towards Elos East, the outriders and Sparksworn, how-ever many there is, must even now be crawling across the tiny pass their commanders have found and they will slowly - ever so slowly - trickle in behind us like droplets until they drown our supply lines, bring siege to Fideli and choke the entire eastern front.

Even if they bypass the fortified cities and camps, they will ride like locusts across the lower plains and bring harm and horror to hundreds and hundreds and more again.

Finally, Wellmoth is to the south-east, distant, and besieged. Same as last year and the year before and the year before and so on and on and on.

There can really only be one conclusion: They are growing desperate, Legion High is finally cracking the walls and this whole thing is a throw of the dice to force the troops in Wellmoth to shift away from the siege in expectation of a wider flank. If they blow open these passes and secure the plains, a large enough force marching rapidly through it could curve across the plains South by South-east and trap the Legions in Wellmoth against the walls of the city.

It is our good fortune that even if they have such a force, they cannot bring it to bear without first ensuring the garrison at Elos East is well pacified.

We cannot stay here forever. Yet both withdrawal and advancement bring its peculiar flavour of problems.

What would you suggest? Your formation appears . . . rather more combat effective than mine, and I would appreciate the insight.

--

Scholae-Fulminant Fireskellian finishes with a slight croak to her voice, and gulps down another cup of water. Still parched. Always parched. Consistent exposure to theurgic incantation will leave the dryness lingering for a while.

>While you prowl about camp and some actions are resolved, you can take this chance to consider your next step!
>>
>>6002739
>>6002741
> Influence Action: Activate [Exhalt]. Recommend the 762nd Pyrewatchers on the grounds of exceptional piety and valor.
> Affiliation Action: Activate [Of Mornings Many]. Erect a grand corpse pyre before the steps of the windchurned temple. Deliver the fallen sparksworn to meet the Empyreal's judgement upon a towering plume of silver smoke.
>>
Rolled 3, 2, 5, 2, 2, 1, 4, 5, 6 = 30 (9d6)

>>6002773
In a surprising display of piety, Koras attends the funeral, and prays to the sun for the swift and peaceful passage of the dead.


>>6002741
>>6002756

(Integrate Recruits/ Reform Retinue/ Improvise and Roleplay)

After recovering from my wounds and hearing of the fresh influx of hardy outriders, a bold idea occurs to the warlike mercenary. Waiting until the nomads are all conveniently gathered, I hop onto a platform or table within ear shot, and announce that my warband is recruiting!

….with caveats, of course.

Any man (or woman) who can ride and fight is welcome to volunteer- with *one* condition. They’ll have to first pass tests of courage and horsemanship, set and performed first by myself and my retinue.

Anyone who impresses can join the 338th; anyone who *keeps up* is offered a place in my personal staff, extra paperwork be damned.

We’ll only accept the best!

(Rolling 3d6 vs 13 (Reputation + Outlander). This is *not* regulations….)

(Stuff!)
Immediately claim thirteen suits of light armour, for myself and the 338th, plus however many extra we’ll need for fresh recruits.

(Actions)

> Influence Action
Bulk Purchases. For the 338th, and my own Outriders, attempt to purchase *enhanced Equipment*, to coincide with our gleaming new armour. Nothing that would significantly hinder our skirmishing, but Koras will go some ways to secure the finest swords, bows and spears for his loyal and capable hands.

(Rolling 3d6 vs 12 (Wealth + Houses). Rolling twice just in case, for my retinue as well. If that’s unnecessary, please disregard.)

> Affiliation Action
Take the freshly expanded 338th out on a Long Patrol, scouring the surrounding landscape for danger, information and opportunity. It’ll be a good chance to get used to both the new equipment and the fresh faces!

(Thank you so much for running this, Trigger! I had great fun.)
>>
>>6002741
>Personal Action: Move some boxes. In wartime, there are always boxes that need to be moved, and demand for movers of those boxes.
>Admin Action: Optimize efficient movement of boxes. Box-moving is the core foundation of logistics.
>Free Admin Action: Recruit the Ferrata Legio into retinue if no one else needs them.
>>
>>6002809
10 vs 13 for recruitment.

5 (!) vs 12 for sharper spears and finer bows

15 vs 12 for the above for my retinue, *if* it is actually necessary.

And finally, for clarity, although it should be clear- my Affiliation action is tapping my Outlander tag.
>>
>>6002816
Myself, Regulus and Methodian could also use Ferrata for our retinue. It should be discussed, at least.
>>
>>6001534
(So about that medal….)
>>
>>6002826
Surely nothing that couldn't be settled over drink and a game of dice!

>>6002741
Can a Legio Standard be held in a retinue?
>>
>>6002768
Elos East might yet hold for a time, it was built to do so, but a force in our rear threatens the entire front. It may be a gamble on Elos holding, but marching for Elos now means certain disaster, and Elos falling while we secure our rear isn't much worse. I say we march for Fideli Gates.
>>
>>6002835
I favour cards myself, but a game of chance sounds like a fair way to resolve this. (roll for it, highest two people get the Ferrata). Methodian, what do you say? Regulus, I know That's Not Regulation, but is there a better way to resolve this?
>>
>>6002863
You'd leave this to chance? Pah! I say we spar, and those with the fewest hits on their persons win the Ferrata (same roll system but we don't play cards like commoners).
>>
>>6002741

>Influence: Nominate Amelius for an award. The man saved me twice over and then flagellated himself on command.
>Affiliation: Support Vitacius with the Rites of Mornings Many, as there are many (many) bodies.

>>6002859
Methodian has the right of it, we can't rightly support the front without first securing the rear.
>>
>>6002741
>See about setting up the warrior who body blocked for Publius as a Luperni Knight
>Write letters home to the families of the deceased.
>Uparmor the rest of the survivors with the heaviest refurbished armor and shields that we have available. Lets keep the losses low.
>>
Rolled 5, 6, 5, 6, 2, 3 = 27 (6d6)

>>6002741
>Influence: Field Commission the 13th Blue Rats for Expanded Privileges. Their deserve it after what they went through, and after they saved our asses when they spritzed that theurge before he exploded (Reputation 11 + Military Affairs 2)
>It's Dangerous To Go Alone, Take This: Take one Legio Standard, give it to the 789th
>Reform the ranks: Form a new unit of Pathfinders out of the 10 available ones. (10 base + Military Affairs 2)
(Holding off on Affiliation action and Retinue adjustment for now)

>>6002768
I would also recommend that we turn around and reinforce Fideli. If we lose our supply lines we lose the entire war, while we might still be able to hold them off somewhere if Elos falls faster than anyone would expect it to.
>>
>>6002835
Yes. One might even think that makes them slightly more useful.
>>
>>6002768
(As Mizana is now dead, would it be possible to roll up a new character to lead the newly blooded peltasts? I'll gladly pay the wealth to replenish the unit if necessary. This is all assuming, of course, that the unit's experience actually increased from the last engagement.)
>>
>>6002993
Absolutely - and absolutely. Learning on the job is a big part of soldiering.

New force disposition overview coming in annyyyy minute the clerks finish running errands.
>>
>>6002768
I also advocate we destroy the force in our rear and secure our supply lines, even at the risk of facing a superior force. To reiterate, I am not suggesting we withdraw, I am suggesting we specifically seek battle with this heavier force. Elos East was designed to hold and undoubtedly will for some time. That heavier force out there may very well be the only force actually capable of breaking the fortress without resorting to long term siege. We cannot proceed to Elos East without being starved of supplies, and it is reasonable to assume that we would be harassed and even ambushed along the way, the inevitable result would be the pointless diminishing or destruction of our force. They might also very well refuse battle should we attempt to specifically destroy them. The force in the our rear, meanwhile, is intent on destroying cohorts like us, so seeking them out and bringing them to battle should be easy.

Once we destroy them, our supply lines would be secure and we would have the freedom of action to pursue other options. Whether that be pushing on to reinforce Elos East, seeking the lighter sparksworn formations in the passes, or letting them out onto the plains to avoid being surrounded in the valleys, and instead to try and seek to harry their raids on the south fields. Simply withdrawing entirely defeats the entire point of our mission.

We also may be able to regenerate some of our manpower losses if we can find stragglers from the defeated 4th and 7th cohorts. Or we could bribe some of the less scrupulous bands of our enemy, or even persuade them to fight each other, provided we find a fracture in their...society, I suppose.
>>
Rolled 1, 1, 2 = 4 (3d6)

Sacerdottesa, how strong are those wards?
>>
>>6003197
. . . Well then, clearly they sent us a competent Binder complement.
>>
Rolled 5, 5, 4 = 14 (3d6)

>>6002741
>After Action Report
From: Scholae Decius Allectius Natalis, Desert Sun Legion Force, main command of the 248th Lights
To: Legion Command
Added Affiliation: Mechalogistics 1

Sir's of Legion Command,

We have made as ordered for Windchime Passway to reinforce Fireskellian's 2nd Cohort. What we found there was quite something.

Our own scout cavalry reported presence of Sparksworn East of Elos Station and East of Windchime Passway. Both places they should not be East of.

When marching we ensured we had plenty of water and ration to make the journey and then some to counter heatstroke. We sent out cavalry to meet the command office of 2nd Cohort at the Windchurned temple to the High Eye.

As you've mentioned, Sparkswon aggression must've been at a all time high for Windchime Passway camp and Fort Forlorn was almost overrun by their outriders of the 'Second Sky' and infantry. Luckily the battle wasn't completely over so we mounted an attack.

Our order of battle was to send the Cavalry and Lights first to establish an way in for the Legio and heavies. This worked as the lights took Windchurner Rise with ease led by me and Sarjent Koras's Cavalry.

Down at Fort Forlorn there was more difficulty but a respectful cavalry charge from Scholae-Palatini Braccius and his Lancers made short work of the enemy. In the Fort Forlorn area and in the dry riverbed South. These actions led to linking up with elements of the Wetmurk 13th Light Company who were stuck in the granary for 2 days and with lack of water.

From Rising Glory to Glory Triumphant we set about the task of clearing the camp. For now we report.

2nd Cohort status:
-555th Thunderlicked Raincatchers, died in formation pushed against rough stone weapon in hand and at the ready.
-13th Wetmurk Lights, way understrength, wounded and fatigued
-Temple besieged by Sparksworn Dawnlighters? Seemed to be more organized and well armed then the rest of the Sparksworn. Managed formations and ther Theurges linked them to stone to give them protection holding the Windchime Rockbridge for some while. (Managed to get them off of it)
-274th 'Light Squall' Raincatcher, left with 2 Legio
-Wetmurk 7th Legio, left with 3 Legio
-Scholae-Fulminance Fireskellian and her retinue alive but in need of theurgical attention for dehydration and more.

Enemies
-Found presence of a Horse rider named Terkovich who was apparently in command with his retinue of Heavy Sunlancers. (He was beaten by Sarjent Koras in duel but fled the field)
-Most of the Sparksworn had poor equipment but some proved to have been supplied. Namely the Dawnlighters who also had formation training

Desert Force Status:
-In need of supplies to continue
-Sarjent Mizana lost their life when enemy cavalry returned from a previous failed charge through the North riverbed.
-Loses in [insert casualties I am running out of characters.]

>Suggest to give support to our advance to Elos East to support it
>Request supply, engineering and medical support.
>>
Rolled 1, 6, 2, 5, 2, 4 = 20 (6d6)

>>6002816
>>6002826
Don't sweat it, guys. I don't want 'em. Now, don't mind me while I nab those 6 veteran Legio...

>>6002741
>Influence: Field Commission the 21st for Expanded Privileges. Saving the Fireskellian is a bit of a big deal, if nothing else. (dice 1-3, roll vs Reputation 9 + Legion 2*2 = 13)
>It's Dangerous To Go Alone: give 21st a Legio Standard.
>Affiliation-Legion: integrate 6 Legio Veterans into the 21st using my Legion Affiliation (no degradation and smooth integration; dice 4-6, roll vs base 10 + Legion 3 = 13)

>>6002768
Severus looks down at the map. It doesn't take him long to come to a decision. Recalling relevant passages from Codex Martialis makes this is a somewhat trivial tactical-operational exercise.

"Breaking the siege of Elos East Station while a strong enemy in our rear is interfering with reinforcements, supplies, and communications is an ill-advised course of action. We need to hunt down and destroy this force and quickly, before the garrison at Elos is subdued. That said, even if the Station falls, as long as our lines of communication are secured, we can still try to hold the enemy and prevent their passage further west."

>Withdraw to Fideli
>>
>>6003301
(Bro stole all the potential cataphracts)
>>
>>6003305
(Cataphracts aren't Legio, are they? I mean, the little dudes riding the horses are round, not square)
>>
>>6003306
I think Methodian was going to try. All his guys are Raw.
>>
Rolled 3, 5, 2 = 10 (3d6)

>>6002741
>Integrate manpower in the 248th Ashtenders Lights (Legion 2). Take 4 from the pool to make the Ashtenders go from 11 to 15 troopers
>Free Admin, It's Dangerous to Go Alone, take this!: Equip the Ashtenders with Light Kit, C-309. [Armor] x15
>Free admin: For a 'New Unit', the Shovel-Men Pathfinder Infantry (insert number) Detachment. Engineer's with a passion for digging, sapping, quarte mastering, repairing and construction work. Anything an engineer does really! They are Volunteer/Troopers+Mechalogistics (Not sure if I need to take from the available manpower or this is just a unit that arrives from elsewhere. I would like 15 of these dudes though.)
>>
>>6002768
>Withdraw to secure the Fideli supply line
>>
Rolled 15 (1d20)

>>6002826
>>6002863
>>6002866

I'll buy the loser a drink when we get back, in recompense!
>Roll for Ferrata, Grab a Standard for retinue.
>>
>>6002626
The bannerleaders, sub-officers and troops reform, re-organise and slowly pull the many little scuttling parts of this great lumbering beast of ours back into a semblance of the shape it is meant to be. Casualties are light across the line, benefits of taking the enemy by surprise after they had already fought one engagement. Some supplies are running low, but such is the way of things. The 762nd Pyrewatchers and Allius Vitacius leads the funeral choir. Warm memories, warm souls.

--

Chemicae Ostomo requests the presence of a higher officer. He's . . . Found something.

>1/3
>This is the post-battle force-org; camp adjustments regarding troops have not been entirely adjusted into the formation. Yet.
>>
Rolled 2, 6, 6, 6, 4, 1, 2, 3, 2 = 32 (9d6)

>>6002768
>Influence: Evaluate intelligence on the enemy to our rear. (rolling vs Authority 12)
If only the fastest and most nimble can navigate through the passes around our forces and those that did so to encircle Fireskellian were near exhausted, then surely those around Fideli Gates can't be much different? Perhaps they could sustain themselves off the land and loot the forces they overpower, but I don't imagine this to be a very well put together force. I'm surprised it's as big as it is already.

>Admin: Request improved equipment for the 82nd (Admin 1 + 1 point, rolling vs 12)

>Affiliation: Restock supplies for the 82nd (Mechalogistics 1, rolling vs 11)
>>
Rolled 16 (1d20)

>>6003359
>Roll for Ferrata
>>
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The Sparkspeakers, pulled form the grounds and sequestered for inspection and attendance, almost glare. Their expressions, even in dying, is all opposition and fiery wrath. Dedicated sorts, each and all. That, and there's proper disposal procedures to account for. Theurges have a frightful habit of needing a little extra killing, more Other than they are human, really. Convincing them to finally give up and cease is knifework and political enterprise both.

The lone survivor, captive, guarded and warded, spits more invectives. One of Sacerdottesa's retinue dutifully takes notes.

But in this little impromptu labratory, Chemicae Ostomo, with shaking hands and the nervous surprise of speaking to higher officers, has also arrange a cross sample of the various Sparksworn fought today. He nods his head, gather his wits, tries to start three times, but ends up accidentally using the phrase "neuromorphological pharmacological intervention" and has to start over.

He tries again. One last sally from the beseiged fortress of his academic inclinations.

Watch. Watch the prisoners, now, stripped off gear and banners and hostile intent. They've been watered, treated, patched and cared for, as the Accords state. Notice anything strange about them? No higher officer, these, just poor unfortunate souls who had the bad luck to be in our way.

They're a wounded, thin looking sort, hard-scrabble to the bone, lean muscles and stoic postures. But unlike the dead Sparkspeakers they're not . . . defiant.

Sacerdotessa snaps fingers and eats a little stray spark of intent the Sparkspeaker threw at the gathered throng. Quiet, you. The strike is feeble. Their captive has burnt through all his available soul and he's depleted. It'll be months before he has the spark available to light a candle. But still, he tries.

Ostomo nods. Yes. That's the very thing! Do you see it? Why is he so different from these Sparksworn fanatics?? Look at them!

Do they look like soldiers to you?? These people! They *barely* have sword callouses! They're musculature is all wrong for spearkwork, they haven't the traditional slight slouch of anyone who wears armor for a living, Flamebrights, *look at them*

They're not soldiers.
They're barely more than farmers, smallholders and artisans!

What possible threat could they pose to a proper field formation? They took the 2nd Cohort by surprise and a cavalry flank, and yes, by reports, the Sunlancers are deadly in the extreme, and the Dawnlighters were semi-trained legion-copies with less armor, but half of the people who breathed their last on this field today might never have held a weapon in their hands up until the Sparkspeakers convinced them to pick one up.

And another thing.

Those dead Sparkspeakers?

They're not *Theurges*, proper. Look. Yeah, I mean, you can talk about the physiology and the Ackbiner-Ibnishi Limit on post-vitality Iconography influence, but you can also just look. All their vital organs are in the right place.
>>
Rolled 11 (1d20)

>>6003359
>>6003443
Rolling
>>
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>>6003448
Their hearts are barely crystallised, there's no burns, chars or scars on their bodies and most of them still have all their hair. When was the last time you saw a proper Empyreal Literalist Theurge who hadn't had their eyebrows or hair scorched off?

And like a man performing his final thesis offensive against an entrenched judgement commitee, Ostomo pulls something form inside his garments and throws it on the floor with a flourish.

( He regrets this a little, as the soft powder from inside the pouch scintilatingly scatter into a gentle purple puff, a cloud, that lingers, until it settles. He winces, then asks the assembled to, uh, breathe carefully )

And what is this, someone asks, a little less well-studied in the arts of chemical analysis by eye.

Ostomo turns, all energy now, and points at one of the prisoners. A young woman, eyes slightly shiny, thin framed, wearing a soft, somewhat confused smile. In some other life, she might be manning a stall or operating a loom. And when Ostomo asks her for her name, she tilts her head one way, then the other, and frowns, and tears swell up in her eyes and she *cannot tell him* because she *does not remember*
>>
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The Sparkspeaker, though his hands are bound, smiles. All smoulder. Retinues clear the room, and Ostomo spins from the young woman after offering her a soothing few platitudes and then - rather before anyone can contrive to stop him - the young research-alchemist curls his hand into a fist and full decks the captive theurge in the fact. He stumbles back in surprise. Ostomo raises his voice.

Why have they been dousing these (presumably) uninvolved people in medically inadvisible quantities of refined Uthani mothflower petals?

That stuff kills dreams. It kills memories. It kills *you*, and leaves a shell. Yeah, it's a fine nooceptic modulator if used with refinement, bu there's a reason the Chemicaes don't keep vast amounts of it *around*! You start inducing that stuff in the water supply and people forget who they are! What good is a painkiller that erodes someone's sense of self? There's (so goes the story) an entire banner of deep plains Uthani that use this stuff in deranged rituals to kill the parts of themselves they don't like, haven't they ever heard about fucking *therapy*, drinking with their friends, having a hobby? These poor people have been marched two hundred miles by you MANIACS, half of them probably don't remember to realize they're half starved, parched, dehydrated and homesick, and --

The Sparkspeaker, from the floor, shaking his head against the sudden intrusion of pain, offers a rejoinder, which somewhat cuts of Ostomo's medical opinion.

How is this such a great crime? If they forget who they are, surely, it is so much easier to remind them of who they could be.

Ostomo glances at the arranged line of Sparkspeaker corpses.
Echo's gaze wanders over the same. Sacerdotessa is already moving.

These people still have most of their hair.
Were they . . . were they theurgically active last month?

Echo sketches out a ward in the air, Sacerdottessa chants a brief prayer, there ways and means to find out. True wards are written in the bones and bound in the flesh so the soul can be free. Lingering manipulation of the Other leaves a resonance, tiny traces of all the things you gift to the Icons for their benign and malign attention to your affairs. This sad little arrangement of dead men have no such protections, barely Tells. Barely any spark in their souls.

Every pair of eyes in the room turn to the Sparkspeaker, still sitting on the floor. His attempts at breaching through the wards that hold him were likewise amateurish. No finesse. Any proper Empyeal Theurge should shake off a trilateral wardline as easy as they blink, it's textbook, and this man struggled.

And then he laughs, a little, short and sharp.
Why would they be able to see across the Threshold last month? They only had their eyes opened by Archtheurge Incindee a few days ago. He spoke to the empty places inside them carved out by the Mothdream, and filled their minds with fire and truth.
>>
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>>6002651
>>6002655
>>6002668
In searching the remains of the Sparkspeakers and their bodyguards, Echo uncovers some maps, some orders written in the sharp, angular hand of Cavalry Commander Terkovich, some notes on requests.

Quick comparison of the forces found and fought here lets us estimate the enemy composition better. We have seen off most of them.

