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Author Topic: Sonnefurt in Flames  (Read 5566 times)

Offline Le Pistolet

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Sonnefurt in Flames
« on: April 08, 2011, 05:53:43 PM »
So, Le Pistolet is back.

I've taken a massive break from Warhammer, mainly due to starting University last October and spending much more of my time and resources on beer and takeaways...

However, seeing as its nearly the end of the year, and I'm much more settled, its time to indulge in my hobby once again. Of course, for many of you who know me, the hobby for me is all about the background. Last year my Sonnefurt project (link in sig) stagnated, as it became harder and harder to think of areas of the Barony's day to day life to flesh out properly. However, what it did give me was an amazing wealth of background on which to work out a basis for a story, which brings me to this topic.

Some of you who followed the information on the Barony may remember it was done in the format of letters from a mysterious Leopold to his master, Baron von Kalb of Kroppenleben. Well, this story is the putting into action of all that information.

Hopefully, this saga will be suitably epic and won't trample upon much fan based fiction. I have planned for plenty of exciting developments and for political intrigue, fellow Wissenlanders might want to take note. Feel free to message me if you want your faction to become involved in this, and I will attempt to incorporate you.

Anyway, enough rambling from me, here goes:

Part One: Origins of War


The night was quiet in the Sonnefurt Docks. Only the water lapping against the jetties, the faint shouting of crews staying out late preparing for the next morning’s voyage along the Soll and the buzz of the few taverns still open could be heard. Many types of ship were moored in the harbour, military, trade, personal and all were bobbing slightly on the calm waters, protected from the raging torrents by the great Dwarf built harbour, shielding them from the harsh realities that lay outside this sleepy town.

However, the peace was shattered by a large explosion, as a ship tore into flames, shards of wood splintering through the air and the shockwaves sending the water pouring over the sides of the docks. There was immediate commotion. Revellers came out to see what the noise had been. Dock wardens were alerting the town’s fire brigade. Shouts could be heard coming from those nearest trying to stop the fire spreading onto their own precious vessels.

When eventually the panic had subsided and the damage could be assessed it became obvious the ship had been sabotaged. However, the ship was not one regularly stationed in Sonnefurt, instead it was a ship from the nearby Kroppenleben, belonging specifically to the Kroppenleben- Hirn Shipping Company, a private enterprise which allowed Kroppenleben to easily trade with the nearby Dwarf stronghold via the smaller Khazid Grentaz during the Spring and Winter months, when the mountain passes were too difficult to traverse.

Sonnefurt and Kroppenleben competed fiercely for the valuable trade Karak Hirn provided for Southern Wissenland, and were often in dispute over the use of Sonnefurt’s port for Kroppenleben ships, a permission granted by the Courts of Nuln to prevent Sonnefurt from taking a monopoly of river transport of Dwarfen goods. Thus, considering all the tension, this was seen as an act of deliberate industrial sabotage, a reason good enough for war.

**************

The next morning Max Bachor, a humble farmer from Thalfang went to inspect his crops as the sun rose over the Black Mountains, blissfully unaware of the events in Sonnefurt the night before. He crossed the glistening River Aschen, swollen due to the Spring thawing of the ice in the hills. He was glad the swell was picking up, it made the land more fertile, and he hoped that this year would be the year he would be the year he could earn enough to be able to leave the military for at least a year and start his family properly.

As he tended to his land, he heard a low rumble in the distance. The other farmers around him noticed it too and began to slow in their work, looking towards the source of the noise. As the morning progressed the sound got louder and louder, and became accompanied by a dust cloud noticeable behind the hills to the East.

By mid afternoon, the source of the noise was evident. In the distance a large column of armed men could clearly be seen, and scouts were reporting that they bore the insignia of nearby Kroppenleben. Max thought nothing of this development, continuing his days labour, considering it just military movements, perhaps across the mountains against some incursion that lay in wait there for the citizens of Kroppenleben. Thalfang, and in fact the entire Barony had not seen any upset for a very long time, perhaps longer than Max could remember, certainly longer than the Baroness had been in power. As a rule, Max, and Thalfangers in general were wary of any strangers in their land, but these Northerners didn’t bother him this day, after all they were fellow Wissenlanders; there were plenty greater threats to Sonnefurt than other Wissenlanders.

This attitude soon changed when the bells in the Church of Sigmar started frantically ringing, signifying the calling of the towns militia. Confused, but not one to disobey direct orders, Max abandoned his plough and ran as fast as he could to the town centre. There, the town crier, a portly man, was red in the face from his incessant shouting:

“Militia and residents of Thalfang, arm yourselves! Kroppenleben marches to war with Sonnefurt! Fight for your homes, your families and the Baroness! Sonnefurt needs you!”

Max quickly changed into his uniform. Unlike the irregulars, he formed the small detachment of Sonnefurt regular troops. He found his halberd and kissed his wife goodbye.

“What’s happening darling? Is it Orcs? Beasts? I’m scared!”

“It’s Wissenlanders dear, bloody Wissenlanders!”
« Last Edit: April 10, 2011, 12:00:58 PM by Le Pistolet »
The Barony of Sonnefurt - My Army Background

Sonnefurt in Flames- An Epic Tale of Sonnefurt

Le Pistolet's Monotonous Wissenland Log- My Minis

Offline Le Pistolet

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Re: Sonnefurt In Flames
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2011, 04:02:11 PM »
Part Two: The Battle of Thalfang

On the other side of the river, the Kroppenleben artillery lined up. Row upon row of cannons and mortars loomed over the obviously doomed town. Clearly, this army was out for the prize of Sonnefurt, and Thalfang was an inconvenience, being the on the edge of the River Soll and Aschen, proving an obstacle for a column of men this big.

The roar of the cannons made the ground shudder beneath Max’s feet. Then, seconds later, the world around him seemed to collapse. The cannonballs and mortar shells hit the surrounding buildings and shattered into lethal fragments of masonry and wood that splintered in all directions. Max threw himself to the ground as shrapnel tore over his head, shredding the unfortunate man beside him, leaving his crisp, unused uniform torn and red, distinct against the traditional white and grey.

Max ran for cover, people were screaming and trying to get out of the town. It felt counter intuitive to be running the other way, but it was his duty. Even though the town would surely fall before reinforcements could arrive, they had to halt the advancing column long enough for the refugees to flee into the countryside.

The only entry point into the town was the Aschen Bridge, and this would prove difficult for too many of the Kroppenleben men to negotiate at once, for it was a narrow bridge, perhaps six men wide. Max hoped this would make the fight a little fairer.
As the artillery began to subside, with only a few pieces still firing on the now devastated town, Max knew the assault was coming. Sure enough, horns were sounding and the Kroppenleben men, only distinct from the Thalfang militia by their green trimmings as opposed to the Sonnefurt red, bore down upon the bridge with great tenacity and roaring cheers.