It also appears that the Sunlancers cavalry contigent and the Outriders are not neccessarily . . . aware . . . of the particular command structure of their Sparksworn allies. No note here, though we do not have a lot, make any mention in writing of the Mothdream. Four times, Terkovich inquires as to the morale and cohesion of the troops with molecular precision, armaments, prowess.

These would not appear to be the concerns of a commander who is convinced his troops will barely think of fleeing because they barely remember how to.

And any--

There's a soft knock on the old ruin. A pair of gentlemen wearing somewhat threadbare uniforms and well-worn boots are standing outside.

>Some intel added about enemy formations
>>
>>6003464
Ostomo gets interrupted from his medical duties because he has to snap off a salute. Echo and Sacerdotessa, backdropped by the soft *thump* of a Ferra legio smacking his gauntlet against his helmet, traditional style, get shaken out of their investigation to stand up straight. The lead Rebus Pathfinder waves it all off. Too long a day to stand on ceremony; you can all go back to slouching now.

Gentlemen. Officers.

The disarmed Sparksworn are not, technically speaking, enemy combatants. They're the victims of a crime. Please treat them kindly. It appears the people who should have have not.

The Sparkspeaker frowns further, glaring, spits a smouldering arc of half-ignited phlegm that flakes away in the air, leaving the trace of sunlight on an autumn day. How could you bind the Sun? Do you think the Empyreal can be restricted by the justice wrought by stamps, seals and *little men with badges*?

The Rebus Pathfinder raises his eyebrows.

Apologies, friend. If the Empyreal Eye, Most High Glory of the Fire Ascending, wishes to contest the treatment of its ambassador it can lodge a complaint with the nearest civil authority. Archeotheological Primordiality does not exempt you from procedural requirements. You may have broken no laws of the Sun Most High as you see it.

But down here among the earthbound, even the sun answers to the law of the Senate and the will of the people.

--

>The Rebus Pathfinders prepare the prisoner for specialist courier extraction to Legion High Command at Fideli. They'll be *very* interested.
>>
Rolled 3, 2, 6, 6, 3, 4 = 24 (6d6)

>>6002741
>Houses, High and Hallowed [Houses Affiliation. Wealth 11]: Round up all the poisonous critters I can find. We'll cage 'em and gauge their value to our house. Whether by their poison or novelty, we will squeeze something out of this far walk east, coin or venom, either works.

Still a little confused on whether the admin thing in the top left is separate from the ones on the bottom or whether it is a general 'hears how this works in general for all admin actions. If the latter and if we can only do one admin action, then ignore the first admin test below.

Admin Test +1: Requisition fresh supplies and grasscloaks for all my troops. We'll be going on a long recon into the plains, so we'll need to be able to literally lay low and blend in with our surroundings while we scout.

>Reform the Ranks! [Outlander Affiliation] Integrate all 24 Volunteers.

>You're not from around here, are you? Take 3 Pathfinders. If none are available because Perennis took them all, then take 3 outlander horsemen instead.

>Outlanders Affiliation Test, Scout the way to Fideli Gates with the Chemhounds.
>>
>>6003432
(ooc: What is 'Insight'? Is there a way to improve the affiliations/authority/reputation of our officers? Is there a way enhance the capabilities of our command groups? Does the 'engagement' resource that is being tracked have something to do with the previous mentioned modes of progression?)
>>
Rolled 4, 4, 2 = 10 (3d6)

>>6002741
>>6003493
Forgot the roll for Outlander test.
>>
>>6003432
Command, I've arrived with more men volunteering for the peltasts. I didn't expect to find not just the unit decimated, but my dear kinsman, Mizana, slain...
Glory to the honored dead.

#Valas
Authority 8 Reputation 11 Wealth 10
New Model Soldier - The Scars - Rebus Pathfinders
!Outlander
!Houses
!Theurgic
!Military Affairs
---
[Tricks of the Trade]
[Cold Coin, Warm Hearts]
[Last One Out]
---
Command:
[Volunteers] + Outlander

>Take command of the Esvacian Peltasts and Mizana's Pathfinders (I'm also assuming the Pathfinders don't just disband, considering they were a personal retinue. If so, then I take a new retinue of Pathfinders)
>-Wealth, however much it takes to replenish the unit
>Commission (-wealth, add motivated to the troops.)
>Double Rations, Triple Feast (-wealth, add Well Supplied to unit)

We will feast and sing tonight in view of our fallen brothers, may they know that they are remembered.

The Great Storm passes, and no clouds remain
Yet no tree nor trail will be the same
>>
Rolled 5, 1, 2 = 8 (3d6)

>>6002741
>Integrate 10 Legio into the 777th.
>>
Rolled 4, 3, 5 = 12 (3d6)

>>6002768
>>6003443
>Integrate a Ferrata Legio (plus mount) into my retinue (Rolling vs Legion 12)
>>
>>6003497
It does indeed have something to do with how to improve a formation, as does officer insight into the right ways and means to accomplish things. But for just this moment, we’ll make a note of it and return to it later.

As for formation adjustments there are quite a few ways, but one of the most expected is to refit a command group and then — you’ll find out how. We trust you.

And if it hasn’t been worked out by next engagement, there will be instructions. But it is entirely reasonable.

>>6003493
Are we hunting woewasps? Again? Oh dear.

>>6003441
As are we all. The truly surprising thing here is twinned: Even if the force can fight, surely it could never be large enough to threaten Fideli. They’re doing a massively expanded long term sweep. It seems vulnerable. Without a steady flow supplies every encounter bleeds prowess. They be remarkably reliant on the situation at Elos resolving soon, and to scavenge defeated patrols.

So as suggested earlier, drawing them to engage should be simple.

It’s dealing with whatever trick that has given them the confidence to begin this operation that will prove difficult. They must have something that allows them to feel certain of victory.

>>6003312
You will need to form it from available manpower. That’s why it’s available!

>>6003042
Cracks for coins are everpresent. Money remains one of the few materials with the strange property of being able to - somehow - find its way inside barred fortress gates and across all patrolled sentry lines. The trick of it is simply communicating with the right intermediaries.

Once we find them, perhaps we could try? Their supply situation cannot be wondrous, and if - as recently supposed - kindling the Sparkspeakers and Sparkworn to true action requires the presence of an archtheurge, then the force decimating our hinterlands cannot have very many of the Sparkspeakers present.

>>6003533
Warm souls, warm memories, Valas. It is the brave bannerleader who faces down a cavalry charge, but is the formidable one that saves three of his kinsmen in the doing. We'll be well served if you and yours are half as able!

--

Counting advancement towards the rear lines, to safeguard the supply routes. . .
>>
>>6003541
>Integrating Ferrata
>>
Rolled 4, 1, 2 = 7 (3d6)

>>6003562
>>
>>6003566
Final paperwork.

#Lucilla Maximus Superbus
Authority 9 Reputation 10 Wealth 10
Legionflame - The Scars - Legio Ferrata(4)(Legio Standard)
!Legion
!Theurgic
!Houses
!Military Affairs
1 Insight
---
[One of us]
[Long Shadows]
[Last One Out]
---
Command:
[777th Raincatchers](20) + Legion + Military Affairs
>>
Sorry, one last thing. Wasn't sure if we were allowed to use all of the free admin actions or only one. Also wasn't sure if I can take this test without Military Affairs.

>It's dangerous to go alone, take this! Light kit C-309, enough of it to equip myself, my retinue, and all my troops, new ones included. Only equip it after our scouting mission though, it'll only slow us down in the fields, where endurance, stealth, speed, and sharp eyes count for more than metal skin.
>>
Rolled 6, 2, 5 = 13 (3d6)

>>6003572
Properly now...

The C-309 requisition forms...sometimes the language...it eludes me.
>>
>>6003301
>>6003493

Alright, both of you, stop.

It seems patently unreasonable for one person to call first dibs on *all* of the Volunteers or *all* of the Veterans, and I don’t want Reforming the Ranks to become a demented frenzy of everyone trying to grab their dream formation (/forty strong horde) while Command tries to figure out how to interpret all of it.

Koras really isn’t one for paperwork- that’s the Scholae’s thing- but I’d like to propose the following plan that, at the least, *most* of us can agree on, so at least we all know what’s happening, and no one feels slighted by Command.

**Suggested Plan**

24 Volunteers

Pyre Watchers (3)
248th (4)
Chem hounds (2)

New Unit (Sappers) (15)

Legio (15), Veteran Legio (6)
Soft Moonfall (3 Legio)
Stormbinders, Light Mist, Monsoon (1 Veteran Legio each)

New Unit (Heavy Reserves)
Legio (12) Veteran Legio (3)

Remounts (12)
Both myself and Methodian will take one for our new retinue (I think I will grab a priest). The rest are left alone for now.

NOTES
- the Volunteer units are rounded up to multiples of five, with the exception of the Peltasts, who are being replenished by the new arrival, and the Blade Holders, who have *24* guys already.

- Moonfall is taking their much deserved replenishment. *However* the attributes for the Veteran Legio do not match Theurgic 2 (sadly). If we find Temple Guard in the future, then Moonfall should reasonably have first pick.

- The Sappers and a Heavy Reserve both seem like a good idea. Perhaps if we had a team of Legio held in the rear, our camp would not have almost fallen, and Mizana would still be alive. Plus, we can draw from the Reserve if we ever need to replenish our frontline.

….and on further notes.
>>6002809
>>6003432
REFORM THE RANKS
Command, may I combine an Aspirant and a Remount to add a priest to my retinue, or would they not be able to keep up?

Assuming they can at least not slow down the 338th, I think we could use a man (or woman) of the cloth.

Does this sound good to everyone, or at least, most of you?
>>
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>Mostly unanimous note on advancing to the rear. Force Dispositions being adjusted, but you may council on how to proceed.

--

>>6003572
>>6003574
It does for all of us. Some say Sarethian Cruneiform, the language of Sareth old, Sareth Far, is the hardest language in the world to speak with the tongue of man and the mind of mortals.

They are wrong. No Legion officer has ever successfully filled out a C-33 Request For Request form properly, so Pyther stands triumphant in the worst contest in existence.

--

While the formations reform, our wounded are tended, our intelligence considered, Fireskellian sleeps.

Allows herself all of four hours. At which point her retinue drags her blearily to her feet, she drowns the dryness with some more water, and starts arranging tokens on a map once again. Maximus brings in a few extra crates, for chairs, and by pooling Korsas scouting with Echo and Sacerdotessas interogation and processing of the final officers, gradually, the fog of war lifts by inches.

--

We know now the enemy is out there.
We know they intend to destroy any large, cohesive Legion formations they spot in the field.

We know, therefore, axiomatically, that shall we make it clear we are present, then, sure as the Dawn, they will come for us.

There is a certain pleasing finality in the simple assurance that rough riders with sharp knives will do their utmost to kill you where you stand. Focuses the mind.

Their furious intention to harass patrols can work in our favor. First, Fireskellian, the scattered remnants of her command, and the prisoners-victims we have rescued, they can break by the South-West road towards Howlhammer and the waystation in Sheepwoe. There, though the fortifications are scant, and the garrison small, they can securely sequester themselves for now.

Meanwhile, we know the enemy roams primarily north of the Westtear deluge because Saevus Scavengers report that their campsite - marked as [A] on this map - was near were they found a destroyed Legion patrol, with the corpses fresh and the men mangled. The Sparkhooves must therefore have been running interference to prevent assistance to Windchime Pass.

We can expect at least ten squadrons of cavalry, a force of nigh a thousand and some riders, though the numbers may be more than that. The missives, notes and plans we have managed to amass from the few bits the Sparksworn haven't destroyed or burnt indicate this, and besides, any force lesser would have been unable to perpretrate enough destruction.

But we should not despair, because their mission serves our purpose: They *cannot* all be in one place, for they have neither the supplies nor the need.

If we pick our course wisely, we will engage them in detail, destroying smaller bands, as the others report our presence, drawing yet others into our wake, and finally drawing them to a battle-ground of our choosing where we should have time to prepare the grounds.

The question then seems obvious:

Where? How?

--
>>
>>6003592
I'm fine with this or whatever. My first post this morning was in a rush because I fell didn't have time last night or this morning, and didn't want to miss another pre-deployment. I merely skimmed everyone else's requisitions (barely), if others need troops more then me, then they are welcome to them, first come first serve or by agreement or whatever. The assumption was that CompanyCommand would simply give everyone else theirs and give me the rest, that being left out of my post is simply a lack of care for explanation on how I felt or to edit.
>>
>>6003603

Ah. That’s good.
A forty strong Volunteer unit that vacuumed all the light armour was… a bit much.
>>
>>6003603
This is a fairly reasonable assumption. The quartermasters tend to distribute things evenly. In the case of mutually contradicitonary requests (Which will occur, given the timelag and whatnot).
>>
>>6003592
mmm, no. Snooze, lose, etc., etc.

There is a system for resolving conflicts if anybody wants to contest my picks. That said, I think I succeeded on both my checks there and my legio unit is the one that stands to benefit the most from integrating experienced vets, so make of that what you will.

Things will shake out how they will.
>>
>>6003593
Personally, I think detached elements will roam near the roads, knowing that any reinforcements, particularly those with carts would arrive by road and not be wandering around in the fields. If the enemy has any intelligence on our local forces, then they'd know that they've dealt with most of the cohorts in the area. Their attention would presumably then shift to looking for reinforcements, or us, if they are in communication with the sparksworn in the passes.

Our priority, at least in my mind, should be to protect our advance. Therefore I advocate we take the southwest road to avoid being caught in the open, cross the spanway, then shark around the roads for enemy contact, particularly the north road past the mines, since the horsemen are more likely to favour open terrain. Once the enemy alerts their wider force, and we've hopefully destroyed some elements, we'd retreat into the town or forest, perhaps even the mines for our stand. I'd personally prefer the town or forest, since I want to be near a source of fresh water, that way they can't lay a siege to us, or keep us pinned with hit and run attacks.

The reason I do not advocate for simply going from A to B is that while it will surely bring us into contact with the enemy, we also know the enemy primarily patrols north of the deluge. If we destroy one element part way down the road, they may contact their other units and come back to seek battle before we can reach any defensible terrain. I'm assuming we'd be spotted and be in contact faster when north of the deluge essentially, with nowhere to go.
>>
The Second Sky Outriders do not seem excessively disciplined. Perhaps we could lure small warbands into the larger formation, by fooling them the 338th are the scouts of a much smaller force than we actually are?
>>
>>6003593
>>6003645
Possible. We could also be risky and disperse our own force, before congealing back into our natural whole. The hope would be to lure the enemy into risking battle thinking as you said; that we are a smaller force than we really are. Other possible thoughts that may go through their heads, even if they realise our full strength, are that they can defeat us in detail themselves, or that by dispersing we are deserting elements who have lost hope of victory or haven't been paid or fed. The risk being that they actually succeed in defeating us when we spread apart.
>>
>>6003645
That would be part of the course of action that hopefully lets us bleed a few of their elements ahead of time. If you feel you can supervise it, you should prepare for this.

>Or put differently, entirely so - it's a special camp operation available *next* pre-deployment!
>>
>>6003593
Numerically superior force. Primarily cavalry skirmisher.
Deploy a highly mobile force as a lure. Draw them into an prepared ambush.
Glimini offers a good killing field. Streets and Mountainslopes.
Fighting uphill exhausts and spoils charges.
Fighting in urban sprawl restricts mobility.
However. Citizens must not become collateral.
>>
>>6003657
. . . Are you qouting the Accords at me? That's straight out of page four through ten.

>>6003637
>>6003657
We could do as Lutatius and Allius suggest, and curve *with* Fireskellian's force down south-southwest. We might even be able to cripple the bridge behind us as we do. This will somewhat interfere with local transport, and we'll have to come back later and repair it (And send a bill to the local civics) but it would mean we know the hostile Sparkhooves are contained on the other side until we do battle.

The roads around here are good, but they're the only part of the terrain that is. Step off the roads and it's fairly rugged, patchwork grasslands combined with forests clawing back out of the soil, half water-logged. We can make good time to Glimini.

We'd be able to warn Howlhammer on the way, and restock our most spent supplies from their stores.
>>
>>6003637
>>6003645
It's worth noting that the adversary has already made contact with us and escaped. It's probable that those surviving elements will report our presence in short order.

Given the decentralized nature of adversary command, it seems unlikely they'll be able to rally overwhelming numbers in a short order. With their apparent supply situation, and the defeat of our sister units, adversary forces may be driven to attack our formation or civilians out of Glimini to sustain operations.

I'd propose marching west, as Waystation Sheepwoe likely provides some deterrent towards raids on Howlhammer.
>>
>>6003660
>>6003593
I don't think crippling the bridge will be necessary. Intel suggests they will search us out anyways right? Why prevent them from fleeing across the bridge when they have no intention to flee? As for offroad, rugged terrain sounds ideal against a mounted opponent.

I think we can make good use of the mountains here. If we keep at least one of our sides to the mountains at all times, it both makes it very difficult to flank us and also limits their direction of attack if they wish to not charge directly into the mountain, depending on how steep it is.

As for a location for a decisive engagement, I think around C and B would work well. Urban and forested areas should make it difficult to fight and maneuver effectively with cavalry. Or perhaps we could put our backs to one of the mountainsides, like around those concave gaps in the mountains to the west-southwest (pic related).
>>
>>6003663
You likely speak the truth. Nonetheless, consider the possibility of them all independently spotting us and all converging on our location. We may still be able to defeat many of them in detail if they fail to coordinate, but unless each engagement is very quick, they will soon form a mass on our location, hungry for supplies and loot, and destroy us. Decentralized command may actually aid them when making rapid decisions and massing, rather than hindering them. If a centralized command is in an open field, dispersed, they must send a messenger back to command, await orders back and not move, lest the messengers miss them with no landmarks to go by or meet near, then all execute their orders, all while attempting to remain in contact with one supreme commander. A decentralized command could avoid this.

Consider also that this force is atypical of the forces we are now used to. It is a heavier force, and one skilled enough to destroy several cohorts. It is risky to make too many assumptions here, though we sadly must make *some*, lest we be indecisive.

Consider that Waystation Sheepwoe, or Howlhammer, or Glimini may have already been destroyed or at least raided. If they need supplies, why not attack the towns outright. Were we not assuming this force was *stronger* than the force we just fought? The force that literally just took Windchime, despite a garrison?

If the enemy west already knows of us, they may mass near us rather than near the roads further along like I thought, heading west would then be suicide. We would lack defensible terrain.

I could go on, but you get the picture. I think you may have the right of it, at least in regards to their intelligence and inability to rally numbers quickly, I still think we should go southwest.
>>
>>6003663
>>6003681
I forgot this note that I was gonna put in spoilers: I'm assuming that A to B is only a few miles, 10-15 at most, probably less. Not sure if the map is to scale, but unless towns are massive in this setting, that town cannot be more than a few miles across, meaning the distance between A and B isn't large, a days march maybe. Given that we are near mountains, the elevation is likely high, so the distance to the horizon is larger, hence why I think most of them could spot us.
>>
Rolled 4, 4, 5 = 13 (3d6)

>>6003432
>Affiliation action, Military Affairs: Add Waltaking training to 789th.

>>6003359
I'll be waiting for that drink, Superbus. Dibs on the next reinforcements we find.

>>6003497
I think there are still five unclaimed legio and your Moonfall are those most in need of some reinforcements, if you want them.
>>
>>6003685
( One of the Pathfinders in the corner makes a little choked "Hghrk", as if sudden exposure to the alien species of an officer with a basic understanding of geography has forced him to radically re-organise what he thinks is even possible )

Correct.
>>
Rolled 2, 6, 1, 4, 3, 3, 4, 6, 6, 5, 5, 1, 1, 6, 2, 3, 4, 4, 6, 5, 1, 4, 6, 6 = 94 (24d6)

Combat Reorganisation Adjustments:

762nd Pyrewatchers go about the business of consecrating the old temple. They have adaquate supplies.

Allectius orders a general resupply.

Echo does a little light frisking.

We do a little light alchemical venom R&D

The 762nd is joined by Allius Vitacius. Some judgements must be made. Echo assists, as does Amelius, nursing a light headache from blood loss.

338th runs smack-dap-head-first into something surprising.

Boxes! Boxes! Wait, why do we have all these boxes labelled "2nd"? Is that Bond-stamp?

The Luperni Strikers attempt to get refit

A fast pathfinder courier takes a letter to Legion High, far away, at Fideli, at *speed*. . .

Hey, Pathfinder, nice boots, how do you like shovels?


---

Reikans, up high north, down deep west, say that an army is a clicking device of many parts meant to be the trigger mechanism for taking over cities. The Vanadians, when they deign to make comment on the topic, talk about the national unity and the twin needs of sacrifice and motivation to form masses of troops into a being with a higher purpose. There are Kalcmiri poetry on the rippling lines of wheat and the seeds planted by swords, the consequences we all reap. The Uthani, in all their manifold political glory, form alliances of convenience, of unity, of raiding, of skirmish, and sometimes put ten thousand fighters in one region and call it an army. Illios, far and mist-shrouded, are ever so proud of their marines.

Everywhere you go, everyone has a martial tradition.

But one of those conquered the world and has ruled it ever since.

And in the Pytherii Standing Conventions of Warfare and the Means by Which Peace is Accorded To Those Willing, there is a slightly different term for an army.