Their impact was brutal, and the combat was particularly fierce. The Thalfangers were known for being a hard people, and they were defending their own, against foreigners, their natural enemy. Blood was quickly flowing on the bridge, staining the gleaming cobbles and new hue of scarlet, but it was useless, the Kroppenleben forces could continue to send wave after wave at the bridge, whilst the militia could only hope their losses would not be too severe.

Max fought with little consideration for who he was fighting, he dehumanised them, they were not men of the Empire, or even Wissenland, they were a threat to his livelihood, to his family and to his beloved Barony. His halberd fell and rose, cleaving men as they joined the fray, bloody spraying on his previously unused and meticulously clean uniform as he managed to decapitate an unfortunate solider. He had never been called upon to fight before, and only had his basic training but the situation he was in drove him to fight as good as the best trained soldiers. However, there was little he or his comrades could do.

*********

Soon, it was decided that the militia had to fall back, there was no chance they could hold off any longer, and most of the townspeople had left, and were well on their way to Ostrach and then Sonnefurt. With a heavy heart the retreat was sounded, and the men began to break away. Evidently taking pity on their fellow Wissenlanders, the attackers slowed their advance, consolidating themselves and allowing their enemies time to leave the confines of the town, pursued only by the token inaccurate cannonball to make sure they continued fleeing.

In just under half an hour, Thalfang had fallen. Over two hundred of its residents and militia had died in the battle and bombardment, but only fifty Kroppenleben troops had fallen to the blades of the valiant militia. The town was quickly sacked and the houses of the once peaceful citizens had become temporary barracks for the men of Kroppenleben. The army was to rest in Thalfang for the night, for they were sure they would see repercussions the next day when they marched on Ostrach.

Baron von Kalb caught up with the column later that evening, impressed with the diligence with which his men had one the first decisive battle of the campaign. Thalfang was the second largest town of the Barony, and had fallen so quickly. He knew not to be so confident however, he had had the element of surprise, and the full might of his army against an ill equipped militia force.
As he took up office in Mayor Funk’s townhouse, the most luxurious in all of Thalfang, he was met by his aide and organiser of this campaign, Leopold Steinbecker.

“My liege, may I congratulate you on your decisive victory this afternoon. If Thalfang was this easy, then we shall roll through this Barony with great ease. The Baroness will fall and all this land will be yours. Think how rich you will be my lord! Think of the power you will have! Nuln will have to respect you!”

“Thankyou Leopold, but it is not that easy. Sonnefurt has many allies further North and in the city, we cannot forget that. Remember too, our cause for war is tenuous at best, and wait until they find out that we sabotaged our own ship. I need you to send word to Kreutzhofen, I am sure they will be happy to aid me in riding Sonnefurt of the Baroness, perhaps we can exchange some of their former land for their aid?”

“An excellent plan my liege! I shall arrange for our fastest rider at once. In the meantime get some rest, tomorrow will be another easy victory for you, your excellence, and you want to be at your best when we waltz into Ostrach!”
« Last Edit: April 10, 2011, 12:01:15 PM by Le Pistolet »
The Barony of Sonnefurt - My Army Background

Sonnefurt in Flames- An Epic Tale of Sonnefurt

Le Pistolet's Monotonous Wissenland Log- My Minis

Offline Le Pistolet

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Re: Sonnefurt In Flames
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2011, 12:00:38 PM »
I don't know if anyone is reading this, but hey, here comes part 3:


Part Three: The March on Ostrach

News quickly reached Sonnefurt of the devastating surprise attack on Thalfang. The refugees had made their way overnight to the safety of the town walls. Ostrach had been bypassed for it was certain it would be the next target. As a predominantly military town, it was a high value target for the Kroppenleben army, a perfect place to locate their barracks, far from the River Soll and attack from their and the resources to replenish their army during the inevitable siege of Sonnefurt.

The Baroness and the Council of Sonnefurt had quickly rallied as many troops as could be spared for the defence of the town, hoping to dent the attacking army significantly so the siege would not be able to last as long. Militias were drawn up, drafting as many men from the outlying settlements as possible, and they would be accompanied by a significant portion of Sonnefurt’s professional soldiers.

Max, like many of his other comrades that night had been put up in one of Ostrach’s many taverns, now turned into billets for the soldiers who were pouring into the town overnight. Being a veteran of the Battle of Thalfang he was allowed to rest, but the bustle in the town made it impossible to sleep. Defences were being dug, artillery was being moved in and the men were taking advantage of the hospitality and seemingly endless supply of liquor on Ostrach’s famous ‘Alcholic’s Avenue’, evidently making the most of what they thought would be their last night on Earth. Max however would not join in with the revelry. He worried for his wife and what the next day would bring for him.

**********

As predicted, with sunrise came the Kroppenleben troops. Still at full strength they vastly outnumbered the hurriedly assembled Sonnefurt army, but this time, the fight was drastically less one sided.

Max saw the rows of armed men lined up in the fields before Ostrach. Their blades glinting in the early morning light, just like the spring dew that flickered on the grass before them. The flags, bearing the Rose and Briars of the von Heisenberg family, fluttered in the low breeze. It was eerily quiet, the tension and expectation of the conflict unnerved Max, at least the day before he had been thrown in with no questions.

After the surprise at Thalfang the vengeful Sonnefurters were quick to seize the advantage to attack. As soon as the Kroppenleben soldiers were in range the artillery opened fire. The shrapnel could be seen tearing through the enemy ranks, and Max was instantly reminded of the horror he had witnessed in his town, just meters away from the market he sold his wares at every week. However, he felt no remorse for these men, just like he hadn’t the day before. They could easily have been to him the foulest creatures in the world.

The enemy troops were quickly in range of the renowned Ostrach militia marksmen, a group of crack crossbowmen whose bolts whistled through the fields and felled the oncoming army. Meanwhile, the infantry held their ground. With little advantage of the terrain, as Ostrach was almost completely flat, and the unexpected artillery bombardment, the Kroppenleben army had not yet brought their artillery to bear down on the town’s defenders, much to Max’s relief. Furthermore, the proximity of their troops to the Ostrach defensive lines meant that it would be suicide to even attempt such a ploy.

This did not stop them from bringing their handgunners to the fore. The loud explosions could be heard on the other flank, presumably with the pellets ripping their way through the men as they stood their ground defiantly. The order had not yet been given to engage, the numbers needed thinning to make it a fair fight.