' Purpose made manifest '

--
>>
A battle leaves behind a lot of waste material. Armor can be repurposed. Arrows can be salvaged. Leather straps can be slid out of plates they need no longer hold and repurposed. Boots? You can repair boots. Swords, axes, shields, chainmails, all that and more, and let's not forget the helmet. A good, proper helmet has excellent resale value.

Saevus Scavengers know their craft. They shuck the fallen of their shells with a marked effeciency.

But a battle leaves a lot of wasted material behind. Hopes for a better tomorrow, the purpose to forge something wonderful, memories of the peculiar way the wind feels as it rolls across the open plains, the salt that mother cooks her bread with, the hope that was had for the child of a proud parent. Of such intangible things states are made. It would be a shame and an insolence to leave such things to the rats and the ravens. So, once the Scavengers have had their feast, the Rites must be said, the words spoken. The 762 Pyrewatchers assemble the pyres. Stack the bodies, shorn of all their more mundae weight, carefully. Here, the 555th fallen, over here, a peltast who tried to shelter his bannerleader, here a hero, and here, and here, and here and. . .

There is a truth to this simple act. Perhaps no one saw their final moments. But the Eye, grand and Empyreal, sees *everything*, and Knows, and, as far a such things can, the Icon of the Empyreal, which is also the Icon of Courage, Camraderie and Cunning Deeds Wrought for Bright Purpose attends. Appreciates. Takes the offered essences, drifting away on plumes of grey-flaked smoke, and makes their sacrifice part of its eternal vigil.

The day is hot, the sun is high, and somehow, no one sweats, no on reports heat-stroke, and Legio have spent the day running from formation to formation wrest themselves of their armor and find, strangely, that they are neither as tired as expected nor as parched as feared.

--

The Temple of the Wind's Chime was carved in the rock centuries ago, when the rivers here ran high and constant and the air sang across the surging waves. There are four tombs, from rock not from this region, sealed with markers of valor in action but stripped of their names. We do not know who they were, or why they were laid to rest here, or why the iconography on their stone-carved likeness, long abraded by wind and time, bears neither name nor recollection of their deeds. Only a few words still remain barely readable, in a dialect still somewhat spoken in the older urban sprawls: ' Devour The Hearts of Men With Acts of Glory, And Remain Hungry, for the Hunger is Light and the Acts Forever. '

But we do know this: The temple is cleaned, the floors are scrubbed, the wards renewed, and Four Swords of Wind Chime will maintain their vigil over this pass for another thousand years.
>>
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No contact is made with any Sparksworn.
The threatened reinforcements do not manifest.

The heatshimmers on the horizon remain mirages. In Wind Chime, we have shelter, water and shadow. Anyone approaching this place would be suncooked, and half blind from light off of water and sharply reflective rocks.

Strangely, no officer recieves reports of any such impediments fraying our forces. The Pathfinders chalk it up to strange natural weather phenomena.
--

>762nd Pyrewatchers knock a point of Threshold, from acts, deeds and valour [Already accounted for]
>Morale improves, force-wide
>the Legion Banners are sanctified with the smoke and will of the fallen
>Light armor and medium armor added to stockpiles [This is where it was from]
--

>Merchant Cartel Contacts or Red Market Markers let's you increase Wealth by +2 from Saevus Scavenger's professional ransacking of the battle-field.

--
>>
>>6003703
>>6003883
> Officer folds the remaining Legio into his command group, the 404th Soft Moonfall.
>>
>>6003882
>the 278th keep looting
>>
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>>6003593
The enemy is dispersed but mostly concentrated in the north. The Deluge cuts this region in half, with the only major crossings between north and south banks being at Windchime—which we currently hold—and the Spanway. We should leave a force at Windchime, both to deter the force we've just seen off from trying anything and to deny a crossing to the northern force. We could also attempt to destroy the bridge across the Deluge. I'd like to hear what Fireskellian thinks of this. If we can deny the bridge to the enemy, we can do with a less potent holding force at Windchime.

I propose the bulk of our force goes south along with Fireskellian, engaging and destroying any enemy groupings we find. The aggressive posture of the enemy will make this task easy in the early going, since the enemy will be liable to come to us, at least before we bloody them. In due time, the northern force will be alerted of our presence on the southern side of the Deluge and they will begin to move. The Spanway will be the only viable crossing for them. This being a mounted force, I do not rate their capability to pontoon across the Deluge in the near term very highly.

The northern force will take some time to consolidate and come at us with full force, which, in addition to the Spanway being their only viable crossing point, gives us quite a lot of latitude when it comes to choosing and preparing the field of battle. We can choose to fight the enemy at the Spanway, outside or in Howlhammer, or even further on at Glimini. Our aim is the wholesale destruction of this formation and their elimination as a credible threat to our lines of communication.

Of course, this is just a skeleton of a plan. There are many, many particulars that it leaves unaddressed.
>>
Rolled 1, 6, 4 = 11 (3d6)

>>6002741

Tessa stands at a massive funeral pyre, with some of the flames powered by her Soul. She can only hope that her flame will be a Pilot Light for their ascent to the Empyreal. May they rest with The Sun.

>Perform The Rite of Mornings, Many (Theurgic 2 + 6 Aspirants = 18)
>>
Rolled 2, 2, 5 = 9 (3d6)

>>6002741
While panic rages across the camp, the Blade-Holders perform their victory ritual of grabbing more blades- a honored tradition, going back to a time long forgotten (possibly last year, keeping records is a great way for the tax people to get ya). While they’re at it, they engage in their OTHER ritual- grabbing random, lost-looking people, putting blades in their hands and handing them a mug of the finest vinegar a knucklebone set can be bartered for

>Reinforcements
>>
>>6004750
Ooh, nice *sword*.
---
>>6003828
Windchime Temple is reconsecrated, through enormous effort and not a few spare supplies. But it makes for a light march with the sun at our back.

Most units find, scavenge, acquire or manage to make do. Our force-wide supply situation is [Acceptable]

The Cerco Chemhounds and Lutatius go scavenging in the cracks, crags and crooks for abnormal biology. It's harsh terrain out here. After some stings, hives, reactions and a few fair now full pouches, a few interesting samples have been acquired. Long exposure to the wrack-winds from the south-east have had unfortunate consequences on the wildlife in the Easterlies. It's half the reason the ecosystem out here is so occassionally violent.

Most of it isn't news to the deep research projects of merchant houses and noble enclave, but things that known are not unworthy. What man wouldn't want a divehawk? All women appreciate a cerebovorando hive in their backyard! No, that's a lie, Senate Animal Control published bulletins about the danger of dream-stealing ants on the regular. But the secretions, sacs, glands and solutions can be put to use.

>NoxPox added as a Chemicae trait; it's a disruptive that inflicts morale damage and toxicity. Try not to add it in large quantities to local water supplies. All the Chemicaes have it, force-wide, and can be ordered to deploy it with actions an orders. The Cerco Chemhounds, being House-Combat Chemics, have it read to go in any combat situation; they don't need to be ordered to use it if it's relevant for them to do so. Though one could order them to deploy it for other purposes.

--

Rally round! Formation up and formation sound!

--

>ADMIN NOTES, loosely:
New light unit raised
Ashtenders bulked up
Blade-holder house troops arrived [+9]
Blade-Holder looted what we didn't scavenge and sell
House-affiliated officers had Wealth adjusted
Valas arrives with Reinforcements for the Peltasts, who celebrate their passing officer in grand style and are now ready for new orders
We form a *Pathfinder Unit*; take care of these ones, High Command wants you to know they're *real special* and if you lose them there will be consequences to your career advancement opportunities
The 21st incorporate veterans
Perennis manages to drill the 789ths on advanced urban combat tactics [Military Affairs quality boost]
82nd Cathaphracts put in requests for combat carapaces and larger shields, granted.
The Steelcrow Shovelmen are formed.
Superbus found a few crates of Bond-sigil'd equipment; Fireskellian authorised its induction into the units that can be trusted to avoid causing the bond-servitors to go haywire (82nd, Steecrows).
The Legion Banners flutter in unseen winds, traced by unseen hands, faintly thrum with the sound of distant chants; Animus secured and threshold invocations possible
armor is distributed
>>
>>6005039
Uh, quick correction, both Valas and I are listed as commanding the Chemhounds. Valas commands the Escacian Peltasts, yes?

"House Cerco attends! Ready to serve our purpose, all according to our station!"
>>
Rolled 6, 4, 1 = 11 (3d6)

The Luperni Strikers send off one fast-track request for induction into the ranks of the Lupe Knights, but as the House cannot reply for a few weeks, we opt to be better safe than sorry and promote one Striker to a Squire. All hail!

Young Amelius cradles his service distinction and has a new flame lit in his heart

The 13th Blue Rats slack off in new and creatively incredible ways, opt to and including managing to laze about in the roofs of the Windchime Temple. The special priviledges and exemption from advanced duties lets the unit recover quickly from the shock of combat

We find an aspirant who is willing to try to ride a horse. All the aspirants in general feel faintly insulted at the insitunation that they don't know how to ride; to spread the word of the Sun and the Flame and the courage of civilization you actually do have to leave the chapel sometimes.

338th hold tests and trials and horsemanship games; one new recruit pass the stringent muster

Ashfog the Rikovian Windblade has a few quiet words wit hthe 248th Ashtenders about their footwork

272th Porcupine Winds, after talking it over among their own troops, decide that it would be dangerous to attempt to ply the roads to Howlhammer and wait out the return of the 9th Cohort. They are sticking here for now, strength in numbers and all.

272th Porcupine Winds have forwarded a special request to join any vanguard patrol action, because they worry about the 9th Cohort

--

266th Dusteaters are requesting permission to force-march to Fideli and report to House Aktoni. Recent events make maintaining a presence in Windchime impossible, their contract DOES NOT stipulate that they venture beyond Windchime Pass, and they are *not* geared, equipped or willing to fight a long-term insurrection and suppression campaign in House Cestipherion affiliated mining grounds, farms, fields or outlying villages.

> ?? [ADMIN]

--
The Legios report that it would be possible to spend half a day disrupting Windchime Pass. We have the manpower and the tools. If we spend a few of our supplies, and give the Legio time to work in mapping fault-lines, our new sapper-section can assist them towards a tactical opportunity:

The targetted collapse of some of the floodchannels, to narrow the flow of troops through Windchime. This will not seal or collapse the pass, as any larger force the Sparksworn send can simply dig through way through, but it will slow down any force without sufficient shovels.

It also means if we intend to march towards Elos later, *we* would be slowed too.

>?? [ADMIN]

--

Scholae-Fulminant Fireskellian, her retinue, the 13th Wetmurks and other members of the 2nd Cohort spend much of the time reforming, finding survivors, checking gear and attempting to make a semblance of cohesion from the wreck of the recent battle.

She will return to Waystation Sheepwoe, as previously stated, but . . .

>Mechalogistics 13
>>
[+2]
. . . She reminds notes that one of the crates Maximus Superbus moved from slightly left of one side of the camp to the other contains rows of patrol flares.

When they held Windchime, they could not get theirs off in time - the Sparkspeakers choked the fire required to ignite the paper rockets. Fireskellian personally thinks issuing powder-based equipment when fighting people who can command pyrotheurgic miracles is one of those subtle signs that Legion High might sometimes be a little confused about how *reality works*.

However, this means that they did not manage to send off any emergency patrol flares. The confusion at your Command Posts (demerits for march planning, Scholae Allectius, though in light of the circumstances she is willing to override the demerit with a positive reference on account of how your speedy arrival did save most of her command) also precluded your troops from signalling for support from the 4th and 7th.

This would *mean* a large enemy Sparkhoove cavalry force is roaming around the west plains and village, and one of the first things such a group might have been told to look for is the characteristic minirature sun of a Legio Emergency Flare. They would be expecting any such signal to indicate that the formation in question was in dire straits and requesting reinforcements.

You may consider using this to your advantage.

Secondly, Scholae-Fulminant Fireskellian notes that upon arrival in Waystation Sheepwoe, she will gather the patrol garrisoned there (2-3 formations), which the Sparkhooves likely have not destroyed yet because they are, after all, inside a fortified compound.

Then she can also send off such flares, which is likely to draw outlying Sparkhooves small patrols in the south around Howlhammer to their location, where upon she will destroy them. That's a statement of fact, not intent.

There is a *secondary* hope, that patrols closer to Fideli and its Gates may see the flare and report the disturbance up the chain of command to the Legion High post in Fideli. If that occurs, we can therefore expect a mobilised response force to gather and come to our aid.

Though given the politicking of Fideli and the focus Legion High has on Wellmoth further South-Southeast, it is unlikely that they would send a larger force, or one that responds quickly.

Nothing ever happens on the eastern front, after all. Still. Any ship in a storm.

>Flares added as a general Command Post action.
>>
>>6005050
Please report any horrid disrepenancies in the Force Disposition to the clerks, who are likely to have made at least two mistakes.

They, uh, they keep. . . those in there because . . . it's a spot test of your . . . officership. Yeah. Yeaaaah.

> Bad copy-paste; corrected and resolved! Thank you, good catch.
>>
>>6005059
Command, it looks like I'm missing one of my aspirants! Could I grab one from the supply, bringing me back up to six men echoing my voice?
>>
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" Finally, a *personal request*, though you would have scant reason to acquisce to it and I make this request bereft of the benefits of my rank, honorary though it may be. I am not so fulminant these days.

The 2nd Cohort is monstrously undermanned and even if we have managed to pull survivors from the massacre and a few perimeter patrols will filter in over the next day, we would *still* be undermanned. To make it to Sheepwoe is simple, but to reinforce the position, rally any outlying patrols and erect a new Command Station for a longer campaign will be a challenge. I will accomplish this task while you roam the region, preventing our total collapse.

Then, shall we both be succesful, we will reconnect, pool our intelligence, and locate the passway the Flamespeakers are using to slink across the mountain-chains they should not be able to bypass. In the end, even if we alleviate any problems in Elos and destroy the Sparksworn that are past us, it will be for naught if we do not block their new route.

In another life, I would have needed no assistance. Requesting this does not come easy to someone who once possessed the will required to move mountains and the instinct to do so.

Still, I bent my steelsoul to the people at the behest of my old commanding officer. Some things are *crimes* and will not be on my Watch, and the Sunsworn burned by allegiance by their actions. For the sake of peace, I gave up many things, went east, and took up a vigil on a quiet station and wished to while away the years in service anonymous to in a region quiet. I am *lessened*, in scope, scale and skin. But I find that in being lessed, I have at least reclaimed a sliver of my sense of softness. And sometimes, at night, I dream of friends and not the stain of mud and mire.

It's been good, out here. The people are kind, and though I don't hold with sheep cheese, at least you can get decent enough lemons in Fideli. I thought I'd played all the part in all the wars I would ever have to. I have very little desire to fight another one. I am tired veteran who have seen too many short, victorious campaigns.

But the Flamespeakers have killed most of my command, ravaged my troops and judging by the findings of your Chemicae they have taken violation to a height I could never even contemplate, despite the orders I was given, once, on different soil.

So. My request is simple. It appears despite it all, war has found me once again. So, there are preparations to be made and old oaths to re-swear.

Hand me any supplies you can spare, and the business ahead will be made easier. "

> ?? [ADMIN]
>We are currently [WELL SUPPLIED]. Pick a number between 0 and 10, as a rough weighting of how much you are willing to part with, if any. 10 being "everything we can feasibly spare", 0 being no thanks or something in-between.

>Offering materials to other field units depletes the supplies we have available unitl a proper supply route is re-established!
>>
>>6005075
Hopefully he is not missing. You should know precisely where the dead have been given their rites.
>>
I say a 4, maybe a 3, perhaps even just a 2 on the supply split? Even with remnants and stragglers from the other cohorts, the force the Scholae-Fulminant could muster at the waystation is estimated to be barely a quarter of our own force. We are the larger and slower force, and we will be on the move. Therefore our need is greater than hers, I think no more than 4 is good, yes? Particularly since she'll have Howlhammer nearby for supplies. We're stopping there too, but we aren't sticking around.

I can fill in the paperwork, all I need is the consensus of the cohort.
>>
3-4
>>
>>6005085
All right, all right, all right. All this paperwork, and with an aspirant derelict in his duty!

>Deny the 266th Dusteaters permission to detach. The roads are too dangerous at this time. Consideration will be given as we move closer.
>Set the engineers to work on Windchime Pass - we can ill afford to be flanked at this time.
>Should we march south, as seems to be the intention, collapse the bridge at A.
>Spare 4 abstract units of supplies. With luck Fireskellian will have raised some semblance of a cohort by the time we march on Elos.
>>
>>6005118
Out of character: I'm not sure if these are admin tests that Command requires us to roll for, but perhaps it is best if the admin actions are left to those with Admin affiliations. There are only 3 of us with such a distinction, Natalis, Methodian, and myself, and of the 3 of us only I have [Bulk Discount]. So the logistics actions should probably be left to me to roll, even if the actions chosen is up to the consensus of the cohort, or whoever has the most authority. I'm basically the de facto quartermaster, maybe, arguably, kinda.
>>
>>6005128
My understanding is that admin actions are free actions, at least in this context. That being said, I'm just getting my opinions out there. If there are conflicting opinions I'm sure command will sort it out, given they are voiced.
>>
>>6005131
Fair enough. Even if they are rolls or require admin affiliation, I think we can only do as many actions as we have admin points.
>>
>>6005051
>266th are denied, per Echo's reasoning
>Engineers are approved for work on disrupting Windchime Pass
>Provide Fireskellian with "4" supplies
What is Fireskellian's opinion on blowing the bridge behind us should we march our combined might south?
>>
Rolled 5, 1, 3 = 9 (3d6)

>>6002741
>Affiliation Action: Military Affairs roll to increase Formation Fighting training.

>>6003703
The only thing I can promise are those drinks, if we make it out alive!
>>
>>6005118
I don't agree that we should march south.

The bulk of the enemy forces is north, and this is where we should go. Time is not on our side. Elos is under siege and our supplies are ticking down, going south abandons the initiative, Glimini and anyone else who is might still be alive on the north side of the river.

My suggestion would be to let Fireskellian deal with the south as she wishes while we march north and lure the enemy for an engagement in the foot of the mountain/forest directly north of point A. It is good, uneven terrain and we should be able to reach it and perhaps fortify a little (dig some trenches?) before the sparkies get to us. Defeat them fast enough, without spending half a day to bring down the pass and we will not even need to block it delay our relief of Elos

We can also use the Dusteaters as bait distraction a vanguard, since they volunteered.

>>6005133
This was clarified in discord, Admin actions are unlimited and have nothing to do with admin points. I was also confused by the same thing. I blame command's love of bureaucracy.
>>
>>6005161
An interesting plan. If we were to follow this, we could make a cursory search for their alternative route through the mountains at the same time.
>>
>>6005161
>>6004885
I am fine with either of these plans, both have merit. I reckon Regulus' plan is safer, but will take longer to execute, while Perennis' plan carries greater risk and reward.

Either way, I think it's important to collapse part of the pass and station a small garrison to hold it. The outriders that retreated into the mountains, and those forces slipping through the siege of Elos, shouldn't be granted uncontested access while we march.
>>
>>6005168
I can see the argument for collapsing the pass delaying Tarkovich's reinforcements more than the half a day it will take us, but a garrison will only lessen our chances of winning the field battle for little benefit that is not already provided by collapsing the pass.
>>
>>6005168
I agree with Perennis, a garrison strong enough to effectively hold the pass would weaken our main force too much. I also lean towards Perennis' plan of marching North, with the caveat of blocking the pass.
>>
>>6005151
Fireskellian considers it disrespectful to the hard work of the engineers that built those bridges. All commanders, in every war, let their blows fall upon the substrate of society first. But once the battle is over, there will be dead friends in all cases. Only in one case will there be dead friends and difficulties for every traveller to pass this way for the months or year’s until the bridge is rebuilt.

Thus said, it presents an opportunity and a difficulty.

It condems any force of Sparksworn to Glimini and that region. So: Contained. We could march with total certainty we need only watch one direction. Should we also impair Windchime Pass, we make up for in safety and control what we lose in the hours to prepare. It is the single most effective way to direct our enemies where we desire them.

It also means supplies to Elos flow less readily and in dire cases, movement northbound or a retreat for us is much impaired. Should the Elos East Legion attempt a break out and a retreat and make it past the Sparksworn, they would be route-bound without that bridge. If we bar the pass as well, there is the slim chance we put impediments in the direct path of our own forces and so trap them for our foes. It is the single most effective way penning ourselves in.

Also the bridge is a nice example of early Impressionist-Miragist marble. Has stood for two centuries. Historic. Would take about four hours to turn to rubble.
>>
>>6005161
Ah, I'm not in your discord. Thanks for telling me.

As for the plan, I've already laid out my own thoughts. We're only a days march from Glimini, command confirmed this, so I'm not too worried about time. We would also be able to resupply in Howlhammer. I'm worried going straight west or north would simply lure all of the enemy towards us without resulting in the defeat in detail we are hoping for. Though the possibility of using certain units as bait could help with that, though it could also give the enemy intelligence on our plans via captives.

I also don't fancy backing ourselves into a corner against the foot of the mountains, away from any roads. I'm not entirely as convinced of the desperate state of supplies for our adversary that everyone else seems to be. They could've raided the towns or fields by now. At least if we fight near the mines, spanway or Glimini we retain the option of retreat.

Going southwest may also put us over the horizon and hamper the speed of enemy couriers because of the river in the way, if anything the element of surprise and the initiative would be more in our favour.

>>6005168
Looking at the earlier map that shows Elos East and the mountain passes, I don't think the enemy will arrive in time to beat us back to Windchime, certainly not the forces sieging Elos East at least. The force we beat off will probably need time to reorganize as well. Any force that reached open terrain would still have to contend with us as well, even if they managed to get past Windchime before we are done with our current mission.
>>
I am opposed to bridge destruction. On the other hand, this historic bridge is in desperate need of repairs. Considering the current state of affairs I volunteer to stay here, collect said taxes, and work on restoring said bridge. Squire Armi and half the Strikers should be sufficient to sing Luperni's glories on the battlefield while I work here. What say you mine fellow decani?
>>
>>6005232
Commendable civic spirit.

>>6005224
Good. It is entirely in required to get caught up in the voices. Though sometimes apparently desperately begging for clarification on a horrid little piece of open-for-interpretation regulation is helpful…
>>
>>6005265
“In required”? Spacing? What happened there?

‘Entirely not required’
>>
Rolled 1, 2, 5, 5, 5, 1 = 19 (6d6)

>>6005133
Blame a bad write-up of the regulations. To be exactingly specific, every officer is presumed to have an adminstration skill. It is 10. You should not waste time noting this, because it is *marvelously* average. It would be like noting your ability to breathe.

Scholaes, and some others, gain further admin ranks. These come with tremendous benefits, including a subtle pool of admin "points" or "push" equal to the additional ranks.

Any officer can take admin actions, engage in them, vote for them, answer them, set them in motion. It's part of your literal job - administering this marvelous band of marching soldiers we call an army. Without you, the whole thing falls apart.

It takes a special kind of someone to do all that and then know the right forms, the proper requests, to remember all the little minituae of advanced march orders, to ensure supplies are properly stowed while remembering to check if the 4rd squad 2nd cohort fifth element had those new boots arrive on time. That's where Admin *ranks* come in. They make some checks a little easier, but the real bonus and thing that is interesting is the ability to, generally speaking, when you are making a test that could feasibly be some kind of adminstration, you can burn one of those points and go "I will do this the right way". It represents taking the time to make sure some task lives up to exacting standard.

However, please, never let that stop you (or anyone) from participating in Admin actions if such would be possible. They're rather core to the act of being an officer, and is how you influence the force!

>>6005118
>>6005104
>>6005097
Fireskellian will accept 4 duly authorised Abstract Supply Support Insurance Transfers, uh, ASSISTS, uh, ahem, hum . . .

Fireskellian thanks you. A hard thing for someone so proud. In any case, with the additional supply weight, the 2nd Cohort wounded can recieve slightly more treatment on the way to Sheepwoe.

>>6005118
>>6005151
266th would grumble, but they can actually quite well see the logic in not walking into an ambush and ending up raven feasts.

>>6005151
>>6005118
The benefits of considerable engineering expertise, enough willing hands and proper appreciation for the marvelous of great big stonking rocks make Windchime Pass slightly less passable. It is not blocked, by any means or measure, but the twin flood channels, when stowed full of rocks and dirt, will also gradually divert the low trickle of water into half-moats and shift the rugged terrain into an unpredictable morass of wet pitfalls, slick rocks and dead-ends.

Capable sapper sections worth their shoves will, in time, undo this - but very few cavalry formations are simultaneously able to bring the equipment required. We can safely consider Cavalry Commander Terkovich trapped on the wrong side of the pass, with a significant impediment to harassment.

--

>Incoming scout report from Lutatius and Koras. . .
> . . . Voided stars, they're trying to kill us !
>>
>>6005371
One more thing, if there's still time. I'd like to raise a new unit with my Affairs 2 out of the 20 unclaimed outlander cavalry equipped with medium armour.
>>
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Rolled 3, 6, 4 = 13 (3d6)

>>6006171
They all seem very occupied with cunning games of horsemanship and trials of various natures! Intensive bouts of proving who rides faster, harder, smarter, who lances better, who grabs the ball while remaining in the saddle . . .

--
>>6003572
>>6003493
>>6002809
We find our first allies four hours easy ride west of Windchime Pass. The 623th Hailkissers, 4th Cohort, double-strength assault detachment of Raincatchers. Good people, reliable in a fight, renowed for good order on the march and a burly sense of humour off it.

They wave at us gently.

They'd have to.

They're swinging in the wind, hung from their necks from the sparse trees erupting like titanic javelins from the sparse vegetation. One of the 338th recognise them, not from armor or passphrase, but from the service tattoo carved into the chest above the heart of their formation-leader.

Died to a man and, judging by the wounds, died standing. Of their armor there is no sign. There is a supply cart, old heavy style, the creaking bit, but it's doused in some alchemical accelerant and was all smouldering ash by the time we found it. The riders must have stripped them of their tools and their kit, bound it to their horse and set off.

The landscape is quiet. The horizon is distant. The gentle incline west continues, a long pleasant patrol that heads perpetually down-hill. Try not to think of it as a metaphor
--
>>
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The first time, it's shocking. One of the new inductees to the 338th spends his time in the saddle for the next hour, dry heaving up his breakfast. The aspirant, along for the recon, offers final rites and a quick few prayers. Though the dead can neither speak nor spar, they probably find the careful shepherding of their souls elsewhere a boon.

The nice thing about habituation is that it inurs you to the sheer mundane horror of existence. We find the second dead patrol on the other side of the bridge that spans this part of the region, tucked off a small winding path through a little bit of hilly terrain. Their dead are strung out for a mile. A fighting withdrawal that turned bad, shedding lives as it went. We follow it to the source, a bread crumb trickle trial of corpses. In an open spot of landscape ringed by three knobbly hills and shorn by long wind, the reservoir of Legion troops this trickle flowed from. A last stand gone wrong, light troopers intermingled with legios. It is a quiet, eerie battlefield bereft of the usual detritus. Oh, there's broken spears, shattered shields, *dead soldiers* in abundance, and the crows and ravens tweet at the scout patrol as it checks over the area.

But the quivers are empty, the sheaths are bereft of blades and despite the telltale puncture wounds in the dirt and the dead from flung javeling, remarkably conscientious murderers have taken the time to make this the most politely cleaned battlefield for miles. Forage is an art, yes? Live off the land. Though perhaps the forage the Sparkhooves are filching from our dead allies is not textbook standard.

One of the 338th's crest the hill above to gain better perspective and - half a heartbeat later - comes screaming back down the hill, full sprint, outpacing his own horse. He has good reason to.

A dust-cloud heralds the arrival of horsemen rather intent on forcing you to join the display of the dead.

--
>>
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Later, as Methodian goes over the reports, he can make some inferences. Hard riding, hard fighting men and women with excellent stamina, though their sojourn over the eastern passage was not kind to their supplies. Must be why their treat the land like a swarm of locusts.

Wasponi, by the marks on their armor and the tell-tale sign heraldry on their spears.

Deep Uthani plains, the Wasponi peoples. There's supposed to be as many of them as there are blades of grass, swarming, churning, riding, fighting, living, loving, an entire mass of humanity that strings out across the north-eastern plains forever and ever and ever. The Uthani closer to the Pytherii political spheres are more tractable. Long exposure to trade and negotiated relations lends a semblance of understanding to the affairs. Brave, reliable, kind people, and terrifying in a fight. Of the further Uthan banners, less is known. There was never much need. The Lepidoptera are meant to be shy and self abnegating, the Wasponi proud and clannish.

Well, there may be plenty of time to study them in the days ahead. They seem to be moving west, after all.

There is supposed to be some theological-sociological dispute between the Uthani Grasscloaks, long supports of the Legion and premier complements to the auxillaries, the garrisons, the front-lines, loyal to a man, and the Reedcloaks, which are, as much as any Grasscloak ever talks about them, barely cognizant cretins with no concept of higher orders and neither love, pity or humanity in their selfish souls.

It's all a little conspecific, to anyone not bound up in six centuries of plains living. Perhaps the Reedcloaks are taking on mercenary bids from the Empyreal Theurgists in the east now, assured that doing so will raise their standing and finally settle whichever argument they have with the Grasscloaks once and for all?
>>
One of the 625th Chemhounds, rustling across the landscape in a light cloak, makes it back to Lutatius and delivers a somewhat . . . confused report.

There is a House checkpoint up ahead, before Howlhammer. Of course there would be, this is House Cesteripherion lands, so their distant family council do keep some people around to watch the roads. Bit of a queue forming. They're checking people going into and out of Howlhammer, for access passes and all.

Right, but that's not it, the thing is, the *thing is*, right, sir, this checkpoint, it has a lot of wagons held in a small guarded area to the back. He watched them for a while, and they let a few carts of turnips through fine, but they held up what was *definitively* a Fideli delivery of new arrows and extra boots to Windchime, took over for the teamsters and that wagon is now kept behind them.

None of this is explicit unusual. Cesteriphon could want to guard the convoy for later delivery by those troops manning the checkpoint. Standard practice, after all, and it lets the teamsters from Fideli begin their long journey back to the Gates earlier. And Cesteripheron is as loyal as Houses come, which is to say, they're dogs barely worthy of the name of a House, deserving only of scorn, thirdrate AT BEST and fools on top of it, but at least they're not Sparkies, and, look, no bones about it, Cerco does good business, but everyone owns Cesteriphon-stamped shirts somewhere.

( The briefing breaks down into booing about admitting to that clear lack of House loyalty, though its all somewhat undercut later when you break for eating rations, which have been proudly prepared and shipped to the front by Cesteriphon, the foremost agricultural merchant-cartel in the Pytherii Republic )

Only. . . That Rebus Pathfinder section what showed up and said they'd arrange a courier transport of our captive Sparksworn, right?

They didn't mention a checkpoint. Which is odd. Because they're Pathfinders, *sir*. They've straight mentioned everything else on this road so far. How'd they miss a checkpoint? They couldn't have.

So it must be a recent one.

>Lutatius scout patrol comes to a halt. Little sense in aggravating a distant different House if you're out of march order, they could order you to take a long way around on account of "paper work". Or double-check your passes for forgeries.

>Orders, sir? [Admin]
>To be clear, anyone can offer an opinion here, couriers will handle all the letter sending

---

**Evaluation**

Given the density of enemy horse patrols north of the river, and the lack of attacks or dead allies south of the river, we can conclude that most of the Sparksworn seem concentrated north-northwest and west. Perhaps closer to Glimini, or perhaps they're holed up in Howlhammer.

There is a Cesteriphon Tollstation on the road to Glimini. It is abandoned at this time.
>>
>>6006242
"Quintus, find the Rebus, they're playing hide and seek in the grass again, trying to drive the troops mad. I want their consultation. Stay here Brennus, you're going to tell what you just told me to the pathfinders, then I'll want you to act as a courier to the cohort."

...

"Okay, now that we're all on the same page, what do you think? Business as usual? House corruption, siphoning off good kit for sale or taking advantage of the conflict to make it easier to claim the disappearing goods were taken by sparksworn? Or could the sparksworn be disguised as Cesteripheron guards using pilfered gear? Finally, and this last theory is really out there, so bear with me, what are the chances of Cesteripheron collaborating with the enemy? Passing on arms, clothes, food, and intelligence to them, I mean? To be clear, when I ask this, I don't actually believe this to be the case, the wheatstalk house has much to lose if discovered or betrayed, and from the reports the enemy does not seem well supplied enough for this to be the case. Obviously, having your lands ravaged by a plundering horde also isn't in their interests, I'm just curious to the possibility of them surreptitiously attempting to pay off the riders with a danegeld."

...

"Alright, Brennus, take an escort and run back to the cohort, tell them what you saw, include my speculation and the musings of the pathfinders, then report back. May the wind speed your travels."

>"Alright spooks, think you can creep closer than Brennus could? Close enough to get ears on? If possible I'd like to get a sense of whether or not these are truly Cesteripheron lawhands, or if one of my theories is true. Use your discretion, but nothing too crazy, I just want to hear if the wind rings true or false. Understand?"

I'm also more open to just going straight west now that we know the supply situation of the enemy elements that we can see. Though I still think going southwest is just straight up the better decision.
>>
>>6006242
We draw lots, and the man who loses rides back to the Cohort at speed to tell them what we found. Then, the rest of us ride towards the House Tollstation.

We use our Outlander knowledge to put on a superficial disguise as Wasponi, complete with shitty accents, so anyone who sees us at a distance is mistaken.

Assuming we make it there without being driven back, we take a short hour to observe the Station at a distance.

If they don;t seem hostile, or very armed, then we ride forth and confront them, interrogating them on what’s going on, how much they know, what they’re doing, and if they can help us out of loyalty to the Empire, as well as any other details the Scholae gave Koras standing orders to prioritise.

If it’s abandoned completely, then we ransack it for anything of use. Any paperwork or sigils or information, especially, the others would probably like.

(I have Houses 1, if that helps.)
>>
>>6006242
>Ride out towards Koras with me, my retinue, and the 82nd, and set up a lightly fortified fallback position (perhaps stakes, pitfalls, creative things that aren't too hard to make/do) to his rear should he need to retreat from a skirmish
>>
>>6006242
>>6006348
>Send the 123rd Steelcrows Shovel-Men to help with setting the temporary but fortified fallback position of Methodian meant for the Koras. Then return to the cohort
>>
>>6006348
Oi, what’s an agile business operator to do with all this banging and clanging? I’m trying to relax after stacking a hundred dead countrymen will you keep it down??

Voidstar and dancing animants are you—- fella for sake of the Legion’s spine, this is rocky ground and half stone mountain. You ain’t ditch digging nothing without another two companies to do the work. I know because that’s what I did . . .

Now as it happens I happen to have a fortified camp setup, lightly used, some tarnished smell of the dead, don’t you be touching my stored merchandise. But my people can go camp it out in the hills nearer east and yours can rent my fine camp and I’ll throw in a wine bottle for you.

How’s about it? Good camp, practically a second home away from home…

>[-2 Wealth, this landlord charges for his facilities]
>Though you could keep on as is; fine enough place to build a dugout of your own
>>
>>6006385
You mean to tell me, there's already a pre-built fortified position, lightly used, in rocky terrain, located precisely where I wanted to set one up myself?

...May I see it?

>Pay the -2 Wealth for use of his "facilities", and set about adding additional fortifications per my previous parameters.
>>
>>6006271
" Wheats don't seem the type to aggravate their own business model - not a lot of call of farmwork if the world is all dry and parched. Also, I hear rumours they face enhanced regulation these days - there was some tenous links between them and a group of bandits operating out in the northwest. They wouldn't dare rock the boat further, I think. So collusion is out. Commercial corruption? Let's rate that a solid maybe. Good business, if the teamsters pay for storage and then the Legion in Windchime pay for delivery. We'll have to find out.

I think I can solve this problem, Sir, but first, I need you to punch me "

One of the pathfinders, after having been fished out of a tree and decidedly amused he won their impromptu hide and seek competition, offers the prior. The Cerco Chemhound glance around, awkwardly. He insists. One of them politely asks if he means like, punch-punch or *punch* and, ever the exemplar of daring, Pathfinder Regini says give it your best shot.

Fifteen minutes later he can mostly walk again. Ostomo signs off on his fitness, fairly confident he does not have a concussion. Regini throws some dirt in his face, scruff his hair and wobbles towards the distant checkpoint.The Cerco troops try not to look too embarassed. Listen, they eat a lot of mass bulk supplement, it's not striking an authority figure if they invite you to do so. Right? We're not getting written up for this, right, sir?

It takes a while. Hard to know what he's doing down there. Lutatius can about inch closer among the grass and the dust, but the troops are spread out in the available cover and the distance grows long. A few travellers make their way through the point. Time ticks by.

Finally, Regini returns, whistling, now supported by the clack-clack-clack of a walking staff.

" That lot down there? I don't know who they are, but Cesteriphon they're not. I told them my horse had thrown me off and could they help with my cart, it was up the road a few ways. They were interested when they thought it was arrows and blades. I told nah, just bellpeppers. They told me to void off. "

He grins. Waits for someone to get it. One of the Cerco offer to punch him again, if that would speed this up?

" Bellpeppers are grown further north. Any Wheatie would know that. Also, they have rider's rash " Regini continues, jabbing at his neck. Long duration recon in 309-E's can chafe. It's why scarves are a Legion outrider fashion statement, it offers some fabric between your neck and the constant sandpaper of the cuirass meant to protect it.

" Wear the Cesteriphon uniforms, try to hide it, but there's also too many of them. About twenty. Checkpoint needs six, so any consultant would have downsized that lot to save costs.

Way I see it, Sir, what's meant to happen here is we roll up to the checkpoint, they make a fuss over our papers, and whatever friends they have hidden somewhere nearby come charging down on us while they hide out in their barricades. "
>>
>>6006422
" Clever enough trick. I think its worked at least once. Because one of the carts they have back there belong to the 7th. You can tell by the axles. Though, err, I just peaked under the tarp and there's seven sets of armor in there and it's got holes in all the wrong places "

--

>>6006406
>>6006368
>>6006348
Corax rather delightfully offers you the fine hospitality of his renowed campsite, rumoured to have been spun from the earth by scholastic archeo-engineers and fit for the purpose of any high command you may care to give! Why, he hand-carved every pallisade pole himself and exactingly measured the precise distance from gate to gate. Throw in ten more bits and he'll even give you his personal goosefeather matress.

( It's a bog standard four walled compound with outlying trip-ditches and a watch-tower that leans a little, and the pallisade is not regulation standard because the wood around here won't grow straight. But it is spaceous, effectively built and in a commanding position. The 123rd are at home immediately. )

(The goosefeather matress is lovingly stuffed with straw, though, in deference to your authority, Saevus does go to the length of stuffing a handfull of goosefeathers from some arrow fletching inside it )

>>6006344
You approach, faking the long drawl and mild anxiety tinged terror-hush of a Wasponi outrider that rigidly fears the punishments of noncompliance with the higher orders.

The station remains abandoned during your approach.

At seventy meters, right when the nearby sparse woods end and the hills open up and the road widens, someone has stuck a flag in the ground. By the time you get closer to it, a vibrating bolt shot from a crossbow joins it.

As a testament to your skill with a horse and the training of your retinue, no one bolts. They wait. The more cunning duck down in their saddles. You do not die in a flurry of crossbow bolts fired from half-prepared, defensive positions cunningly concealed, now that you are closer, with large woven-together patches of grass dragged over wooden frames. A little hard to see at a distance.

Eventually . . .
>>
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>>6006344
. . . three men on horseback approach. Cantering slow. A flag, sanguine cloth waving in the wind held by one. The others have wide-brimmed hats against the sun and weeks of unattended beard-scruff marring their faces. One is short an eye.

They pause some distance away. Doesn't say much. Eyes Koras light retinue up and down, until, eventually, one shrugs and holds out a hand, palm outward. He's wearing gloves, tinged by some chemical. He reaches into his coat, slow, slow, and pulls out - slow - a single message tube.

Eyes the distance.

Lobs it, underhanded.

One of your retinue stands in the saddle and grabs it in the air.

The back half of the trio of scruffy looking strangers scoff, mutter something in a tone you don't quite catch. Maybe he's commenting on the agility of your outriders. Job done, one of them gives you - and by implication the entire panapoly of the force that is arranged against them - a wave of his hand as if to tell you to sod off, he's got more important work to do than whatever impediment to his day you're going to be. He turns his horse around. It takes him two tugs of the reins, and the horse noisily whines as the bits dig into its cheeks. Whatever these people are, riding is, at best, a tertiary concern.

They begin a slow trot back to the slight fortified station up ahead.
>>
>>6006437
These invaders dare hold OUR town over our heads, in our very presence, as a threat to make us leave OUR lands, to make us abandon OUR fortress that controls the main easterly access to the area? The mud guzzlers must truly be desperate. In any case, this joke of an ultimatum is unthinkable, and whoever this "V" is will hang.
>>
>>6006437
….

The Scholae will definitely want to hear of this.

I give the scroll to the priest for safe keeping, and then lead everyone back towards the Cohort, reuniting with Methodian’s cataphracts.

However, instead of doubling back directly, I lead them in a more circuitous path that curves north- both to scout, but also so anyone preparing an ambush for our return is disappointed.

Finally, I demand extra vigilance for anyone shadowing us on the return trip.

Assuming no other interruptions, that should be the end of our brisk adventure.
>>
So, officers.

Your orders?

>MARCH PHASE ONE

--

Crassus Regulations Primer on Eyeballing Distances:

Operational Tempo is given by phases. Phases are temporally indistinct. If you march from A to D and nothing occurs inbetween, A to D is one phase. If you march from A to D and you are ambushed eight times on the way, eight Phases would occur.

The constraints you work under are the same as you have been assuming - horses are fleeter than men on foot, supplies do not last forever, and actions have consequences.

Orders can be given that account for this basic phase system, however, much like on the actual engagement field.

>We intend to move towards Elos and line up for battle when we encounter a large enemy formation.

Perfectly acceptable.

--

>>6006461
A long sweep to the north, among placid estates and sprawling grounds owned by those with more coin than your entire formation will ever possess, multiplied together. Being outriders, and foreign besides, the gates are barred to you often and the few watchers on the walls glare down. Plantation grounds these, Cesteriphon mass culture grounds for crops. Good open terrain for riding, cultured by long decades of hard toil, broken up by adorable little gardens and small groups of trees planted simply to give shade to the hard workers.