Finally, the horns sounded from a building nearby and the roar of the men rose up from the ranks and they ran towards their opponents. The crunch of battle was horrific and men fell almost instantly. The confusion was incredible, the two sides were almost indistinguishable, and collateral casualties were inevitable. Max tried so hard to see through the mess of white and grey for that glint of green at which to strike. The blood made it difficult for the Sonnefurt troops, as it tainted the enemy uniforms with the same crimson their uniforms were marked with. This was not how they were meant to fight.

The intense combat seemed locked in a stalemate, the defenders were being pushed backwards into the town but were still holding out despite all the odds. The mess of buildings made it easier to bottleneck the Kroppenleben soldiers and work their numbers against them, but their numbers were always a factor. Clearly, Baron von Kalb was holding some men in reserve but they overwhelming the small numbers of defenders. This however was set to change when a cry rang out from the farmhouse being used as a watchtower on the edge of town:

“Cavalry! Coming from the South!”

The Barony of Sonnefurt - My Army Background

Sonnefurt in Flames- An Epic Tale of Sonnefurt

Le Pistolet's Monotonous Wissenland Log- My Minis

Offline Le Pistolet

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 07:11:23 PM »
Part Four: Ostrach Falls

Two days ago Eduard had been living a peaceful life in Sonnefurt, the peace had now been shattered. He was a simple carpenter’s apprentice, living and working in the Dockyards district of the sleepy riverside town. He worked diligently for little pay and lived in a townhouse with his, and three others, families. He didn’t mind though, he enjoyed his work, enjoyed the freedom he had from a lenient master and loved being by the river, where he could indulge in his favourite hobby of fishing from time to time.

He had been asleep when the Kroppenleben ship had exploded, but the next day it had been the talk of the Dockyards. Conspiracy theories had arisen, and fingers were pointed at the harbour masters for letting such an atrocity happen. There was talk of Solland insurrectionists, a framed sabotage an a deliberate attack on Kroppenleben. Opinion was divided and debates were heated.
Eduard didn’t attach significance to the event until the news reached him the next day of the fall of Thalfang, not fifty miles from Sonnefurt, to the army of Baron von Kalb. Over the course of that day there was a noticeable tension in Sonnefurt, the refugees were sent to the Dockyards to find shelter in the slums and everyone he spoke to was fearful that the situation would get worse.

However, some he talked to openly embraced the attack and the victory of Baron von Kalb. Dockers were not known for their liking of the Upper Classes, particularly not the Baroness and her followers, as she had not yet turned her attentions to a long promised renovation of the Dockyards, clearing out the slums and reinvigorating business along the Soll. The air was filled with talk of insurrection; the Dockyards would soon be in turmoil.

*********

The cavalry raced across the fields towards the flanks of the Ostrach defenders. They were clearly mercenaries hired by Baron von Kalb to give him the distinct advantage against the defenders. Max wondered how he would have had enough time to hire so many mercenaries before launching his lightening attack, but the thought quickly left his mind as he saw the huge body of men and horses tearing towards his position.
The men were clearly not Wissenlanders, and maybe not even men of the Empire. Some were decked in many resplendent colours, family heraldries from countries far beyond the borders, and some were in gleaming suits of expensive armour, spoils of many campaigns on behalf of many such rich lords as the Baron.

As they hit, men were sent flying. The defenders were caught from both sides, the wave upon wave of infantry that were now being sent to win the battle more decisively coming from the East and the nights ploughing through the ranks to the South. The situation looked very bleak to Max. He aimed his halberd at the legs of the horses, felling several, but the Knights atop them continued to fight, clearly trained swordsmen, with the militia posing little opposition to their skill in the fray.

The Northern flank was faring much better than Max’s side, despite suffering heavy losses from the shooting of the Kroppenleben marksmen. Sadly, the foresight of the defenders generals had overlooked the exposure of the Southern flank, and it was the Northern flank that held the best trained troops, compared to Max and the militia in the South. It was thus no surprise that the militia soon broke, only to be pursued by Knights, who then broke off to aid the combat to the North of the town.

The town’s defence was now in shambles. The Kroppenleben troops were so confident in their victory that the taverns were raided and sacked before the enemy had routed completely. The town itself had been spared any significant damage, but bodies lay in its streets, from both sides. A few hardy residents put up resistance, shooting the rejoicing enemies from the windows before being dragged into the streets and rounded up as prisoners, or worse, executed.

Once again Max found himself fleeing a battlefield, mourning the loss of so many comrades. Those who had fought the day before as well were now few in number. Two days ago many had been Max’s neighbours, his shopkeepers, now they lay dead on the streets of Ostrach and Thalfang. Losses had been great in Ostrach, those who were lucky to escape were on their way to Sonnefurt, hopefully to gain a small amount of respite behind the Dwarfen walls with the full might of the Sonnefurt army to give them a break from the fighting.
As the dishevelled band of men reached the city, the residents feared the worst. The Barony was being devastated, Sonnefurt was in flames.
The Barony of Sonnefurt - My Army Background

Sonnefurt in Flames- An Epic Tale of Sonnefurt

Le Pistolet's Monotonous Wissenland Log- My Minis

Offline Inarticulate

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2011, 12:27:33 PM »
More! More!
I for one welcome our new flying cat overlords.

Offline Le Pistolet

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2011, 05:39:09 PM »
Ask and ye shall recieve!  :happy:

Part Five: Insurrection

“This is unacceptable!” thundered Mayor Funk, slamming his chubby fist on the heavy oak Council table, causing several goblets of wine to shake worryingly.

“The South Soll Coalition Military has been totally overrun, my dear Thalfang and now Ostrach have fallen into the hands of that lecherous von Kalb and Sonnefurt sends one mere regiment to our aid in this dire time? Sonnefurt needs to march out and gain vengeance for the hurt to our honour that has happened these last two days!”

“I concur!” started Mayor Vogt, “these enemies are clearly forcing their Solland tendencies upon our honourable Barony of Wissenland, desecrating our peace and harmony through a tenuous cause for war! Sonnefurt needs to strike them by surprise like they struck us!”

Marshall Eichhorn, until then uncharacteristically quiet, plainly stated, “That would be suicide. Can you fools not see past your lost pride and see that our enemy has prepared for this campaign long in advance. He has picked the Spring months, meaning his campaign can last for the best part of this year and has chosen specifically the week of Von Heisenberg Day, meaning our dear Baroness is not present, and is visiting her family in the North.
We need to bide our time, there is no hope we can outfight such a large and well prepared enemy. No doubt news will reach all of Wissenland in the next few days, and the Baroness will be able to gather reinforcements from Messen and Heisenberg. Until then we have to take cover behind our walls and hope for aid. This is not the way I would like it to be, but for the future of Sonnefurt, it is our only choice.