There are no workers tending these fields now, most having fled far elsewhere or locked themselves in grounds you are not privy to reach.

Somewhat further north, you are forced to break off and veer hard to the east, away, away, as smoke lingers on the shifting wind and scores of riders attend to a specific task. This section of farmland? This section is burning, the dry harvest interrupted by the sudden arrival of the invaders and set to the torch.

They are containing the damage so far, to one single section. The plume of smoke rises for miles and takes long hours to grow distance as you return to the march camp.

--

>Intelligence updated!
>March posture assumed!
>>
>>6006422
"You didn't have to do him that bad, but no, you aren't getting written up for that. Well, at least not by me, who knows what the trailblazers will pen when they're lost on their way to discovery. Don't make it a habit."

...

"Bellpeppers...right, soil's too waterlogged for peppers. Odd, I know the Scholae-Fulminant said the rivers flood in the wet season, but...the stream gradient is pretty steep. An unimaginable amount of water must flow through here. Must be clay soil, fully saturated, silt would've dried by now with the heat and the gales. Terrible land management by the wheaties, they ought to plant some trees, suck some of the water out. Maybe they did and the flooding uprooted them, ah, what do I know-"

A sheepish smile.

He was mumbling again. Ranting really. Pyther had tamed him, with their indecent, strange, agricultural propaganda. Lurid really. A farm was every legionnaires dream, but him? Really?!

...

>"We're not done yet. It'll take more than the first sight of a Reedcloak ambush to send us packing back to the cohort with our tails between our legs. Our job is to scout, and scout we shall. Regini, who's your best grasscreeper? We'll go wide, around the checkpoint, ambush the ambushers. Have your grasscreeper lead on, we'll follow, strike on their signal once everyone's spotted the hidden. If there's too many to take even with bold action, we'll bypass. One way or another, our mission continues. Ostomo, send a courier back to the cohort, tell them what we found. Lets move!"
>>
>>6006550
" Oh, sir, you give the best orders. "
>>
>>6006543
> pillaging farmland

Barbarians!

On the assumption that Allectius is in charge, I deliver the missive to him, and then ponder the future (or await orders)
>>
>>6006543
I didn't refresh before I posted this >>6006550

>My order remains relatively similar, but instead of suicidally attempting to ambush an estimated 3 formations, I opt to just get close enough to positively identify the nature and numbers of the ambushers before moving to bypass. Though, if we detect an easily accessible source of water - as in barrels, obviously we aren't going try and poison everyone's personal waterskin - that the group makes use of, then I'll order a pathfinder to try and slip a huge dose of Noxpox in.
>>
>>6006561
>>6006553
Though, of course, if the would be ambushers turn out to merely have equal numbers to us, or slightly more, then I'll happily engage. Sometimes you just have to live a little.
>>
>>6006561
>>6006563
" But it was about to get so exciting around here! Daring odds, grand sabotage, frentic escape . . . Fine, fine, Sir, you're in charge. Might know where seven of the Hounds and slink in and have a little fun... "
>>
>>6006576
"We're all excited for a little action, it's in every hound's nature, in the blood really. A raid's better than sex to us Uthani, I know well. An ambush, a counter-ambush even? May as well be slow motion apotheosis. But we're facing fellow Uthani plainswalkers here, well, Reedcloaks. If there's anyone who could turn a counter-ambush into a regular ol' ambush on us, it'd be them. Can't be too careful."

Lutarius hocked a glob of phlegm into the grass, then washed his mouth. Mentioning the reedwankers twice in as many minutes, absolutely disgusting. He wanted to wash his brain with mothflower milk. He'd have to settle for squeezing the water out of the reeds.
>>
Note!

The Wasponi appeared in previous trigger games. Unlike the nomadic, individualistic and extremely larcenous Vulpes, the wasp clans move in disciplined swarms with an extremely strict hierarchy.

As long as this order holds, they’re *very* good at teamwork. However, if it’s disrupted, then their foot soldiers fall into panic; worse, if there’s no clear leader, captains will actively fight for dominance. They *need* a single autocrat to rally around.

Cut off the head!
>>
>>6006672
You could have said that IC, you know.
>>
>>6006543
[March phase]
> Affiliation action: (Theurgic) Officer, Retinue, and Command group. Each knelt upon a bed of whispering embers and intoned a hymn to the Eye Immaculate. Heatblushed steel sizzles on contact, epitaphs for our ascended brothers-in-arms immortalized on exposed skin. Fine measured fonts impressed as howling scars, soon mollified by a rubbing of funeral ash. We will remember them. We shall carry their spirits forth until we join them in Glory.
> Admin action: Requisition spears for the 404th Soft Moonfall. If none are available, snap then sharpen tree boughs into crude anti-cavalry stakes.
> Admin action: Smear a thick layer of soot and char taken from the funeral pyres over the Officer, Retinue, and Command group's armor and uniforms.
> Admin action: Requisition a bundle of torches and a firestarter for each member of Allius' Retinue.
> Influence action: (Authority) Officer, Retinue, Command group detach from Cohort just before sunrise and, booming with prayer and song, march through mountainous terrain towards Waystation Sheepwoe.
>>
>>6006543
I don't know if this would fall under a March action or not, but before doing anything else, I'd like to go over to the 266th Dusteaters and attempt to requisition a portion of their Supplies for use by the 21st. I will be using my Legionflame [One of Us] Trick and the fact that I do have the Houses Affiliation for this, so hopefully I at the very least won't be told to insert venomous wildlife into a given orifice.

I'm not going to give them an order to give over their stuff or else. Instead, it'll be couched in official regulations (requisitioning and redistributing supplies before combat is well within regulations outlined by Codex Martialis, especially if one of the units in question isn't doing *dangerous* stuff on the front lines. They do so dearly not want an assignment like that, surely?) with an added dose of bullshittery that accompanies negotiations when Houses are involved (I'm not really *requisitioning* the supplies. In fact, this here lease form says that I'm only *leasing* them until such time that stable communications are reestablished and Legion High can forward the payment for the services (and supplies) rendered to House Akatoni). I don't want to take all of their stuff. Ideally, just enough to get the 21st up to Supplies Medium. Though, hey, if I can get away with more, I'll be taking that, please and thank you.

Since this is all somewhat opaque as to where it stands mechanically, I'll leave all the rolling and modifiers thereto in your hands.
>>
Rolled 4, 2, 6, 3, 6, 6 = 27 (6d6)

>>6006543

There are still many towns and estates the second sky hasn’t breached, and they have units present trying to do just that. They are armed and numerous, but uncoordinated and under siege. I can help them help themselves, but they do not trust a nomad.

So.

I, the 338th, and a good amount of extra Outlanders as needed ferry Sacerdotessa and the Coaldousers into the farms lands.

They surely would not turn away a holy woman.

With our foot in the door, we can coordinate, train and lead the local militias to act in concert with the cohort.

Defeating the Second Sky trying to suppress them in detail, while the main force simultaneously marches north and attacks them.

(Yes, I did run this before hand by both Sacerdotessa and Allectius.)

As thus…

> Influence (Reputation): Rally and coordinate the rural militias. (3d6 v 12)
> Affiliation (Military Affairs): Train the militia, and lead then to ambush the Second Sky when possible.
>>
>>6006821
[-2, poor reception]

" There Once Was a Legion Stout
With 'Nary Bread For His Mouth
So The First Thing He Did
The Right Little *Twit*
Was to Come Crawling To Betters
Waving His Letters

Alas For The Wise Guy
His Betters Are Wise Guys
They've Got A Hunch
He Forgot His Own Lunch
And The Houses, You See
Don't Share Stuff For Free
You're Not Akaton-Ieee

Five Wealth For The Lot
Coin Up If You've Got "

>That's twice market rate! Come on, *guy*! Uugh. Well, at least it'll give the 21st a few more canteens.

--

While it is mildly impressive the Aktoni sprung for the kind of logistics chief that can offer slam poetry rebuttals in consequence of your polite requests, something sticks out. Namely, that beyond two attendants and the man himself, the 266th Dusteaters are short-staffed today. They're supposed to be cleaning their kit but other than their staff blacksmith hammering out a bent blade, their section of the impromptu march-line is empty.

You tag in a Pathfinder, who for reasons unknown looks like he was recently kicked by a horse. Heyyy, where are ... the House troops? Fancy hats, can't miss them.

He shrugs. He tells you he will find out.

Half an hour later, he informs you he has found the inability to find out. During a shift change late last night, the 266th took on the perimeter duties, as expected. They also reported back in good order, as expected.
It's just that while they've signed over the watch to the Coaldousers right and proper, and reported back to camp, and went in for the night, it *does* appear as if two-thirds of the formation conveniently decided to only exist on paper. They're in fighting fit attendance and ready to report for active combat duty, so long as the active combat duty is purely theoretical. In actual physical space they have a days head-start due west.

Soooo, bad news Sir, it does appear we have a gaggle of House Troopers scallywagging about the region. And they've taken most of their kit with them.

Come on, Regulations clearly state a combined joint sentry overwatch grid must be established during any camp. Don't we have outriders and pathfinders to prevent this exact sort of thing?

We do sir, we do, and we apologise for it but most of our outriders were busy competing in an impromptu horsemanship tournament to prove they were the best riders around, and Scholae Allectius tapped most of the Rebus Pathfinders for specialist duties. Plain didn't have enough eyeballs to look everywhere.

Finally, someone asks the relevant question: Fair then, but what about our supplies?

Well, Sir, it does also appear as if the 266th signed out an enhanced section of kit from the central stores. They left an IOU. We don't have most of theirs but they appear to have a little extra of ours.

>Oh, so that's why some of our supplies are so low.
>>
>Influence Action: Publius stays behind with half the Strikers to oversee restoration of the historic bridge. He'll catch up on his paperwork, taxes, and administrative fees to the clerks when no one's asking him what to do with the bridge. Charge a toll on anyone crossing the bridge, to help pay for the repairs. Keep one chemicae, send the rest with Armi. Dr. Chemicae is free to set up whatever devious chemical deterrants or studies they want while they're here. Have fun, pursue your passions Chemedicus.

>Wealth Action/Red Market - Hire Emiris the Wandering Theurge to mentor Squire Armi for the time being. Squire Armi is to lead the other half of the Strikers in formation with the Cohort. A Knight isn't just a warrior in heavy armor with a big weapon and a strong arm, they're also a leader of men. If Armi happens to see any swords stuck in a rock, he is encouraged to try and retrieve them from said rock.
>>
Rolled 4, 1, 2, 4, 2, 4 = 17 (6d6)

>>6006543
>>6006894
A section of farmland is up in flames. For the continued prosperity of this region, this cannot stand. The fact that this is conveniently also a strategically fine position is a just that, a convenience. We need to put out these fires.

>Influence (Reputation): Bring the Coaldousers to the Farmlands. Have them offer Medical Assistance. Breathing in smoke for long periods of time can't be healthy.

>Affiliation Action: Beseech the Children of The Empyreal in the Farmlands to play elsewhere. Perhaps further to the West? (Theurgic 2)
>>
>>6006900
So, the 266th went out there to get killed by the Sparkhooves, is that it? The only thing that hurts here is that our supplies will wind up in the hands of the latter after they dispatch the former. When we do find their bodies strung up from trees, we'll toss them into the Deluge instead of giving them any sort of proper burial. And have Legion High bill House Akatoni for the supplies their men stole and proceeded to lose. A House being on the hook for something. Isn't that a pleasant fantasy?

Anyhow, if there's anything or anyone they left behind at camp, we'll seize it. Easy come, easy go, in case there's nothing.
>>
>>6006900
>>6006821
Prior to battle, can my [Bulk Discount] be used to enhance the characteristic of a unit not under my command? I know it says unit(s), but I'm not sure if that is only for my own troops.

If you really need the supplies, I can provide, maybe. Though you could just spend wealth on Double Rations, Triple Feast. Wealth recovers after all.

Also for clarification before it comes down to the last minute, how does the details of [Bulk Discount] work? Can it be used multiple times on the same characteristic? Is it limited to only being able to enhance material characteristics?

Finally, and I'm pretty reluctant to say this given that I haven't gotten to use it yet and am the only one that has it, but you may want to consider limiting how strong it can get or slightly nerfing it. If Mandy or Publius were to keep getting us money via scavenging, it could get pretty busted, depending on if you can stack uses on the same characteristic. Though obviously it has to be good to contend with the other assets, and Legion, Mechalogistics, Military Affairs camp phase 'level ups'. Maybe for every 3 or 4 characteristics you enhance, you lose 1 wealth, it is just a *discount* after all.

The Dusteaters are gonna be eating dust for real pretty soon, I can say that much with confidence. Idiots.
>>
>>6006974
Ah, finally, someone is asking the proper questions. Of course you can bulk purchase vast expenditures for your friends! If you've got the cash. . .

As for the matters material and logistics logical, it goes like this:

Being an officer with a deep, substantial understanding of materials, supplies and the value of a good cargo crate, all units resupply faster when they are, in some way, affiliated with your command. Your retinue, your command unit, troops you grab along for a wild ride, you've made sure to handle the paperwork ahead of time and store a few barrels in the right places. This mostly happens passively. You'll sometimes see units marked as RESUPPLYING during an engagement; if you're around, that all happens much, much faster. Same deal Marching around - if you're in a hurry, you get it done faster.

Secondly, all "logistic operations" resolve faster. This is a little vague, but it relates back to the prior point. Recall how Natalis requested supplies for the Porcupine Winds, and the wagons rolled up, had to get set up, get squared away? A proper understanding of merchant cartel contracts make all that, and all actions like that, occur at a much speedier clip. This is also useful if you wish to spend vast chunks of personal wealth during engagements or other situations to remind the world that your pre-planned organisation has allowed for the timely delivery of four crates of climbing gear.

Finally, pre deployment, which is really just "any time not directly in combat and when you have some time to yourself", you can note that you are taking a personal interest in a unit - any unit - and providing them Bespoke equipment, good supplies, extra rations, the works. You can nominate one unit per point of Wealth above 10, which is 1 to start with. Pick the unit, pick the Characteristic. Make it better. You are free to specify if you have something specific in mind, but otherwise, it is simply "better". The only thing you can't buy is experience, so you cannot really enhance "quality" simply by shoving a book in someone's hand. That said, you could engage short-term professionals and provide a training, so that does half of that. You are welcome to improve the same characteristic multiple times on the same unit, as well, if you have the wealth reserves to sustain such a thing.

Now, the thing is, this particular enhancement is the delivery of particular, goods, services is specific. If you wish to start delivering something else to someone else, the first thing you're doing is no longer "being handled".

So the enhancement isn't permanent. This is a rather important point, bcause it cuts into a lot of what you might fear about the potential worries down the line.

Secondly, Wealth itself is much more personal than simply something someone can give to you. Mandy or Publius, clever and quick operator besides, won't be meaningfully able to pool you too much Wealth, long-term. .
>>
>>6006997
. . . But also, it is fine if it does work. Keep in mind that wealth is partially representational. We're far, far past the grubby business of coin counting in these rarified realms. You hand someone a piece of paper and change the tune of their entire lives, but does any money really change hands? Eh, debatable.

When the Blade-holders and the Luperni Strikers spent time stripping, scavenging and salvaging all the tools an entire cohort has left behind (along with Saevus Scavengers), the Wealth that you now have access to is also representational of that.

In a certain sense, if you were to improve the armor of the 404th right now, we all know where that gear is coming from. Let's hope they remember to buff out the dented bits.

There are some logical, self-coherent limitations for this kind of thing in general. Even if you buy someone the best swords possible, they cannot cut through mountains. So usually, trying to enhance one specific characteristic too high ends strange places.

That all said, don't let caution stop you. You *can* spend your ressources to adjust things and make life more pleasant for you, your associates or your command.

House Troops - which is what merchant cartel contracts functionally help you support - may not have the wells of experience of Legion peers, and they may be more likely to answer to individual civic authorities than broader mandates of government. But when outfittin select, small units for specialists tasks?

Well, Cerco Cares. Consider the Chemhounds. They are not the best drilled, they are not the brawliest, they are not two decade veterans, but there is a fair fighting few of them, they've got the best boots money can buy, and their swords won't with use and their rations are well packed and quite delicious.

You want to issue a discretionary fund of enhanced light armor, cross-bows and grasscloaks? Well, friend, it is *your money to burn*

( If it gets out of horrendous line, someone will eventually ask about the expenditures anyway. And people who die with fancy gear on them serve your enemy twice... )
>>
>>6006997
>>6007005
Thanks for the detailed write up. Here's a couple more questions, among other things.

>Short term pros, training.

I can enhance training? Is that also temporary? If hypothetically, I had been a slightly different person, done things slightly differently in life to turn out the way I am, say, to have a Military Affairs affiliation, could I 'lock in' said temporary enhancement after the battle? Or could someone else with such skills train with us to 'lock' it in?

>Wealth reserves to sustain...
>My money to burn.

Is this just you saying that I'd obviously need a lot of wealth to enhance multiple things? Or was I misunderstanding things, and you actually have to pay [#] wealth to use the pre-deployment enhancement. I was under the impression you just have to have above 10, but you don't actually lose any wealth. That removes any concern on my part about it being busted, more so than enhancements not being permanent, which I already assumed was the case.

>Wealth is representational.

Yes, yes, wealth is more than silver in one's purse, and the sky is purple...

>Swords can't cut through mountains.

Watch me command! I've seen those far eastern motion pictograms! I know the truth, you can't hide it from me!

>Chemhounds not two decade veterans.

I beg to differ! We are decades long veterans...of backstabbing. We leave the frontstabbing to others. Learning begins in the womb.
>>
Rolled 6, 3, 4, 1, 3, 2 = 19 (6d6)

>>6006974
That'd be proper nice of you and I'd try to return the favor when I can.

Anyhow, we'll be coming down your way so we can set up some sort of a counter-ambush on the guys in and around that toll station. Think we can manage something to that effect? We'll be bringing several heavier units along.

>>6006543
>Affiliation action (Houses): leverage my connections and resources in an attempt to ameliorate the Supply situation of the 21st.
>Admin action: March the 21st and the Blue Rats (along with any other commanders and units that choose to join) to Lutatius' position in preparation for a counter-ambush against the enemies at the toll station.
>Influence action (Authority): Oversee the march and make sure it proceeds at a brisk pace, in a compact formation, and remains undetected. Basically, we arrive on location, on time, and the enemy hopefully doesn't know about it.

>>6006368
Your organizational expertise, along with the Ashtenders, would be very useful here.

>>6005168
Some theurgic support would also be warranted, if you could come along.

>>6005160
One more legio unit would be very welcome, too.

>>6003533
Your pathfinder retinue and peltasts would also be invaluable in this engagement.
>>
>>6007031
Well, your money to burn. You gain one use per Wealth above 10, and yes, using does not reduce wealth.

And no, you cannot enhance training, that was a garbled phrase. Apologies. But you can certainly hire an instructor using your vast wealth, who will then embed in a unit, and provide the training for the duration of his stay. And then yes, given proper drills by other officers, some sort of . . . teamed . .. work . . .It might be possible to learn these things.

Specifically:

>I would like to spend my 1 Wealth point to enhance the Cerco's Light Skirmish Training characteristic

Well! Lookat that, we've found just the tutor to embed with them and show them a thing or too. Up that characteristic goes, trained and ready.
>>
>>6006543
>>6007053
We'll support the southern offensive. Looks like we're tagging in quite a few units, so the enemy might hesitate to follow through after we defeat the initial ambush.

>Affiliation (Theurgic): Embed with the Pyrewatchers and provide theurgic support. Priority on defensive capabilities, we can't afford to bleed men.
>Influence (Reputation): Gather information from any travelers we pass during the march. Surely the locals will have some information regarding marauding Wasponi.
>>
>>6006543
>>6007053
To dwell in one place for long is not in the nature of the Esvacian. We will march with you!

>Join Priscillian's force
>disperse in front of the main body of the force to screen it (Affiliation: Outlander)
>>
>>6007053
Will do.

>>6006543
[Bulk Discount]
>Enhance 21st Monsoon's supplies. Prioritize food, water, and basic maintenance tools for their kit, leave out climbing gear and engineering tools. They can get them from the town or waystation anyways.
>Enhance 625th Cerco Chemhound's morale. An advance bonus will raise spirits, everyone enjoys a payday*. They'll enjoy the discount winter perihelion juice more. Milked fresh from the flower, minus a year's travel. Recreational drugs for the win!
>Enhance 625th Cerco Chemhound's strength. I dunno what to tell you. I guess I did tell the Hounds that today's PT was arm day. The summer aphelion juice probably helps, the gains are incredible.

"What? Another courier? What is it this time?"

...

A long suffering sigh.

"Slight change of plans hounds."

>Amending my previous order. The plan is mostly the same still. We identify nature and numbers of the unknowns. Pathfinders go in, dose the water with Noxpox. Even better if they can set up a little blackpowder surprise, placed to maximize chaos, to be activated when the counter-ambush springs. Meanwhile, the hounds will set up hidden in the grass around the ambushers, on a hill or elevated point if possible (the enemy has to be behind defilade or something to be out of sight of the checkpoint after all). When the trap goes off, we pop stims, toss javelins, and charge in screaming like demons.

If it is too late to change plans, then I'll just commit to my previous orders and return next phase to set up my amended order.
>>
Rolled 5, 3, 1 = 9 (3d6)

>>6006543
>Affiliation action, Military Affairs (Or Admin action like Regulus did it, I'm confused about the difference between the two and would like to keep my affiliation action if it's not actually necessary): Grab the 789th and the Porcupines and go help Methodian ambush some sparkies up north.
>Influence action, Reputation: Once we get there, give a rousing speech to all three units (The two I brought with me and Methodian's Cataphracts) to get their blood boiling about this chance to flip the tables, ambush the ambushers and met out justice for all the lives they have taken and all the evil they have perpetrated under the Eye that watches all. (roll)

>>6007077
Surely training provided by a sellsword is inferior to what a legion veteran could do with some eager students, right?
>>
>>6007053
>>6006543
>Affiliation Mechalogistics: Pledge the 248th Ashtender Lights to the Southern plan of Regulus. Give them a bit of a pep talk about their role in his plan and what supplies to take with them for this mission. Were going to need to make sure our supplies are in good order to make this work. (Try to get some very specific supplies to help the Ashtenders in with some extra laying about)
>Influence...Legio 2??: Not sure if this is how it works but the Ashtenders being a Well Drilled and being good at Paired work are a light formation and I think they are able to help in keeping things sneaky beaky like for everyone for this "counter ambush"
>They wrote a book about that!: Write a review of the 266th Dusteaters Troops of House Akatoni's 'finest'. They weren't lying, these guys are the bottom of the barrel in "nice hats".

Hey hey Red Marketers and all, Scholae-Aspirant Allectius here in the Deserts. Today on our Desert review, introducing the House Akatoni 266th Dusteaters Light Troops - or should I say, the House Akatoni 266th [Breadstealers] or Introducing nothing at all? These sorry excuses for soldiers hit the battlefield with the enthusiasm of a damp rag. Their morale? Abysmal doesn't even begin to cover it. These so-called "Dusteaters" can't even bother to get their pretty little hands dirty once and left their post without so much as a proper send-off, making it abundantly clear where their priorities lie. Doing nothing at all but plain gazing. And let's not forget their penchant for "borrowing" supplies on their way out the door. Leaving the post is one thing. Leaving whilst taking all the supply away is another. If you're looking for a disciplined fighting force, look elsewhere - these troops are more likely to steal your bread than face the enemy head-on, rear-on or at all for the matter of fact. Steer clear. I give them -2 Midnight Suns out of 10 Empyreals. The nice hat is just eye candy for their none existence.
>>
>>6007123
I always forget the footnote.

*Paid in custom Cerco billon coin of course. A tiny phosphorus-iron core for hardness, without the trouble of having to work the iron. Perfect for fooling fools without scales and weights, who rely on biting their coin to test for bad money. Surrounded by a copper-silver-gold alloy (mostly copper), to ensure the shininess of silver (it turns black quickly), the longevity of gold (it rusts and wears as fast as any other specie), and the wide circulation only copper can ensure (there's a lot of it). Devalued currency at its best, perfect for raising morale, temporarily. Wouldn't actually want to spend real money after all.
>>
>>6007118
>*Disperse for the march itself. Regroup into fighting formation before we reach the ambush site.
>>
>>6006543
>Authority: Tell the men that are not on rest posture to always be ready to sortie in case something major happens to either of the groups in forward position both North and South of the Deluge. We are in friendly territory but enemies are always preying on downfall and catch us slacking. .
>>
Rolled 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 2 = 15 (6d6)

>>6006543
>>6007124
>Authority: Create and execute a plan with my current units and those arriving with Perennis once they arrive. Myself, my retinue, and the 82nd will find a place nearby and out of sight, and once there, Perennis will fire a flare. We expect the enemy to come running to assault us. Perennis and his men will hold the fortifications, and once he feels they are sufficiently stuck in, he will sound a horn, and my complement will charge in upon their flank. Perennis will need to execute sound judgement in timing; too early and they might retreat or prepare for the charge, too late and he might suffer losses or be overrun, especially since it will take a little bit of time to arrive in this terrain. On the charge, my retinue will play his trumpet for to inflict maximum panic. Then the dust lappers die. (vs Authority 12)
>Mechalogistics: Secure water supplies from the surrounding area for all the friendlies in my immediate vicinity. (vs Mechalogistics 11)
>>
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" Sir, this is definitively a trap "
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" But not for us ! Bastards never even saw us coming. Alright, Cerco, Cunning and Crafty! I'd like to see the Legion do *that*. Wonderful job sneaking in through the backway.

Anyone wounded?
No?

Hah, bastards weren't watching the little sheep path. No way to run a checkpoint. And it looks like we got it done clean. No matter how many other horses are out there, they should have no reason to suspect this checkpoint is now ours--

. . . Does anyone else hear the sound of hooves "
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" Sir!!! Runner from the Esvacian Peltasts! They're screening the advance! They're reporting *mass frontage* of *secondary* cavalry elements! Damn lucky they were crossing the fields! The 13th Blue apparently gave them the wrong map directions! They're holding off an *entire secondary cavalry squadron*!!

SIR!

IT'S A COUNTER AMBUSH TO OUR COUNTER AMBUSH TO THEIR AMBUSH THEY WERE HIDING AMONG THE HOWLHAMMER HOUSES AND FIELDS
-- SIR GET *INSIDE* THERE'S TWO HUNDRED HORSEMEN COMING THIS WAY FAST "
>>
" Sir are you-- you're bleeding. Sorry about that last one, I didn't expect him to sommersault in through the *doorway*. Bastards just don't want to quit.

S-Sir, the 404ths are reporting they've managed to make it half way to the Checkpoint, and the Pyrewatchers lit the barricades on fire to cause some of the horses to scatter. That's where all the smoke is from.

But s-sir, they're. . . they're all around us. We're encircled. There's *too many of them* "
>>
" Ah. At last. Mount up. The little wasps won't be expecting *this*. "
>>
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" Now, Ignin, you cut your way through this rabble and deliver my commendations to flamelicked, foxfilching Fireskellian who appears to be marching down *my* highway.

And if I do not miss my mark, that is the banner of the Light Mist. Still in service, that lot? Impressive. Bring them my regards.

And inform them the Howlhammer Militia is rallying, and ready to join us -- though I question te need for them to form into a battleline so early. And why they count among their number those robed speak-- ah.

Please send my regards to the commander of this expedition and include in it my immediate requests for reinforcements. "
>>
[Meanwhile, elsewhere]

The vast estates are silent, except those manned by surley locals waving swords and spears at us form their walls as we pass. Korsas cajoles them, praises them, tries to rally them. Saccerdotessa and the aspirant-retinue of the Coaldousers have less time for words. They fight a different foe. The northern orchards and vast fields, dry from the late spring heat, are an ocean of roiling flame, let loose of any constraint.

You stalk the vast agricultural landscape, coming across snapshots of moments too surreal to contemplate. Bucket brigades organised by one small estate keep the flames at bay. The neighbour manor, of some young rich thing, lies a smouldering ruin, its guards slaughered in lightning ride. A weeping farmer tries to save his prized apple orchard. Six quiet horsemen glare at him from a nearby drying tiny rivulet, taking bets on his success. The 338ths ride to drive them from the field but the Wasponi outriders, swifter, take flight over the smoke-stained landscape. And then two of them collapse, the victims of pittraps and falls dug across the fields, hidden by swirling smoke and low fire. Another dies from an arrow shot as a militia band charge from a larger building. The smoke swirls. Voices on the wind. We lose contact. We check the building. A horseman bangs on the gate, but inside? Ash-stained skeletons dead for hours.

Choking, coughing outriders dismount from scared, scarred horses and pull labourers from collapsed granaries. Form a circle around a prying, probing band of lashing attackers trying to strike down a group ferrying water to a firebreak. Men are lost in the smoke, soldiers walk down alleys and find sparks or Sparksworn.

And then the wind shifts, the clouds break, and nestled among it are eight rows of pristine, unmolested apple trees succulen with the sun-soaked promise of soil and loving hands. And the five outriders, gorging themselves, who die, apple cores for weapons as you ride them down.

Sacerdotessa and her retinue walks fields. The scant pockets of organisation out here, she talks to, meets, attempts to organise. Sometimes, the Empyreal spawns unruly children, hungry, ravenous and without restraint. Do not hate them, those building-eating, life-destroying dancers in orange. They are what they are. Sacerdotessa cajoles, compels, commands, whispers, intones, prays, begs, offers, and sometimes the ocean of sparks and smoke and flame flit elsewhere. Sometimes, one must use buckets. Sometimes, they die out, from lack of fuel.

All fire is a friend. Sometimes, it just loses its way, and we mus show them the path.

But for the hours of hot, humanitarian work, for the few citizens reached, the fields saved, for all that . . .

Listen. Do you hear that warbling sound?

Warhorns. On the wind.
>>
it is long, thirsty, hard work, to fight fires, alleviate raiding, and try to raise some semblance of local order.

And the snapping jaws are closing in. Across the smoke stained horizon, the churned mud, the burning estates, here they ride.

We've already lost horses and men to these damnable pittraps all over these fields, to the sparks, to the sword, to the flame and smoke and confusion.

Sacerdotessa begs a boon and a line of sunlight carves through a patch of grass, flames roil, a thrust of Wasponi outriders is foiled from riding down a retreating gaggle of aspirants. Perhaps the Empyreal is watching. Or perhaps the fire was always going to burn that way? Everything else around here is, although, at least now, the fire burns westward.

An outrider, looking faintly embarassed without his horse and halting from a tremendously bad fall, tears streaking his ash-stained face from having to end the suffering of his mangled mount, reports that the enemy appears to outnumber us ten to one, locally.

There are militia fighting them, household guards, and the pit-traps and defensive some deranged madman orchestrated across the fields are slowing them down.

But they also appear to be surrounding us. Is it time for the Death Song? It would be a commendable thing, he thinks, to steal death from life on a day like this. The sun is high.

Or perhaps we seek shelter in one of these estates? Some of the people here have done that. And some of the miltia are brave enough, the few of them that are not dead.

--

In the distance, against the afternoon sun, a bright green flare bursts into existence, lingering like a second star high above.

--

>Command and control has utterly collapsed. No force disposition updates.

>Commandand control has utterly collapsed. No Affiliation actions possible.

>Command and control has utterly collapsed. Morale is breaking along the entire line.

>We have multiple hard contacts across the north and western fronts, we have confused reports of casualties, wounded, dead, dying, a new toll scheme in the local area and the total ruination by fire of this years apple harvest - wait, no, we might still have some apples remaining?

>The Cohort, what remains of it, reports it's mobilised fully and is ready to advance. W-where? S-sir?

>Command and control has utterly collapsed. Officer positions are *locked*. Commands are *local courier only*, or back to the Cohort and then we hope they get where they need to be. You may need to move or with or advance as part of your action.

--

>Officers may take 1 personal action.

>Command control has utterly collapsed. Officers Perennis, Regulus and Publius action are resolved with a random time function at some point in the proceedings - coordination is difficult in the extreme in this situation, so relying on them being somewhere for someone else to reach is going to be fraught.

--
>>
>>6007311
(Command, I thought I had 12 Rep- eleven base, then 1 from the duel.

I still bounced off, even with Tessa with me?)
>>
>>6007354
Sacerdotessa and the Coaldousers are quite welcome - as are you! The delighted locals probably will gladly raise the full measure of their hospitality towards you. They're simply a little occupied dying, burning, being stabbed, being run down, being trapped inside their estates or being hunted for sport by raiders right now.

Can you, uh, come back in . . . next week? Is next week better for you?
>>
>>6007360
(Then why did the men manning the walled estates still turn js away?

Given that their letting us in could be the difference between life or death for the civilians and ourselves, it seems worth asking…)
>>
>>6007360
Next week works for them, if it works for you.

There might feasibly be less murderous cavalrists around, sometime next week. And the weather forecast looks promising.
It might rain, for once!

Dashing cavalry outriders are always welcome. Pillar of the community, practically. Well, not, not that lot, of course, not the dashing cavalrist that ride around murdering labourers and lighting buildings on fire in torch-lit harassment raids. But your lot haven't done that? As far as . . . Anyone knows, really.

>>6007363
It's not a prejudice, promise. It's just that the last cavalryman they invited inside the manor grounds murdered their entire family and stole all the silverware. Then he lit the building on fire and rode off with his twenty laughing friends.

You probably aren't one of those lot. You look . . . Exactly the same, really, but no one around here wants to judge based on appearance (and all the smoke for the last few hours have made them half blinded anyway).

Would you terribly maybe mind fetching a properly approved Legion officer? Your type of people can't be trust-- uh, they have to be careful these days!

Please don't take that as an insult, they're sure you have a very warm, welcoming heart, but it's just that, since, well, you work on a contract payment system and all, how sure can they really be you won't murder all of them and steal their family possessions?

>THE FEW GRIZZLED MILITARY TYPES MANNING THE WALLS OF THE PLACES APPROACHED DO NOT SEEM TO APPRECIATE YOUR AFFILIATION, FOR ALL YOUR HEROIC COUNTENANCE. Too much OUTLANDER too little LEGION or ADMINSTRATION or MECHALOGISTICS or LEGIO TROOPS in that there RETINUE of STRANGE PEOPLE

>That said, the few farmers and rather harried militia pulled form the mess are quite happy to see you! Can . . . Can we get out of here now? If not, they'll try hiding out in one of these abandoned buildings. That should be possible.
>>
>>6007347
Hold... Amelius, rouse the chorus - let the voices ring out as one.

I say hold, for what are wounds and weariness against a soul laid bare? I say hold, for the flame of courage burns brightly within your breast! I say HOLD, for we stand defiant where the brave dare not go!

Let your voices Echo far, so that they might reach that unreachable star.

>Invoke Khorkis
>>
On reading the missive of heavy horse assault northwest of the bridge, Publius ordered the craftsmen working on the bridge to erect a pair of palisades with gates, starting with the far side of the bridge. Restoration of the stones would have to wait until after the tollgates were secure.
>>
>>6006919

In the chaos, the nomad champion finds you amongst the smoke and sunlight. A thin coat of ash mars once gleaming armour; exertion lightly wears on him, replacing the thinning, spark scorched grasscloak that is his pride and joy.

Despite all things, he seems neither disheartened nor wounded, but instead possessed by a wild gleam born out by looming death. You waste minimal time in greeting, before he springs into planning.

‘The foe is near, and many, and unless we leave the farm folk behind- we cannot outrun them.

That does not mean we need die today.

Take the farmers and *run*, towards the nearest fortified estate. They have refused us twice already, but the words of their own kin of our heroics must open their gate to let us in. Once we’re inside, the walls will hold their numbers back, until the main cohort can relieve us.

Don’t worry about me. We have horses; spears and bows. We’ll be right behind you, stopping them from riding you down.

Are you ready?’
>>
>>6007443
Please do NOT do this. We want them to come, we have set up an ambush for them. >>6007183 >>6007124
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>>6007443
" Sir! Right on! We'll have this whole gate matched with a wonderful proper tollgate sometime, uh, four or five days from now?

We can flip a cart over and pile some barrels in the meantime, if you'd like. Maybe tell the riders to come back later, toll gate is closed for now. Oh, also, Sir! This is a good time to tell you . . . "
>>
>>6007347
>>6007460
If Publius doesn't change or cancel his order my personal action is going to be to belay his order.
>>
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>>6007443
>>6007460
" . . . Might be longer than five days we're a little short-staffed. "
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>>6007443
Also the bridge doesn't really need restoration. We only talked about destroying it but no one actually did it.
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>>6007461
" But think of the revenue potential, Scholae-Rider! This bridge is fantastic for collecting tolls. All the outlying farms have to come through this one if they want to go to Howlhammer.

Prime real estate.

It's a wonder the Aktoni never thought to put a toll station up on this bridge. But I don't see any of them around so finder's keepers and we can *keep* this bridge.

Though we might have to deal with the Wasponi first. I think I can see a good score of them coming this way fast.

Uh, I'll get to piling these barrels a tiny, tiny bit faster, excuse me, I'd prefer not to be -- actually forget the barrels I have a much better plan "

>The Luperni Strikes lose 1 trooper as he takes off sprinting towards the fortified encampment by the bridge rather than face down a full on cavalry assault.
>>
>>6007347
>Command: Peltasts to shift fully into skirmish order. While peltasts may hold together and present shield and spear as more orthodox infantry, they can also fight in far more open order. A joint between its fellow units rather than a solid, rigid wall, flexing and shifting rather than breaking outright. But will it hold? So many of the men in the unit are still so young, lacking the experience of older, more storied peltast commands...
>Personal: Take up the chant. Lift the hearts of those on the edge, and through the smoke and dust and din of battle, let friend and foe alike know that the Esvacians are still here!
>>
>>6007567
>>>6007408
>The hungry, hard-riding, half-starved rider that yet clings to her saddle as her fellows fall like arrows upon a well fed, well watered, well armed, well armored, well mannered expedition has glory in deed and valor in thought when she pledges her own skin and bones against the full might of a professional fighting force, knowing, in truth, that scant javelins will find their purchase and few spears will pierce the forgecraft of those she fights. And when she dies from the lacerating unimaginable pain that is a gut-wound, she will die knowing that she did so fighting impossible odds for the thing she fiercely believed in the company of those she treaured and she will have ripped from your short flicker-flit conscious sensing something of incalcuable worth
>What glory can you find to match, here, in the backlines, sheltered by an officer's command and the arrangements of bodyguards and the retinue of associates and the full panopoly of every hard act you ever had to do being a burden borne by others? A soft man speaking soft words cajoling something so much vaster than yourself for nothing more than seflish, petty need to be beheld, as if valour in deed was ever brought forth by first shouting " behold ", as if glory could be reached when the dying is done in the lines ahead and you but give the order for some measure of bright candles to splutter out, you pathetic little snivelling fraud.
>You turn the very concept into a malediction.
>There is no power here that will ever be yours. There is a brittle invective slipping from your lips like a poisonous curse, a thing that should be more joyous and wilder and freer than the wind harnessed by the chains of your own decreptitude. As if you had the first inkling of a shadow of a notion of an outline of the idea of sacrifice, you sapiophagic abomination, you parasitic anathema, you leechsouled, midnight minded, bleak boned, spineless little *bag of flesh* wrapped around a thiefs concept of virtue.
>There is no dream impossible to the will that acts with a heart of glory
>Straighten up, softsoul. No boon ever falls to the beggar from the worm that seduces the hearts of men with dreams of glory.
>*GIVE*. Tomorrow draws ever closer. To shift the wheel from the path that is due, is to push until your own bones are powder and then to keep pushing.
>*GIVE*. The mire of the path you are on requires wrenching your boots from the sinking pits of your own foibles, even if so you must cut off your legs.
>*GIVE*. The first and only law there ever was and ever will be is that of *sacrifice*. If you want it, come and *take it*, for glory is not a granted quality that pitiful little mewling of worms may simply demand until they have had their fill
>You wrench glory from the weight of tomorrow, though the wheel breaks you and the tracks betray you and your very heart burns out in the doing so

*GIVE*

>. . . But what?
>>
>>6007570
" . . . Sirrrrrr? " [the young voice of an impressionable aspirant who dreams, secretly, of seeing the ocean and owning this thing they call a 'boat']

" Are you . . . alright? Sir? You're muttering to yourself - this chill wind cuts to the bone and you're not even shaking. Is everything as it should be? " [he nurtures this hope like a seed in near barren soil, every night, as he strokes the splinter of an oar, the only memory he yet has of his brother]

" Sir! We have to move, the peltasts are holding them off. For now!

I've never seen the like of it. Their chanting, sir!

But the horses are going to come around the right soon! Sir! We have to *move*! There's too many of them!!" [He has other hopes, but they are so much smaller than the simple, earnest one: that the sound of lapping waves on some soft seashore will finally make the rift of pain cut through his heart lessen at last]

" Do you. . . hear something? I can almost hear. . . " [It is a solid, simple hope. But it will never reshape the world. Not all dreams will]
>>
>>6007570
>>6007587

Ten to one, but perhaps that one might make a difference.
>Order the aspirants to beat a retreat, Amelius taking charge

It's a frail thing, this body - but it's all a man has to give.
>Take up the armaments of the fallen

I hope he finds his way through this chaos. I hope he finds his ocean.
>Step into the fighting line

It could be nothing, or it could be everything.
>GIVE
>>
>>6007347
> 404th Soft Moonfall. Circle formation, shields up, brace anti-cavalry stakes. Embolden the Officer's prayer with your own voices.
> Retinue. Light torches and hold them aloft. Embolden the Officer's prayer with your own voices.
> Officer. Invoke the Empyrean. Spread wildfires throughout the wilderness. Break sightlines with veils of smoke. Stir panic within the rider's mounts. Immolate the careless. "Impregnate the winds with petals of cinder. Sup upon dust and detritus and take crackling root. Blanket the highlands in a crimson-gold abundance of smoldering poppy and marigold. Sting hotly at heel and hoof. Snap and cackle in merriment. Decorate the earthen mounds of creation with glittering bouquets of flame and fervor, tributes to the Empyreal."
>>
I don't see how my impromptu killbox on the bridge would prevent you from ambushing cavalry, but very well. I'll stick with Perennis on the grounds that he's a footslogger who's survived multiple campaigns, so I trust him not to lead us all into a slaughter. We'll just have to fix up this old bridge later. I'm not charging out northwest of the bridge into a flatland full of hostile horse to try and support the scouting cavalry though. That would be imprudent. House troops don't assault 10:1 unfavorable odds in unfavorable terrain.