*******

“Men of the Sonnefurt Dockyards, freedom is on our doorstep! Can you not feel the chance to break our chains, to beat our meagre lives of subsistence and fight for a better life, for us and our families? Baron von Kalb offers us this chance. Sonnefurt stands no chance against his might! The Baroness has deserted her supposedly ‘beloved’ Barony for Northern climes, she is no better than the Countess herself, her own cousin. She does not care for this town like we do brothers! If we fight against the oppressive forces of the Nulnurt aristocracy in this town, and manage to hand it over to the Baron, we can negotiate our freedom from the yolks of poverty! Together we can throw off this oppression like the great Hans Hettinger! The Dockers cannot be put down! Who’s with me?!”

Men roared in answer to the speakers rousing chant. In the crowd was Eduard, but he was not cheering. The crowd that had formed began to divide quickly, the supporters seemingly heading in the direction of the Upper River Side, the rich district in Sonnefurt, those who disagreed remained behind, anxious of the consequences. As the band of men left behind the speaker, chants started to rise and the anger could clearly be felt. Sonnefurt itself was now in a state of chaos, it would be easy for the Kroppenleben forces to take now for sure.

********

Max and his comrades woke up the next morning to screams and shouts coming from outside their billet. They had been stationed overnight in the Von Heisenberg theatre, the huge number of military and refugee personnel filling the barracks in the Military District, leaving the militias to be stationed in public buildings all around the city.

His sergeant ran in, offering an answer to their questions about the commotion outside.

“The citizens are revolting! To arms!”

There seemed to be no rest for the wicked, Max was quickly back in his uniform and on the streets. The sight outside was one of absolute chaos. Men had erected barricades in the streets, buildings were on fire and civilians were being dragged out into the streets from their homes, some were being humiliated, some were being tortured and some were being killed.

 The men perpetuating the violence were dirty and disorganised; clearly lynch mobs set out to attack this upper class district. Max had no idea of the politics behind the chaos, and had no reason to ask. These men posed a real threat to the future of the Barony, more so than the army surely making its way to the gates of Sonnefurt.

The militia formed up behind a barricade, along with several other regiments now pouring into the district. They had been ordered to stand their ground, the commanders hoping the sight of military presence would strike fear into the rebels. It was one thing spilling the blood of fellow Wissenlanders, but everyone wanted to avoid the deaths of fellow Sonnefurters.

********

That same morning, Eduard had made his way to the Upper River Side, but not with an intent of causing chaos, but as part of the counter-revolutionary forces. He had armed himself with his grandfathers old pistol and an axe from his workplace, rudimentary weapons, but enough to pose a threat to the rebels. He was backed up by a crowd of like minded men, who disagreed with the insurrection due to the threat it posed to the safety of Sonnefurt. Although Eduard had sympathised with the goal of a better future, he did not believe Baron von Kalb to be the answer, he’d rather die impoverished than enslaved to a distant ruler.

When the counter-revolutionaries arrived the next morning near the Von Heisenberg theatre they saw the devastation their fellow Dockers had caused. They also saw the formidable sight of the amassed military, unmoving despite the chaos in front of them, a standoff had occurred.
Quickly the rogue forces had stopped their brutal displays of anger and had taken note of the armed men that opposed them. They turned from their barbaric actions to face their opposition. Battle lines were forming. A chant then rose amongst their ranks and Eduard watched in horror as they tore down on the ranked infantry.
The Barony of Sonnefurt - My Army Background

Sonnefurt in Flames- An Epic Tale of Sonnefurt

Le Pistolet's Monotonous Wissenland Log- My Minis

Offline Le Pistolet

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2011, 07:41:24 AM »
Part Six: Blood on the Streets

Max watched as the town’s riflemen shot into the oncoming horde of rebels, the bullets ripping through the disorganised rabble. When the smoke cleared those who had not fallen foul of the hail of lead we almost upon the lined ranks. Max readied himself as the brutish mob crashed into the barricade and leapt onto the soldiers.

One Docker leapt straight at Max, a crude meat cleaver his only weapon. Max hit him in the stomach with the bottom of his halberd, knocking the wind clean out of his opponent. He did not want to finish the man, being only a simple, angry peasant but more and more men were charging at him, he had no choice. With one swing and a sickening crunch, the blade of the halberd became lodged in the man’s skull.

Max and the soldiers kept a tight formation, but were being pushed back by the sheer ferocity and mobility of these lightly armed and angry men. However, another round of shouts was heard from a side street, and more townsfolk could be seen piling into the mob, but there were not joining them, but attacking them.

********

Eduard felt the thrill of the charge, his heart was racing, his ears ringing and his blood boiling. He and his comrades had completely taken the insurgents by surprise, and were upon them in seconds. The ensuing fight was absolute chaos, a free for all of no holds barred bloody hand to hand combat.

Eduard loosed a shot into an oncoming man bearing a large axe, piercing his chest, staining his dirty overalls with the scarlet blood. Almost immediately he flipped it round in his hand, turning it into a crude bludgeon, and clubbing another man square in the back of his head, knocking him to the ground with a noticeable crack. His levelled his axe into the chest of another man, before he was tackled to the ground, leaving the axe in his victims dying body.

On the floor he scrapped with his attacker, a young dock worker who had nothing but a crude carving knife. They rolled on the now blood soaked cobbles, grappling in a frenzy of punches. Eduard was careful to avoid his opponent’s savage attacks with the crude blade, but it was close. Fortunately he managed to land a well aimed right hook in the cheeks of the worker, giving him enough time to reach out for a blacksmiths hammer on the ground beside, which he used to follow his blow with a crippling smash in his temple.

*********

Max watched the frenzy that ensued from the attack of the other citizens, it was a bloodbath with no rules. Men were jumping on others, clawing at their eyes, their mouths, using whatever they could to inflict pain and destruction. Evidently tensions were running high, the fear of losing their livelihoods in this invasion had truly divided the population in how to react.

His sergeant had given the orders to stay behind the barricades, he could not help the slaughter that was turning the once beautiful and elegant plaza into a scene of hell itself. Fortunately, he had not had to kill many citizens, for the sudden attack had turned their attentions, he was painfully aware of how many fellow Wissenlanders he had killed this week.

*********

Eduard looked up from the chaos to see a figure clad in red robes and a suit of armour striding into the melee, hammer in hand, and bearing the signs of Sigmar. He was untouched by the brawl, no one daring to openly attack a priest of their almighty god. Eduard eventually recognised that this was no ordinary priest, this was Father Josef Schmidt, Abbot of the Sanctuary of Sigmar.

He stopped directly in the middle of the plaza, and his voice echoed around the streets, everyone stopping the insane carnage to listen to the priest.