I suppose that Squire Armi and the theurge Emiris would have gone south with the other foot and are probably fighting in the battle near Sheepwoe. I trust the wise old theurge not to lead him astray.
>>
>>6007347
>"Hold firm while I deliver orders! Hold the windows, hold the doors! Civilla! Your hands aren't busy, take Brennus and whoever else you need and move those carts! The ones in the back area, the ones with stolen kit and 7th cohort souls! Circle the wagons, make a secondary fall back area closer to the sheep trail. Hold there, we'll fight to you. Regini, Demelza, Kerenza, listen up! We need to get a push coordinated. We retreat, we die. We can't outrun horses. Regini, prove your institution's namesake and work your way down the line south, to Regulus, Valas, and Fireskellian. Tell them what the courier from the Pyrewatchers told us about Veldspar and the town militia, bolster their spirits. Tell them, I'm pushing northwest, to the carmine banner on the hill. They're welcome to join me, I shan't be receiving orders if they aren't. Demelza, find Echo and tell them the same. Kerenza, you find the 404th, tell them I'm no longer holding their rear. If anything, we're coming their way. You too Demelza. Stay with your endpoint unit, it isn't safe to return. GO, NOW!"

...

>"Hounds! TO ME! TO ME! PUSH THROUGH TO THE WAGON FORT! PUSH! UP THE SHEEP TRAIL, UP THE HILL, BACK THE WAY WE CAME! ONWARDS, *gasp* WHERE THEIR HOOVES WILL NOT AVAIL THEM AND THEIR NUMBERS WILL COUNT FOR NOTHING! FORWARD, TO THE NINE OH FIRST! TO THE CARMINE SNAKE! TO THE CARMINE BANNER! *choking gasp* POP STIMS! OVERDOSE! IT'S DO OR DIE! WE HAVE TO FIGHT THROUGH! Leonnorius, if I die, take command. Upon arrival, let the winged serpents do the dying. Flow around them, skirmish order, protect their flanks, preserve the hounds."

Broken up into two for neatness, but it's all one long series of orders to my couriers and unit over an extended period of time fighting.

"Ostomo! You're the only one still lucid, I won't be once I drink my double dose grass tea. We need everyone in the fight, so you'll have to take command while I fight. In the waking dream, we can hear and obey, distinguish friend from foe, though the screaming will indicate otherwise. Not much else though. When we reach Veldspar, downcycle me. If I die, Leonnorius is in command, detox him instead."

>Personal: Overdose on stims. Lead the charge against the foes in our way personally, out of the admin building, to the wagon fort, up the sheep trail, through the enemy, to the 901st Carmine Snakes(?).
>>
>ooc spoilers
Don't take this as me being mad. I'm just confused on how we even got here. If I come off as demeaning, it isn't intended.

I'm curious on what went on behind the scenes in your guy's discord that led to the cohort splitting in half, minus a few units. Was it as simple as a disagreement on whether to go on the north or south side of the river? Why not wait for further scouting when we could only see 7 formations at the time, and guess at 6 more. A formation is only like 10-20 guys, we were told that there was a least a thousand horseriders, literally 50-100 formations. Was it really assumed that we could just opportunistically whack the checkpoints? Did some of you guys come south because you thought I was being stupid and going to try and fight the checkpoint alone, ambush and all? I get the whole 'bait them into our defensive position' strat in the north, but why not just use the flare exclusively, or only lure them in with mounted units that can actually disengage. Did you guys just not talk at all, or are there fewer players from this skirm in this discord than I thought? We wanted to defeat them in detail, now we are the ones being defeated piecemeal. Really we should've all gone either west or southwest, but whatever the decision, we should've done it together as one unit, after scouting had concluded. Even without seeing the current results, I was confused as the split started to happen. I could go on a longer (not actually particularly salty) rant about the failures of this 'plan', but I'll save it for after the bell has rung. Hopefully we can salvage this mess.

>>6007243
I'm unsure if there was a chance for me to interrupt here and give orders or if this was basically a cutscene. I assumed the latter, hence the silence. Hope I didn't my chance to seize the initiative as the situation was still forming.
>>
>>6007690
The North groups thought that their gambits would be more successful, obviously, although assuming we can actually *get into a settlement* the North can hold for a bit.

Tessa and I desired to help the farmers, with an addition of bleeding the north group by making their raids much costlier than expected. We obviously didn’t expect to just… not have a settlement do sally out of, or for our alleged allies to stand there and watch us die.

The Northern heavies took the pathfinders at word and decided that the south team will seize the station quickly enough, and then the cohort would head north, and so decided to make themselves useful holding the flank. They really figured the flare would work better, though.

And finally, south group obviously *massively* underestimated resistance, *especially* Howlhammer being flipped. They trusted the Pathfinder reports, and did not plan for four times the number of expected cavalry plus converted townsfolk to be in spitting distance.

I think about half the players are active on discord?

The main failure for north group was me thinking that priests are intrinsically well liked and trusted (apparently we should have brought a Legio unit as well, like the Ashtenders or Shovelmen, not a swarm of irregulars), and the main failure in the South was trusting the Pathfinders.

; (
>>
>>6007690
My help was asked for, so I gave it. The planned seemed reasonable enough for me at the time, but to my slight shame, perhaps I didn't give it a good enough read to parse both it and the more in depth context of the plan, and I, for the most part, skim through posts that aren't Company Command or which aren't mentioning or replying to me directly.
That said, whether bad or good, I try to roll with the punches of a game's circumstances. I'm not so invested in victory that the prospect of losing bothers me.
>>
>>6007690
Yeah, that's basically the gist of it. Some people wanted to go north, some wanted to go south.
>>
Rolled 1, 1, 4, 1, 2, 4, 1, 3, 4 = 21 (9d6)

“ … I think that’s the last of them. “
“ Everyone still alive? “
“ Where’d Luts go ? “
“ Wanted to a live a little “
“ Good way to get killed. “
“ That’s what I told him! “
“ Wait I hear more horses! “
“ Come chew on this you reed thin bastards! “
>>
>>6007347
Well, isn't this a fuck up and a half.

>Personal action: the Legio Standard still flutters in the wind! As long as it does, the fire in our hearts is not extinguished and, no matter how dire the circumstances, the Legio advances! All troops that are able to, rally to the Standard! We are breaking through the enemy and on towards the Waystation, where we have allies and the terrain is in our favor.

[Best Parts of Valor] ought to be of help here, along with all the qualities of the Standard. Especially the communications. Rally to the Standard, people!

>>6007622
>>6007623
>>6007562
All good ideas, gents, but we really should be getting out of this if we want to live.
>>
>>6007347
>Cohort is mobilized and ready to go. It goes to the Southern Prong to clear the entrance to the Checkpoint of hostiles. 777th Stormbringers and 278th Bladeholders will work on that mostly and engage enemies one at the time. We do have a formation to counter cavalry Stormbringers. Use it to it's best effects. 222nd Spinning Compass can support but they also have a very important job to do.
>Personal Action: The 222nd Spinning Compass Company will link up with the checkpoint then if possible with formations in the immediate area and proceed to get the flow of proper information and troop disposition in order so we may make a proper attack or withdrawal depending on the situation. Which isn't great at glance and even with a better look.
>>
>>6007697
Got distracted half way through writing. Oh well. Sleep calls, I obey. Were my wits still about me, I'd say more.

I have to disagree on the reasons for failure. I think the failure lies in lack of unity of action (obviously unity of command under one supreme leader would be antithetical to a cooperative multiplayer game where we all have an unrealistic degree of agency to ensure we all have fun), impatience in regards to intelligence gathering, and a lack of communication, plus bad sequencing of operations.

First, before I go over these, I think we have a different reading of the facts as well. From my understanding, the Howlhammer civilians have not been mothflowered, they were under occupation. I'm not even sure these Wasponi are under the sway of the Sparksworn, they may just be allies. Unless you have meta knowledge from prior games you'd like to share?

Anyways...

>Unity of action

There is 357 of us in the cohort, not counting Fireskellian's lot, or any manpower not integrated into active units. 19 light horse including retinue, 11 medium horse including retinue, 54 raincatchers, 20 medium volunteers, 174 lights, 28 non-retinue specialists, 51 retinue and officers not including mounted retinue.

Fireskellian said there was over a thousand Wasponi. If the assumption was that they could convert randoms into more troops, that just makes it even worse.

We should've all agreed on a plan, and stuck to it. Everyone in the cohort should've stuck together. No non-scout, non-bait separations either. Defeat in detail often involves an obstacle, we had the perfect one in the form of the deluge. Instead of concentrating our force on one side, we actually let the enemy defeat US in detail. Though of course, this is talking about ideal scenarios, obviously I understand every skirm player wants their freedom to be cool and independent.

>Impatience

We had only identified 7 enemy elements, estimating 6 more. The only formation we had numbers on was the south checkpoint, at 20 men. That means we only had eyes on 70-140 men, out of a thousand+. The cohort should've waited, done some engineering work or whatever, while I snuck around longer with my grasscloak-clad troops. You didn't have the option of stealth, but maybe with Methodian's help you could've pushed past the toll and fought for information. The southern ambush could've been identified, we just jumped the gun.

>Lack of communication

Not just board v discord communication, though that too. The 'go west vs go southwest' debate should've been settled. All debates should've, or at least a course of action fully discussed and agreed upon in the absence of agreement on theoretical matters. I should've pushed back more against the sudden news of the southern push. Lack of agreement screwed us.

And...I'm out of time for more.

>>6007700
Fair enough, it's just a game.
>>
>>6007648
The bridge is between us and them.

>>6007690
Koras has about the right of it. We discussed, disagreed on whether we should all march north or south but agreed that we shouldn't split up for the main battle and figured we could separately do some damage beforehand. We figured that the enemy would be dispersed and without leadership since Terkovich was prevented from joining them, and that they would not have expected us and Fireskelian to have survived his ambush, giving us the element of surprise to even our odds against an otherwise superior force. Fireskelian was heading south anyway, pathfinders discovered the enemy trap, we failed to predict they had prepared multiple units of brainwashed citizens to ambush Veldspar's ambush of their ambush of our ambush of their ambush, or that Koras would get bogged down by uncooperative civilians and pit traps dug by the enemy in the very fields they torched. (Me and Methodian also expected we would have caught more than three cavalry in the trap, that they wouldn't be prevented from falling into our trap by a tollbooth blocking their path before we got to spring the trap, or that springing the trap would not be delayed until after everything goes down with everyone else)
>>
>>6007789
Oh and apparently you got fucked by Vitacius telling the 404th to just do its own thing and march headlong into rhe ambush while chanting loudly.
>>
>>6007789
> First, before I go over these, I think we have a different reading of the facts as well. From my understanding, the Howlhammer civilians have not been mothflowered, they were under occupation. I'm not even sure these Wasponi are under the sway of the Sparksworn, they may just be allies. Unless you have meta knowledge from prior games you'd like to share?

I’ll at least defend Howlhammer, shock- Princeps Veldspar identified the How;hammer militia, thought they’d be on our side, then identified the ‘robed speakers’ amongst them.

It seems quite clear they’ve been flipped, and that that was a new development too. No one on discord thought they could work *that* fast/


Regarding the Wasponi, given that they have the Second Sky affiliation, and that Echo’s flavour test described no small conviction, they may not be precisely ‘native’ or brainwashed, but they seem to believe in the cause.

Fair enough in communications and scouting, though. The South is… mmmmmm.

We need more light cavalry.
>>
>>6006171
>>6007821
>>
Choking dust clouds, harassing raiders, maps turned upside down, requests for reinforcements going nowhere. At one point, seeking shelter from the peltering rain of javelins, four Legios in kick in the door to the admin building of the check-point and near murder poor Brennus, but it's rather well timed in the sense of it because most of the Chemhounds who can still stand are leaving the checkpoint out west, at speed, uphill, towards a distant harried, shrinking circle of heavy cavalry. The Faithful shocktroopers go back to singing, although one takes the time to adjust an overturned desk. It seems a small thing, in the chaos.

--

There are, fundamentally, down in the dirt, where the things are decided, too many horses and too many riders. The 13th Blue Rats get themselves turned half around. Sixteen heavies of the 21st form a double-spaced line across the central road and plant their feet, and while the mountains might break before their formations does, sixteen troops in a tight, little line does not stem the flow of horses. The Evascians make a roaring go of it, in the fields to the south of the checkpoint. Natural broken ground, irrigation ditches flood with new, different fluids, the fields fertilized by a sudden abundance of available compost material.

And one formation, impressive, chanting, roaring, cannot turn back twenty.

Perhaps its time for a fighting withdrawl? But there are horses north. There are raiders west. There are attackers south. There are, at this time, tangled among the 404th, raiders east. . .

But -- behind *that* dust-cloud kicked about by ravaging outriders?

!!

--

Regulus, heavy troops by now in a tight collapsed square around a waving banner, hears - of all things - above the noise and the whining complaints of the last two horses to brave trying to spear the sub-decani - the incongruent noise of a polite cough. He turns. Brief three point scan, sword ready, lungs heaving for more stamina to do yet more impossible things, and there are, of all things, a mildly bemused Pathfinder standing behind him, inside the tight little formation that demarcates what ground is Legion and what ground is where a outlander horse-warrior murders you for sport.

" You know, Sir, you're not exactly easy to find when you bury yourselves in half a thousand horses. Dispatch for you, Scholae Decius. "

Some instinct makes the courier duck. A flurry of dark whistling thrown weaponry clatter down among the troops, but the 21st have shifted sideways, easy lock-step. No wounded. The pathfinder rolls back to his feet. Throws a quick glance at the javelin that almost speared him. Hm.

" . . . So you'll be wanting those reinforcements, I take it? "

[1/2]
>>
>>6007822
We need more light cavalry *people*, capable of independent scouting actions.

Outlander good.
>>
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. . . And then, like the first rays of the sun through deep-black tearful skies, something in the air changes. The javelins fall slower. The outriders that withdraw move further away and when they return - if they return at all - there are fewer and fewer of them.

There are, fundamentally, down in the dirt, where the things are decided, too many horses and too many riders. And much, much too few supplies for them.

Who among them, do we think, gets the parcels of javelins they have to use? What favours do you haggle with when you need a ration and your fellow has the last of it, and he, too, is hungry?

Where do you find a replacement spear, when yours break against the armour of a slowly assembling front line?

--

Organisation happens, slow, like bones calcifying inside a thing that was all jelly. The 13th Rats turn their map around and find out where they *really* are. The 404th can push through an opening provided by the 625th mad charge and link up with the 21st. Little openings, everywhere, or moments to make one, if, at least, someone, somewhere, is coordinating the whole affair. Scholae Decius stares down at his map. He wishes someone was coordinating this whole affair, but as no one is, it falls to him. Next report.

Apparently there is an Theurgic-Aspirant beating a horse nomad to death with his own saddle near the admin building. Everyone is giving that scene a wide berth. Terrifying. Horrid. But there has been six such things in the last five minutes. He forces his mind to visualise the area. If no one is willing to go near, that creates an air-pocket the Ashtenders can advance through, at speed, and link up with the 13th Rats, which allows the Bladeholders to move south, which can ease pressure off of the Peltasts who shielding Fireskellian who ...

Like bricks in a wall being built by the blind, guided by trumpets and signals and shouts, the Cohort gradually - glacially - reforms from a mob of disorganised, lost sub-units into a Regulation approved fighting formation.
--

The Cerco Chemhounds, having gotten briefly lost on the way due to the world being a kaleidscope of glorious rainbows exploding into skittering spiders, make it mostly uphill. Gravity, of course, has ceased to exist so uphill is really forward - which every Cerco Chemhounds on eight times standard dose of ShimStims knows you can reliably find by looking at your hands.

Princeps Veldspar, from atop his enormous coiled world eating serpent with TEETH that DRIZZLE the scintillating ICHOR of WORLDS gives a somewhat shaky salute and requests maybe someone could get him a bandage? He's finding it really hard to maintain composure, on top of this otherwise fairly servicable lowlands pony.

Someone (probably Leonorious, who has a wicked sense of humour when dosed on enough refined shimmergrass extract to make the concept of linear term turn into more of a suggestion) giggles.

The man made of flowers said barnacles but he's not a *boat*
>>
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The 625th Cerco Chemhounds report SPIDERS. THE SPIDERS. THEY'RE IN MY EYEBALLS PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.

That's . . . Code. Right? That's code. They're downcycling from their alchemically induced stupor, and they don't want the hostiles to know if they intercept any messages.

--

A tired, greying man on a horse, clutching a rather dire looking wound, introduces himself as Princeps-Primi Veldspar, commander of Sheepwoe. He'd like to thank the outlanders for their swift assistance when six men tried to gut him with a pitchwork. He tried to do it but he said "fork" with too much emphasis and they all fell over laughing.

He further reports the (Cesteriphon sponsored) militia of Howlhammer would very much like to parlay. There were six Flamespeakers among them, and they should all be dead by now, but it appears they'd convinced the militia we were a surprise invasion force from the far east, of loathsome, noxious Sparksworn. At least their captain had the decency to apologize for jamming a pitchfork halfway through my leg.

He'd like to go find a medical professional now, if it's all the same to you?

--

Captain-Bannerleader Part Time Jakbo reports he is VERY VERY SORRY do you want his grain? Please. He doesn't have a lot left, because the *other* people with a lot of weapons already took most of it.

Also just to clarify because it is frightfully hard to tell with the blood, the stains, the mud and all the dirt, you're the *good* guys, right? House High and Grand Cesteriphon's own private troops, come to assure them all is well? If this is about the tax backlog he is also frightfully sorry but there's been a hundred and twenty very rude outlanders shacking up in his town for the past four days and every time he sent a courier they'd drag the man back to the town square and beat him with a stick.

But he always knew the House would send its best to save him! It's obvious now! Those Outlanders were invaders! Praise the House for its foresight! If only the Legion were half as prescient. His militia is fairly banged up (sorry, sorry, really very sorry) but they're willing to assist, if they can?

--

The afternoon otherwise passes with no new reports of contacts.

The swarms of riders have withdrawn west, closer to the Spanway, and likely across it.

--

>Events still resolving elsewhere; enjoy this partial update.
>>
>>6007789
Nevermind, they were just absolutely, blindingly deceived/ conscripted. No magic involved.

Point to you.
>>
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>>6007844
>Send the Princeps to the Chemicae and Hygea theurges. This'll hurt.
"Glad to have you here Princeps-Primi. Would somebody kindly get this man some healthcare? Thank you."

>To Jakbo, well.... pic related?
"There's a lot of explaining to go through but yes. We are and always were the good guys. Not sure how you missed that but now there's still so much work to do..."
>>
Scholae Decius glares down at his nightmare stack of incoming reports and settled reports and can, at least, allow himself to clench and unclench his pen to work out the muscle cramp.

Well.

If it hadn't been for Lutatius sending out his surprisingly spry if trippy couriers to tell everyone everywhere what was going on, that whole thing would have probably been rather a foul mark on his career prospects.

Maybe next time multiple concurrent high level actions are taken, we should brief the officers involved first, about the **MILITARY AFFAIRS** of their detached operation?

Otherwise they're apt to BLUNDER OUT OF COHORT COHESION, TRIP OVER TWO HUNDRED ENEMIES, ROLL RANDOMLY FOR THEIR RESPONSE AND SOMTIMES WANDER STRAIGHT INTO OTHER FORMATIONS, CASCADING LEGION TROOPS ALL OVER THE LOCAL LANDSCAPE.

And without a command station or the Cohort nearby, no individual sub-unit blundering about the field have any meaningful way of collaborating with others that aren't briefd on the same operation!

--

The Chemicae's verify 74 enemy dead and wounded.

The Pathfinders trust but verify that

- Sparkhoof Tenth Squadron has effectively ceased to exist.
- Sparkhoof Ninth Squadron is combat shocked and they estimate it to be at 30% functional strength.

- The people of Howlhammer are safe, and have not been harmed unduly. But the granaries are empty. They're working on a debrief now, but positive identification of Sparkhoof Squadrons One, Two, Three, Four and Five across the Spanway in the region around Glimini.

- Three reports are of interest, rated by sun.

* Some villagers report disruptions near the Spanway, Sparkhoof Eight Squadron has been in that region ever since the Sparkhooves arrived here.

** A detachment of Legion 4th Cohort passed through Howlhammer before the Sparkhooves arrived, moving fast, wounded, likely fleeing an engagement gone wrong. By description, they are the 11th Woeful Downpour, fieldwork artillery specialists. They've been in hiding in the southern woods, on the other side of the river. Last time someone saw them was 2 days ago.

*** The Sparkhooves have not taken all the food in Howlhammer. They've left the beer vats and the wells. We confirm traces of Mothleaf residue in both. We've begun sterilization procedures. No disruptive influence on the locals detected, but the dose threshold would be significantly lower than the concentrated exposure of the Sparksworn in Windchime Pass. However, this *still* likely played a significant part in the ability for the Flamespeakers to rally up the militia and mark us out as hostiles. The story fell apart with minimal questioning, but so long as the Flamespeakers were alive to allay doubts. . .
>>
>>6007859
>Maybe next time multiple concurrent high level actions are taken, we should brief the officers involved first, about the **MILITARY AFFAIRS** of their detached operation?
Explain, command. What do military affairs have to do with this?
>>
>>6007690
It's always useful to act or at least state clear intention to act than to think things might be a cutscene.

As a deference to the medium and people being available asynchronously, when everything is tallied, actions that cannot be done are simply not done. Easier for the world, more heroic for you, lends an action bias.

It does somewhat bring the issue that people can see someone do something, then start reacting against it, doing something. And then the first action that started the chain turns out to be impossible for other reason and things get frightfully confusing. But on the whole it works better than otherwise.

>>6007866
Detached unit operations are remarkably easier with proper planning of military affairs.

Otherwise sometimes things go ever so slightly constantly wrong.
>>
>>6007690
We are collectively about a dozen skirmish players placed into a situation where we need to be coordinated and stick together against a superior opponent. In case you are not aware, skirmish player are known for being the exact opposite of coordinated in every circumstance. We were kind of set up to fail. Yes you are correct we should not have split up, nor taken these engagements with anything less than our full strength. It had nothing to do with players wanting to go north/south, although there was discussion about that, it was about people biting off more than they could chew and forgetting that there are hordes of enemies around (myself included), though even if we remembered I still think it would be difficult to herd this group of cats to be a cohesive group.
>>
>>6007882
Right, that's it, I'm putting my foot down, this debacle will not be repeated if we live.
>>
>>6007844
So... Koras gets rejected by the northern militia because he doesn't bear the markings of Legio and his men are all outlanders... but the actual invaders from the east managed to convince Howlhammer's entire militia to fight against actual uniformed Legio by the actual invaders from the east who look nothing like Legio? Do I have the right of it?
>>
>>6007908
(And we even had an aspirant and Tessa and the Coaldousers with us!)
>>
>>>6007908
(They were likely given Mothflower petals then radicalised)
>>
>>6007914
(Outlandes carrying priests of the Empyreal is exactly the force composition of the enemy. In retrospect, me, Methodian or both should have come with you instead of doing this ambush)
>>
>>6007908
Captain-Bannerleader Part Time Jakbo will happily submit another report stating he is VERY VERY SORRY. Next time the armed riders and intense theurge-priests that have fair taken over his village say they need his help seeing off a raid, he'll be sure to ask a lot more questions first.

He's just glad you're here, is all. It's nice to see proper House troops again. Those horse-folk are frightening.
>>
>>6007347
>>6007446
>>6007859

...Yes. It is unfortunate that things ended up like this. I'm thankful for your magnanimity, you will always have a place in my prayers. May we hopefully reunite.

>Personal Action: Bless Korsas and their unit, leave to the nearest fortified estate.
>Command Action: "Coaldousers, round up all civilians possible and run to the nearest fortified estate. Get in, they won't refuse their own."
>>
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[Meanwhile, elsewhere]

A gaggle of sooth stained people trudged towards the outlying estates. Somewhere under all the dust, dirt and damage, they might feasibly be Household guards, farmers, workers, agricultural yield maximization consultants, lawyers?, but primarily they are tired, scared, hurt and running for their lives.

Sacerdotessa pauses to make a warding gesture. The fire here has, for now, died down or gone elsewhere. Smoke lingers in the air. The Empyreal is closer, resonating. Half a years harvest put to the torch will do that.

Somewhere in the far distance, a bright green spark flares up.

--
>>
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The first two estates are rubble now, or ruins, but a small enclave sticks like a standard out of the soil near something so blisteringly aberrant as a citrus groove. The bright yellow orbs guide Sacerdotessa and her retinue onwards. A scraggley collection of soothy souls follow in their wake.

One of the Coaldousers shoulder open the rusty old gates. Abandoned, then? Hm, no. Simply little used. The manor isn't large, but it is neat and clinical. Two small buildings and a warehouse full of alchemical implements.

Out of all the things to randomly stumble into, it seems we've found ourselves in a Cesteriphon agronomist research enclave. The farmer-scientists, being people pretty good with measuring the likely shape of the weather to come, have long since sealed up, locked down and bailed elsewhere. Being conscientous sorts hoping to return to work once things quiet down, they've left most of their tools and the pantry is well stocked with long-storage rations.

Some of the Coaldousers seal the gates back up and gruntingly pull a few of the dusty carts over to it too. Not an imposing fortification, this. But against horsemen, what needs to be?

--

They arrive shortly afterwards and simply keep coming. They pelt the walls with javelins. Fling a few arrows. And then, fired up and searching for larger, grander things, they whallop and hoot and ride on south, south-east. Across the broken ground and gently wafting grass? Well, the river, nice and cool, but also a green flare gently descending to the ground.

And a slight line of Legio in front of a bridge where seven Luperni Strikers are trying to pile a few barrels and raise a single gate-post.
>>
>>6008153
>>6008165

A thunderous roar; Koras’ horn is a focus point for the scorched nomads, and the militia too- those brave enough, and mounted enough, to fight in the rearguard with me.

Walking wounded go with Tessa’s priests; their horses are used to carry those too bloodied to stand. The remaining turn about, faces the burning West, and prepares to fight the rearguard action of their lives.

———

‘338th! Form up! Fierce riders; sharp spears- and you too, brave militia, who fight for your children behind us. Prepare for a fighting retreat!

Our families, our comrades- they’re moving as fast as great Sol propels them, to the safety of stone walls. We need not kill ten insects each; only delay, only hold them back, to bleed them for every field they advance, and prevent them from reaching our friends!

I have fought the Wasps before; they come in swarms, hurling themselves onto our swords at the urging of their masters. They shan’t waver at the sight of blood- but nor will you.

You have the steel! The armour! We have the supplies; we have the training; we have your knowledge of your homes; we have each other! Their numbers will mean nothing, when they try to catch us- dancing at the edge of their reach, chopping off fingers one by one, until we leave them without hands nor eyes to pursue their hateful greed.

I won’t pretend it will be an easy fight- but I know you are men of courage, who *will not* let them reach the civilians behind us- and I know, together, that we’ll see the next dawn yet. So if you;re ready, if you’re true- follow me!’

> Command action: The 338th, my retinue, and any mounted militia still in fighting shape prepare to fight in the rearguard, delaying the enemy until the aspirants can reach the safety of the walls. After that, we’ll disengage and try to join them- or, failing that, flee back towards fort behind us. Our wounded go with Tessa.

> Personal Action: Lead by heroic example, fighting in the heaviest combats. If any Wasp captains are brave enough to lead, not just command- I seek them out, and reward them for their valour with a fatal spear or arrow.
>>
>>6008182
‘Come again? The sound of broken chitin drowned you out!’
>>
Rolled 3, 3, 6 = 12 (3d6)

There's this old joke? In love, in war, in comedy, the only thing that matter is the right timing.

The 789th execute a textbook fighting withdrawal across the historic bridge that spans the churning river below. The Wasponi outriders, eager, overjoyed, snap at them, throw javelins, circle. Search for a ford. Find none. They tear aside barrels, they tip over a gatepost, they pay no toll and then they remount and thunder across the bridge.

The long, narrow bridge. Their formations stretch out. Further behind, dismounted raiders long since shorn of horses in either accident or hunger, attempt to catch up on foot. Their view is all dust, wind, and the allies in front of them advancing at speed.

The 789ths come to a cross-roads on the other side of the bridge. The formation leader barks an order and the formation rotates in place. Perennis checks if anyone needs to be shoved back in line, but no, they've pulled it off, dashed three hundred or some meters in heavy kit and maintained formation. While being chased and pelted with javelins. Possibly no other fighting force in this region could accomplish that.

The skirmishing horsemen jeer, from a little further up the road. There's one - two - four - eight - a slow drip feed of horses across the bridge. No need for hurry, here. Sixteen. They can simply wait a little few heartbeats longer. Twenty one. And then once sufficient numbers have come, and others push, and the ones on the bridge cannot see past the ones in front, they fling their weapons ( the few that yet have them ), ready steel and charge.

--

It is possibly the most frightful thing in the world to be charged by a loose mass of cavalry. When the cavalry outnumber you three to one, it is worse still. The soldier in the back of the formation glances over his shoulder. He does not - in the strictest martial sense really - need to stay standing here. He could join the Luperni. They're smart.

Most of them are already *considerably* further down the road, and accelerating.

He could just . . . leave . . .

--
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. . . But then again, rumour has they're serving extra march cake tonight. Maybe some of that Kalcmiri spice to go with? Feasibly there's always the opportunity to rout and run away some other time. Maybe tomorrow. Might as well plant your feet and stick it out and find out what the next five minutes brings.

As it happens, the next five minutes brings the short, sharp sound of a horn and Legion troops appearing, rather briskly, from a wide assortment of hiding holes. The 123rd Steelcrows align their crossbows on the walls of the suddenly manned camp just north of the cross-roads. There's Luperni strikers on either side of the bridge, and five more coming out from under it. The 272th Porcupine Winds shake off grass, leaves, dirt, dust and rocks and grab quivers and drop out of the six or so trees.

Which is about a minute before the gates of the camp are thrown open, suddenly a lot more manned than the empty, ramshackle appearance would suggest, and the few outriders not otherwise busy being shot, stabbed, slashed or shocked, might turn to see the rest of the Light Mist coming down the way.

Well, if they can see them past the heavy lancers.

--

There are Scholastic military theoretical terms for the next fifteen minutes.

A double envelopment. The Vanadian Circle. Reikan Seven Fist. Regulation Maneveur 27-B, Light Front Element Lead, Lobster Style, with a creative inclusion of the 13-A Variant of the Spoiling heavy Thrust.

Though what the Sparkhooves are likely to report to their distant commander is the more prosaic term of a patently unfair onesided slaughter.
>>
. . . It is afternoon, it is trending towards deeper darknes, we are still alive, the fire yet smoulders and the duties yet remain.

--

Princeps Veldspar and Scholae-Fulminant Fireskellian proceed to Sheepwoe, a little ahead of schedule, and raise the standards higher. We have a command station! Though Fireskellian does most of the work. Princeps Veldspar is combat ineffective, courtesy of a pitchfork (STILL SORRY - Jakbo).

--

The Sparkhooves have pulled back across the lines. Princeps Veldspar lends us what intelligence he can, and, with the official tasking to do so, the 222nd Pathfinders follow-up on the Southwest region.

--

A letter in remarkably polite cursive arrives, courtesy of a courier who, somehow, still has a nice wool hat even if his face is stained with sooth.

--

>Force Disposition update...
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>>6007848
Looking back, I must've skimmed, misremembered what I just read as I was writing, or something, because you are absolutely corre- >>6007844

-okay, nevermind. Maybe it was a combination of both.

>>6007896
I wouldn't know. I've only ever played TDGs. Don't take my walls of text to mean anything. I just like talking.
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>>6008310
Just the mere magic of a very convicing salesperson.
>>
The remaining 266th Dusteaters report that they've optimised our supply operations as best as able, recovered scavenge from the field *and* gone over that checkpoint the Wasponi were impersonating a House in. They had several carts there, with tools and equipment. We've incorpored those and distributed it as needed.

The Pathfinders have a working theory, but they'll need to confirm it.

--

The critical triage moments of a battle is the ten years before and the ten minutes after. With the sizable presence of our Chemicaes at the field, the Pyrewatchers and the standards, and the enemy withdrawing en masse, at speed, recovery of the wounded is much, much easier than in Windchime Pass.

Captain Bannerleader, Part Time, Jabko also authorises the release of the scant few bandages, sterilizers, painkillers and herbs remaining in Howlhammer. The Wasponi have been fierce, but starving. They rounded up most of the material in the first two days then shipped it elsewhere. The Pathfinders report that yes, this is part of their theory too.

Are any of you good with maps?

--

With a Command Station in Sheepwoe and total local superiority in the southern section, we probe. We plan. We scout. The Wasponi have withdrawn across the Spanway, except for one whole squadron acting the rearguard.

--

>You're reformed! Cohesion restored!

>All officers may take one influence and one affiliation action, as standard.

>The Pathfinders request assistance with some Intelligence Analysis. The facts of the matter are as follows:

*Light Wasponi cavalry have crossed the mountains using an unknown pass

*They have taken over the region, and are rounding up supplies

*They are poisoning wells and local reservoirs with a low level psychoactive dose of a narcotic meant to kill memories, so as to make the locals more suceptible to Sparkspeaker propaganda

*Despite the planning of these actions AND the securing of supplies from towns and outlying reaches, the Sparkhooves are simultaneously burning fields and destroying infrastructure. Also, why poison wells when your troops are clearly in dire need of water too?

*Logically, the supplies being rounded up are *not* going to the Wasponi.

To assist, test Affiliation (as an action) and posit a theory, drawing on available information. Your guesstimates assist the Pathfinders and represent a longer investigation; which may reveal useful information.

--

A few Rebus Pathfinders thank you for clearing the path to the Fideli Gates, west. They're taking the captive Sparkspeaker and moving him now, while the situation
remains fluid. Speaking as representatives of Legion High - Remain on task, secure the region, and await further orders by rapid courier.

--

Fireskellian and Feldspar take over command of CP Sheepwoe. With [4] Supplies, Fireskellian begins a project.

CP Sheepwhoe has adaquate medical facilities; any wounded can be sent here for safe long-term care or remain with the cohort.

--

Orders, sir?
>>
Chemicae Ostomo reports:

Some of you are [Wounded], some of you are [Fatigued], some of our troops are shocked, wounded, hurt, exhausted or otherwise.

Recovery is the Chemicae business, and they are doing it at speed. Wounded soldiers return to their formation over time.

Officers, being less able to lie around in bed complaining, may simply have to act and go and do despite being wounded. You can reasonably infer that heavy wounds slow down aggressive physical action. Doctor's *suggestion* is to avoid picking enormously impossible fights if you are simultaneously a little worn down, but, as that never stops any glory-seeking officer, he reminds you that painkillers are available so long as supplies last. You can move about and act and do quite freely, and you'll hardly notice the impediment of your wounds.

Until they become impossible to miss.

>Wounded traits and others do influence the scope and scale of actions, but they do so primarily by increasing the severity of critically bad outcomes - even wounded officers can still fight, it just gets more dangerous.

In good news, several of the Sparkhoove formations we've seen off have also been wounded, damaged or hurt. And they do not have half our understanding of alchemical pallatives and proper woundcare routines.

*Many* of the ones that escaped will be no more use in fighting, for a while. Meanwhile, our soldiers, if they live, will generally recover with enough time. Bonepaste might not taste good, but you'd like having a broken arm for six months a lot *less* than feeling a bit gritty for a while.
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>>6008467
>>6008462
Leave our prisoners unspoiled for now. They should count themselves lucky, in my great-grandfather's time, they would have been burned as an offering to soothe the spirits of our slain. Perhaps the commander would know what to do with them.
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>>6008462
No time to rest, Amelius - get me the quartermaster and ready the men. I have a sneaking suspicion we'll be needing that artillery in short order.

>>6008490
>>6008310
An additional unit to support the sweep would be most appreciated, if your lot is willing and able.

>Influence (Wealth): Source some gear for the Pyrewatchers. Medium armor, polearms, whatever is available between the town, the outpost, and our own stores.
>Affiliation (Outlander): Lead search and rescue efforts in the south woods, find our artillery.
>>
Rolled 6, 4, 3, 5, 6, 1 = 25 (6d6)

>>6008462
>Admin: Care Convoy my injured retinue to CP 'Sheepwhoe'
>Admin: If Publius or no others do so, sell the scrap of this skirmish to Saevus' Scrappers
>Authority: Organize a march to regroup with the Cohort. (vs Authority 12)
>Affiliation (Mechalogistics): Contribute to the investigation. (vs Mechalogistics 11)
My first thoughts are that these supplies are being diverted to their beleaguered allies in Wellmoth under siege, and that the sparkhooves have some avenue to resupply them. They seem crafty enough to come up with one, seeing how they found this route through the mountains, and this is supported by the fact we have seen them fleeing south.

That they are poisoning wells, burning crops, and generally wrecking the environment seems to indicate they do not plan on staying here, or maybe that they don't think they can hold this area long term. Could this entire operation be about securing supplies? It could be the siege down south like I posited earlier, or perhaps they have some kind of famine out east?

However, my most worrying and now primary thought is that if they are brainwashing droves of citizens to fight for them, they need to be able to feed them. It would make sense they need to secure large amounts of supplies to accomplish this. Worryingly, this is not the first I've heard of bulk distribution of mothdream. I have heard tell of some gangster or mobster named Rinik in Razorwind to have been found with industrial quantities of the stuff, and that they were being supplied by the Vanadians of all people. That we also find it here, and used for military ends, is disturbing, and I find it hard to believe to be a coincidence. Something foul is afoot. Mothdream is being imported, disseminated, and injected into the people of our nation. I suspect a plot to raise an army of our own people against us, to cause us to destroy ourselves so that some other actor, perhaps a group of actors, can step in and claim the rubble. I say we need to find where they are getting this from, who is producing it, who is plotting this, where it is going, how it is getting there, and stopping this in its tracks as soon as possible. Maybe this entire operation is just a big cover to spread more of the toxin?
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>>6008462
> Influence (Wealth -[x]): Innocents languish, exploited and depleted by marauding heretics. Leverage wealth to scrape together spare rations from Company stores. Those in the direst need shall be fed and supplied, flame-wiling Howlhammer will stand until logistical support can be re-established. No cost is too great, for those who walk in the Grand Eye's light know material affluence to be a fatuous indulgence useful only in the dissemination of His will and virtues.
> Affiliation: Officer and Retinue. Man the pyres and gaze into the sun. Ensure all rites and rituals are performed in full accordance with holy doctrine, such that the fallen transition may smoothly into their lofty repose.
> General: 404th Soft Moonfall. Recuperate. Savor restful hours and quiet ruminations on the Empyreal's boundless benevolence.
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>>6008490
Oh, apologies! The prisoners are being treated and cared for. If anyone would like the doctor corps to stop, they can kindly take it up with the concept of medicine. Oaths are sworn. The great war against Death and Disease is grander than this little regional spat.

It's the withdrawing formations moving west which will need to seek their own sources of medicine, which, we hope, will be useful. Ostomo was providing medical opinion on the likely status of the hostile formations near the Spanway.

So o o. Yeeesss. Ostomo agrees.

We . . . We don't . . . Burn people any more. It has awkward geopolitics implications these days. Also it's rude?

And it is a Regulation offense. There were meetings about this.
Those that surrender get the same thing everyone does: Doctors overworked attention and a pat on the back for surviving. There are treaties about it. If we start playing hardcases with the legal rights of those that no longer fight, we're apt to run afoul of the benighted attentions of the Senate and they are going to have *opinions*. If we started flaunting the Rat Laws and performing body crimes, we'd find ourselves on the wrong side of a commitee to establish an investigative commision to perform a Senatorial Inquiry into the feasibility of investigating our practices when backlog allows.

One shudders to think of the sheer mundane terror such beaucratic pontifications could eventually lead to. Also we'd be violating quite a few treaties and agreements on the rights of the surrendered. Politicians get uppity when that happens.

So, we'll do the traditional thing, now, and toss a few of their scraps on the fire and handle the dead. But it is soothing to realize that the work of implementing them has proliferated even to the distant reaches. One day, perhaps one could trave from shore to shore and never fear being thrown on a pyre in impromptu worship of the high Sun.

Unfortunately, burning people alive is one more reason why the Literalist Empyreal Sparksworn are clearly unworthy of higher office and public adminstration.
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>>6008462
>Influence action, Authority: New Standing Directive: Any independent action that would place a unit away from the immediate vicinity of the cohort requires the explicit, written permission of one out of Scholae Decius Allectius Natalis, Scholae-Palatini Theramin Braccius Methodian or Titus Caesius Perennis
>Affiliation action, Military Affairs: Organize Echo's search and rescue party in the south woods, include the Steelcrows along with his Pyrewatchers to his detachment

(Command, I don't need to personally lead a Military Affairs detachment, do I?

>>6008504
It was before the directive, but approved. I'll help you put it together. Take the Steelcrows with you, some engineers might come in handy. Two units should be enough, no need for more.

>>6008490
(Assuming I do not need to personally lead a Military Affairs detachment and can go do something else)
Valas, some sparkies fled southwest. How about you and me lead our units to go hunt them down before they hurt more people? You can take the lead for this, I'm stretched a little thin with helping Echo.
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>>6008504
I was just thinking about heading down there. Will join you presently.

>>6008462
>Admin: Care Convoy my injured troops to Command Station Sheepwoe.
>Admin: My command, my retinue, and I will join Echo on the rescue attempt down south. Standing orders not to use stims for now, we're undergoing a prolonged detox and recovery. We'll still carry them for others though.
>Authority Influence Action: I will authorize and oversee the distribution and organization of supplies for the 762nd Pyrewatchers for Echo. He seems intent on turning his channellers into turtles, in addition to being flame-charmers.

"Echo, don't neglect the basics, I can't do your paperwork for you all the tim-"

...

"-are you quite alright? You look...tired. I can have Ostomo give you a sedative. Or maybe have a more experienced aspirant take a look at you, I understand battle can unsettle the mind."

>House Affiliation Action: Now that the path to Fideli Gates is open, we can source supplies and send deliveries without fear. Deliver samples of the notable wrack-wind wildlife, a few vials of Noxpox, and our research notes to House Cerco for further development. Request raw alchemic materials, primers, medical supplies, nootropics to deal with the mothflower, better tools for local noxpox production, stims, and fulminants in that order. [Since this is arguably really two actions in one, consider the latter request for materials to be an in character requisition ahead of time. The goal of the action is just to deliver the Noxpox stuff to Cerco for R&D, order chemicae supplies will be next action most likely.]