“My good citizens! Why do you fight so? For the first time in centuries, blood has been spilled on our streets, and for what cause? Too many people have died at the hands our common enemy for further men to die at the hands of our own common citizens! It is little surprise that Sonnefurt is now seen as weak when we fight amongst ourselves! So weak in fact that not only does Baron von Kalb and his army descend upon our town with great haste, but the entire fleet of Kreutzhofen bears down on our docks in cooperation!”

The mention of the hated town of Kreutzhofen brought some shouts of disdain, but also murmurs of worry and panic, for it was Kreutzhofen who had subjugated Sonnefurt all those centuries ago.

“Yes! Kreutzhofen my friends! It is true. The only time I want to see fighting on these streets is in the direst of times. If we have to evoke the spirit Hans Hettinger and perform the second Defence of the Dockyards, so be it! I will be at the forefront with you! But that is the only time it is just and holy to spill blood on these flagstones again!”

*********

The crowd cheered. Many had fallen needlessly, but the insurrection had been calmed. However, Sonnefurt was in a dire situation. The Kroppenleben forces had spread out through the lands, racing for Sonnefurt and cutting off its supply lines. Their divisions were heading for the Sonnefurt itself at the banks of the River Sonne, and were aiming to stretch to the banks of the Soll in the other direction. From behind, the fleets of Kreutzhofen were blockading the docks of both Sonnefurt and Ertingen so that it was impossible to pass supplies, messages or people through.

In the meantime, Von Kalb had established himself within the Baroness’s mountain villa, sampling her fine wines and settling in for what he hoped would be a short siege, but from the tenacity and stoicism shown by the people of the Barony, knew in his mind might take significantly longer.

The Barony of Sonnefurt - My Army Background

Sonnefurt in Flames- An Epic Tale of Sonnefurt

Le Pistolet's Monotonous Wissenland Log- My Minis

Offline Le Pistolet

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2011, 08:42:51 PM »
Part Seven:  A Call for Aid

Klaus entered huge oak doors into the great hall of the Sonnefurt Council, a hive of activity due to the amassing siege force bearing down upon the city. He watched as the men buzzed around in a chaotic fashion, bustling with papers and eventually finding their seats. With a bang of the gavel the meeting was in session.

Lord Herwin Augustus, as chairman of this meeting, hushed his colleagues on the Council and the surrounding attendants and newer members.

“This meeting is called as Sonnefurt is now at absolute crisis point, and with the absence of our fair Baroness, we are the sole ruling body. Up until now our meetings have been haphazard and disorganised but Baron von Kalb has given us a brief moment of respite which we must seize to regain our wits and plan our course of action. Let us hear your thoughts on this matter.”
Aldred Guttman started up, accompanied by the audible sighs of many of the people in the room, expecting a long and monotonous speech.

“As you may well know, I have had the great pleasure of working as the chairman of the Hirn-Sonnefurt Banking Corporation, and as such have brilliant links with the Dwarfs of the hold. Over the years we have gained their respect as valuable business partners and it should be clear to them that a loss to our business would take, according to my calculations, based on net loss already, multiplied by the length of Baron von Kalb’s campaign, factoring in the loss of the workforce and increased pay of the military....”

Quickly, Miengot Elzacher stepped in, much to the relief of the Council.

“What I think my colleague is trying to say is that the Dwarfs of Karak Hirn would have to search out new trade partners within Wissenland whilst we recover from a war that may well annihilate us. There is no guarantee that Baron Von Kalb will keep up our trade links either. Due to their inherent dislike of change, it may be that they would be willing to send a small force to stop Von Kalb in his tracks”.

“Thankyou  Herr Elzacher,” Aldred remarked snidely, “that is indeed what I was trying to say, I often forget many of you do not share my intellect or level of mathematical knowledge. But yes, we need to alert Karak Hirn in search of a favour.”

Jusk Stromsson, the grizzled leader of the Dwarfs of Sonnefurt, added to the conversation.

“Aye, despite ‘is muddled way of sayin’ it, Guttman is right. ‘Em ‘ighlanders owe yous for all yer business these years. And anyways, if they don’t owe you’s, you’d think they’d look out fer their own kin, some of us ‘ave clans back up them mountains, they won’t ‘ave forgotten us!”

“ So all in favour of sending a message to King Duraksson of Karak Hirn?” Lord Augustus asked

There was a resounding murmur of agreement around the table.

“Then it is decided. Klaus, can we trust you with the task?”

“Of course m’lord! Anything for Sonnefurt!”, Klaus responded from his dark corner.

“Methinks it moight be best if ye send ‘im with some of my lad’s as an escort Mr Augustus, ‘em highlander’s are a bit funny about you umgi bein’ in their domains unattended. Plus, it moight convince ‘em more if we lowlanders are askin’ fer their ‘elp too.”

“If you can pledge some men, feel free. Otherwise that matter is settled.”

Despite all his anxiety about the mission in front of him, Klaus quickly exited the room, excited to be on an official mission, and further excited that Lord Augustus had chosen him first. From all the clerks who worked for the Council, he had been picked first, his career was looking up. Maybe he would be able to pursue his dream of working in the courts as a lawyer as the Lord’s protégé when this mess was over.

However, he had a mission to attend to. He had to rendez-vous with his escort and find a way to pass the Kroppenleben troops undetected as they spread through the lands. The longer he lingered, the stronger Kroppenleben forces and their stranglehold on Sonnefurt would become.

*********

Albert had been in the same meeting room, timidly waiting in another corner, hoping not to be assigned any tasks by the Council. He was a humble civil servant, a quiet reserved man who liked his job as it meant being out of the way of the public. Now, there was a distinct chance he would be thrown right into the midst of a important mission to muster support. It wasn’t that he didn’t love his hometown, but he was thinking right at that moment he would much rather see it captured than have to face travel and formal audiences with nearby allies.

The Council were slowly assigning messengers to spread out to sympathetic causes within Wissenland. They knew of course this was fairly pointless, as it was an internal political matter, and many nobles and leaders in the area preferred Baron von Kalb for his pro-Solland and anti-Nuln tendencies, whilst Sonnefurt stood as a bastion of Wissenlanders and Nulners in the countryside.
When it came to who to send to Nuln, only Albert and one other, significantly younger, man were left.

“The issue of support from Nuln is of utmost importance if we wish to stop a takeover by Kroppenleben”, Lord Augustus continued as Albert tuned in again, his thoughts previously distracted by his wild imaginings of what might possibly go wrong if they sent him.

“As such, from the two of you, I think it best if you represent our interests Herr Frank.” He looked confidently towards Albert, and in turn Albert’s heart sank.

“Can we trust you seek audience with the Countess on behalf of the Baroness and Sonnefurt. We need her to see the misconduct of Kroppenleben and their clear staging of an excuse to launch an evidently planned war upon us. We need justice to be enacted for their illegal behaviour, and a force to be sent to put them in their place. Are you up to the task?”

Albert gulped loudly, his mouth dry with angst. He managed to squeak a reply of “Yes” out, not wanting to disappoint and let down his fellow townspeople. He had never been further than Ertingen in his life, and this journey was going to prove to be his greatest adventure.

*********

Marshal Eichhorn then entered the Council chambers, having been organising the siege defence forces for the vast part of the day.
“I have managed to secure the limited aid of the Soll River Patrol through my old contacts. Whilst they are not under orders to attack the Kreutzhofen ships which blockade our harbour, my contacts have secured warrants to search the ships tonight, looking for any smuggled objects. This will provide the perfect cover for the Council to travel to Ertingen where we will be safe, and for the messengers to use the waterways to speed their journeys. We will have to move fast though, for the warrants are tenuous. We have no time to waste.”
The Barony of Sonnefurt - My Army Background

Sonnefurt in Flames- An Epic Tale of Sonnefurt

Le Pistolet's Monotonous Wissenland Log- My Minis

Offline Le Pistolet

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2011, 01:29:46 PM »
Part Eight: Under the Veil of Night

Matilda grew anxious. That night had been designated the night of co-ordinated guerrilla efforts to hamper the Kroppenleben troops in their siege of Sonnefurt. The enemy had neglected her small village of Bezeinhof and the neighbouring village of Martinskorf, seeing their population as no threat and believing their subjugation would immediately follow after the decisive blows to their patron towns of Ostrach and Thalfang respectively. However, Matilda knew this was a decision they would live to regret.

Sepp Sydow, the elder of Martinskorf had visited their Elder, Frau Gaffwiger, to gather as many able bodies they could spare for the effort. The villages were only small and could not spare many, but Matilda had leapt at the chance to be involved. Her elder brother had been killed in the defence of Ostrach, having, as many sons of Bezeinhof were forced to do, join the Sonnefurt garrison several years before to earn money to support his impoverished family. Her father was too old to fight, but she wanted her family to be represented in the struggle, and the loss of her brother to have been for nothing.

The group was assembling on the fringes of Ostrach as the dusk drew closer. They were to launch a lightening raid on the town, killing the guards and burning the stores. They were vastly outnumbered should the small garrison force wake, and as such it had been deemed a suicide mission.

********

Meanwhile, in the Sonnefurt harbour, the Soll River Patrol had stormed the Kreutzhofen ships, demanding to see their papers and check their holds for stolen goods from Sonnefurt. The crews of the ships were compelled to agree, completely shocked by the intervention of an official body in the conflict, but were as of yet unperturbed by their motivations.

Klaus and his four Dwarf escorts had been put on a small vessel towards the River Sonne. The dwarfs were distinctly weary of the water, not trusting the small wooden vessel, despite having been accustomed to human workman’s skills over the years. What made them even more nervous about their mode of transport were the presence of three ponies and a stallion. Even though Lowland Dwarfs were often seen riding ponies around the Barony like their human neighbours rode horses, evidently these three had other ideas.
Klaus sensed their anxiety.

“Well what did you expect? It’s not like you’re known for being particularly fast walkers...”

“Watch it umgi!” replied the one who seemed to be their leader, particularly from his longer, whiter beard, “if we’re seen enterin’ old ‘irn on ‘em, we’ll never live it down, we may as well die our ‘air orange and go find some trolls!”

Klaus used his believed innate ability as a lawyer’s clerk to reach a compromise he deemed suitable.

“Ok then, the steeds’ll go when we get too close, but speed is of the essence, we have a town to save, and my career on the line!”

********

On the other side of the harbour, Albert waited along with the other members of the Council, and some important members of the Sonnefurt aristocracy. Smuggling was present in Sonnefurt and normally kept well under control, but this night, as dusk fell, several smugglers had been mysteriously commissioned by Marius Blech to conduct the safe passage of the precious cargos out of the town’s waters.

Albert was put on a ship with several nobles who preferred to return to their Winter homes in Nuln, their plans for a warm spring and summer in the South of the Province dashed by the war. He spoke little, but just thought about his journey and how he would construct a convincing argument to the Courts of Nuln in order to win their support. He was not a born orator, he had deliberately become a civil servant to avoid having to speak aloud and in public, but now he was being asked to in front of the most important people in the land for the most important cause.

The Council were also being loaded onto a small ship that would carry them across to Ertingen. It was believed that there they would be untouchable, but would be able to fly messenger pigeons the short way across the water to continue guiding the people of Sonnefurt.  It was believed that the Kreutzhofen ships would not risk violent action against Sonnefurt without having been attacked first. If Sonnefurt should fall, they would be safe for a short while, being the far side of the river, where they could attempt to organise a last ditch counter attack.

*********

Frank waited by the banks of the River Martin in one of several  small rowing boats which were bobbing up and down with the waves. He didn’t know if it was this motion making his sick of his fear stemming from the attack he was set to launch on the Martin Bridge with his fellow village guerrillas.

They had rowed downstream from Martinskorf with the intention of destroying the Martin Bridge, a large Dwarf bridge which spanned the mouth of the River Martin and linked Ostrach and Thalfang and ultimately linked Sonnefurt to Kroppenleben. The sabotage of this bridge would make it difficult for reinforcements and supplies to enter by land, forcing them to use the River Soll, which was now heavily patrolled by the Sonnefurt division Soll River Patrol who were working unofficially in the favour of Marshall Eichhorn, making this task infinitely more difficult.

The raid would not be easy, the enemy knew the importance of the bridge all too well, and had stationed a small regiment to defend it. Sepp Sydow had prepared the stealth attack and had somehow acquired several barrels of explosives. Frank was to accompany Sepp and row under the bridge as quietly as possible and detonate the explosives, whilst the rest were to draw attention to the bridge, luring the regiment into the path of the explosion, sending a message to the rest of the Kroppenleben troops.

Frank was on edge, he knew he had the riskiest job, but knew the importance of his role. He was no longer just a woodsman, even clad in his simple, grubby clothes, rather than a gleaming uniform, he was as much of a soldier as any man who the Kroppenleben forces had already killed that week.

The Barony of Sonnefurt - My Army Background

Sonnefurt in Flames- An Epic Tale of Sonnefurt

Le Pistolet's Monotonous Wissenland Log- My Minis

Offline Le Pistolet

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2011, 03:41:20 PM »
I know Inarticulate is reading, but hopefully some others are (feel free to comment) as I have been particularly busy, other parts will be coming in thick and fast. The upcoming part is Part Nine and I think I am still under halfway through....


Part Nine: A Night Ablaze

As night fell Matilda and her fellow guerrillas moved into Ostrach, cloaked by the inky blackness of this cold spring night. They spread out rapidly, bows at the ready. They could not afford to alert anyone to their presence just yet.

Matilda reached for an arrow from her quiver, losing it silently into an unaware guard’s neck, killing him with only a slight gurgle. Despite being a girl, she had had to be a keen marksman, hunting for her family, and defending them from the creatures who inhabited the woodlands, creatures much more terrifying than mere Kroppenleben soldiers.

Her target was a barn at the far end of the town. She and two others made their way around the town, using the cover of bushes to hide them from the patrols, whilst felling anyone who might give them away and who was foolish enough to be alone.
When at the barn, it was decided Matilda would lead. She snuck up to the edge of the barn, noting the sole guard who stood at its entrance. She found her old hunting knife, a gift from her brother when he left to join the military, and it glinted in the moonlight as the clouds that had cloaked them so far began to part.

The guard noticed the glimmer from the corner of his eye, and as Matilda raced at him, he managed to cry out.

“Intruders!!!”

Matilda swore. She had let down the raid, wanting to use her brother’s knife for vengeance when she could have killed him with a quick shot of her bow. Bells were ringing and men were clambering to get to their positions. Evidently, they thought the attack was far greater than the raid it really was.

Matilda quickly set about torching the barn, hoping to escape as quickly as possible. She noted that smoke was billowing all around the town; the others had rushed to complete their objectives. The Kroppenleben garrison was in chaos.

********

At that very same time, Frank was rowing underneath the Martin Bridge, and was priming the barrels. He was to wait for Sepp’s signal before he lit the fuse, giving the men above enough time to retreat from the explosion.

He heard in the distance the shouts of many men. The distraction forces had launched a raid at the camp a short distance from the bridge, and were now running towards the bridge, being chased by the soldiers just as planned.

“Wait fer it lad, wait fer it...” Sepp reassured.

Frank obeyed and waited. He knew the barrels were perfectly in place, he had checked several times in his nervousness.  His hands were sweaty and clammy, and he feared he would dampen the fuses if he touched them. His brow was damn, and his heart was racing. It all hung on him.

The shouts got louder and louder and the definite sound of sword fighting could be heard. Shortly enough, he could hear it above him,  they had made it to the bridge.

“Frank my boy! Now!”

Not one to disobey Sepp, despite his anxiety Frank lit the fuse and began to row away quickly from the bridge. The fuse could be seen glowing in the darkness, and as the clouds began to part, bathing the scene in moonlight, the men could still be seen on the bridge, engaged in bloody hand to hand combat.

“They’re not movin’, they’re gonna get ‘emselves killed!” Sepp exclaimed.

The men were so engrossed in their conflict with their hated enemies that they were not moving fast enough off the bridge, hoping to cut down their foes traditionally and settle their grudges.

“Moooove! Move you bastards!!” Sepp shouted at the top of his booming voice from the boat.

**********

A huge explosion tore through the night. The flames lit the town like daylight. The force of it blew Matilda from the barn and threw her into the cobbled street, leaving her limp and battered with the wind entirely knocked out of her.

Before she had torched the barn, she had neglected to check its contents. Here they were storing the gunpowder that would fuel the handguns, cannons, mortars and siege bombs that would be used to level Sonnefurt. The enormous explosion could be heard for miles, tearing into the peace of the night.

Matilda had dealt a crippling blow to the Kroppenleben siege effort, but lay barely conscious on the floor. The other raiders had managed to flee the scene, but had presumed Matilda dead from the force of the explosion. Ostrach was in flames, they had done their job and were fleeing to the Martinswald and the relative safety of Bezeinhof. Matilda however, was left and incredibly vulnerable.

***********

Frank heard a loud explosion and his heart sank, believing that when he opened his eyes he would see all his comrades’ dead. He was therefore surprised when he saw the bridge was still intact and the men were still locked in mortal combat upon it, and further surprised when he saw a huge column of black smoke billowing out of Ostrach a few miles to the West.

“The Bezeinhof raid must’ve struck gold m’lad!” chuckled Sepp.

The grin was however quickly wiped off his face as another explosion ripped through the night. Frank was stunned. His fear of only a moment ago had been realised. His brief moment of relief shattered. The men were only just clearing the bridge when the barrels launched the masonry high into the sky, along with the bodies of many men. Too many men.

Sepp cursed loudly. It had all gone wrong.

A large wave rocked the boat profusely as the pair still looked on in amazement and disbelief. Tears began to form in Frank’s eyes and he began to sob violently.

“It’s not your fault m’boy, we couldn’t help them...”

************

Matilda slowly regained consciousness and began to open her eyes. She saw the smoke and the panic in the town and remembered she was in Ostrach. Suddenly, a boot slammed into her vision. She turned her head to see who it belonged to, and saw the unmistakable uniform of a Kroppenleben soldier, marked clearly by the green feather in his cap.
“Well, well, what do we have here then?” he chuckled with a sly grin.
The Barony of Sonnefurt - My Army Background

Sonnefurt in Flames- An Epic Tale of Sonnefurt

Le Pistolet's Monotonous Wissenland Log- My Minis

Offline Le Pistolet

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2011, 12:02:14 PM »
Part Ten: Homecoming

Max watched from his post on the Sonnefurt battlements as the forces of Kroppenleben established their camps in the fields surrounding the town. He had gladly welcomed his few days of respite from the intense combat, but could now tell it would be coming again. The air was filled with tension. People talked of the abandonment of Sonnefurt, for the Council had mysteriously disappeared the night before, only to send messages from Ertingen that morning. Max found it hard not to relate it to rats fleeing a sinking ship. Everyone sensed that there was a distinct possibility Sonnefurt would fall.

The only good news came from the chatter that the explosion that was heard the night before had been a resistance movement in Ostrach that had deliberately targeted the gunpowder supplies of their enemies. Sure enough, Max could still see a small plume of black smoke rising from the town to the East and had been able to hear the occasional smaller, follow-up explosions carried on the wind.
The Kroppenleben army still seemed to be enormous, a vast horde of men decked in the livery of Wissenland but also many irregular troops, both clearly from Kroppenleben with their green markings but many with their own heraldry, clearly mercenaries drawn to Baron von Kalb due to the spoils he could offer from the rich and bountiful Barony and the trade routes he sought to secure.

Construction could be heard throughout the morning as the men toiled to make ladders and other siege equipment. The lack of gunpowder meant it would be difficult to muster a long artillery bombardment to break the Dwarf built defences and they would need more traditional ways to enter the city.  Thus it would be a good few days before they were ready to launch their assault, enough time, Max hoped, for reinforcements to arrive.

**********

Victor awoke to a lot of commotion outside the window of his townhouse. He was a fairly wealthy, middle class citizen of Ertingen and lived in the centre, near the grand plaza of the town hall. Crowds were assembling here and looking towards the town gates. Victor spied Mayor Heim bedecked in his finest livery and also noticed he was accompanied by many other important figures within the Barony, the Marshall, several nobles and the Mayors of the surrounding towns. He quickly got dressed and rushed outside to see what all the fuss was about.

“The Council of Sonnefurt have established themselves in our town hall,” a friendly passerby told him, “and the Baroness is on the outskirts of the town. She’s back, and she’s brought soldiers!”

**********

The armed men walked into Bezeinhof early that morning. The villagers stopped their work when they noticed they were dragging a girl with them in chains. Their jaws dropped when they noticed it was Matilda. She was cut a bruised and had clearly been tortured. Her comrades from the night before had thought she was dead, now they realised she had suffered a worse fate at the hands of the enemy soldiers.

“This woman,” started the lead soldier, “was involved on an insubordinate raid on Ostrach last night, along with what I can only assume were many other residents of this village. Baron von Kalb was gracious enough to leave you villagers alone, in the hope you would obey in return for peace, but you were brazen enough to attack his men. He wants retribution, and he will get it.”

He signalled to the men to drag Matilda forwards. He grabbed her by the throat and shouted in her face.

“Denounce your fellow raiders! Denounce them or I will kill you here and now! In front of your friends and family!”

Matilda’s mother let out a muffled yelp at this threat.

“No.” Matilda uttered quietly.

“What was that?! Defiance?!” the leader slapped her round the face. “Do you not fear your death?!”

Matilda spat at the floor before his feet.

The soldier pulled a pistol from his belt and levelled it at her forehead.

“Do you wish to change your answer? One last chance!”

Matilda said nothing, staring down her tormentor, never blinking, pure defiance glinting in her eyes.

He cocked the pistol.

Bang!

Matilda’s body slumped to the floor, the blood from her skull pouring into the earth, running far with the morning’s dew. Her mother ran to her body, clutching her tight and whimpering. Her father comforted his wife, tears welling up in his eyes. They had lost their only two children to this conflict.

“If there’s another attack, all of you will endure the same fate!”

*********

The armed column that entered Ertingen was by no means large, but was a significant number of men. They were troops from Meissen and Heisenberg, towns far to the North from which the Von Heisenberg family had come generations before and still had strong links with. The Baroness had been spending her annual visit in Heisenberg for Von Heisenberg day when the conflict had erupted, and had been travelling with the column almost continuously, collecting token gestures of troops in support from the towns to accompany her.
Gustav had been with the Baroness for the entire journey, comprising her personal guard. He had risen through the ranks of the Sonnefurt military, originally hailing from Ostrach, until he had been promoted due to his valour to the ranks of the Zweihanders that protected the Baroness day and night. When he had learned of the treacherous attack and the fall of his homeland, he had been itching to return, and now he was entering Ertingen, he finally had.

The soldiers provided by Meissen and Heisenberg were well trained men, but were not numerous. The towns had decided to pledge resources which wouldn’t damage their own military numbers, supplying mainly artillery and sharpshooters, who would be kept out of the fray and could be sent back in one piece. This is not to say there were no infantry men, the half pike regiments that were sent were dressed resplendently in their uniforms, marked with black and red markings along with the traditional Wissenland colours. Gustav was happy to have these men at his side, and at least they would provide some reinforcement for his homeland. The time for Sonnefurt’s liberation was nearing.

*********

Frank and Sepp waited till the clear of morning to see the damage caused by their mistimed sabotage the night before. They claimed it was for the light of day, but it was clear they wished not to return to Martinskorf without any other survivors.

The bridge was utterly decimated. Huge pieces of Dwarf masonry lay in the river, and had displaced a lot of the water. Bodies were washing down the Soll, a grizzly surprise for the fishermen downstream, far away from the conflict of this Barony.

The two men had run over explanations in their heads for the entire night. Frank blamed his sweaty palms, but that would have served to delay the explosion. Sepp blamed his rousing of the men beforehand, making them eager for Kroppenleben blood. They both tried to blame the faults of the barrels and their mysterious origins, but could not blame anyone but themselves however hard they tried.
Fortunately, the attack received no retribution, for it was largely attributed to the same group from Bezeinhof, but the sentiments of the village were equally solemn and vengeful. Sepp thought it best to say they died fighting, but were overwhelmed, a lie which held a lot of truth, but kept him and Frank out of blame. He thought that this village, suffering such significant loss, would still need him as a strong leader. However, he did decide that resistance efforts were not the best option any more. Both raids had been a success, but at a huge cost.

**********

Victor listened attentively as the Baroness gave her homecoming speech to the townsfolk of Ertingen.

“My beloved citizens, our Barony is in dire times. Let me first let you know that I would never abandon Sonnefurt, it is my home and the legacy of my family. I have been entrusted to lead you through the good times and the bad, and that is my only purpose. Fortunately for me, in my absence I have a great Council I can call upon! As you can see, I have brought men I hope can turn the tide of this terrible situation. The Marshall tells me word has been sent to all the surrounding towns hoping for pledges of support, and messengers are as we speak on their way to the greater powers of Nuln and Karak Hirn, pleading for intervention to save us. One can only hope they succeed in their journeys, for Sonnefurt needs all the help it can get right now. I need every man to take up arms for their homes and families. We will not be beaten!”

A rousing cry went up from the assembled troops and citizens. Victor felt incredibly passionate, seeing the Baroness return had restored his faith. As an Uppsoller for all his life, having been born in the small town of Strazen, he had passed off this trouble as a Sotsoller problem, and that they would be the ones who would solve it. Now he realised they were all in this together, that everyone had their part to play in Sonnefurt’s darkest hour. Despite being a wealthy merchant, he bore this in mind and signed up to join the Ertingen Irregulars, part of the Dieten Hills Township Militia. He was equipped with simple leather armour and a halberd, and began a rudimentary training programme. Victor was going to war.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2011, 12:31:58 PM by Le Pistolet »
The Barony of Sonnefurt - My Army Background

Sonnefurt in Flames- An Epic Tale of Sonnefurt

Le Pistolet's Monotonous Wissenland Log- My Minis

Offline Captain Dob Van Dwi

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2011, 12:21:45 PM »
An interesting story so far. I don't know if you read any of the stuff that I write but you can look at that and maybe even comment if you so wish. You might even get some inspartion!

Now on to what you have so far. It seems to me that Max is the main char right? If so write a little more with him than the others. If not try to find a char that you can use the the main point of the story. Jumping from char to char in the same part is not the best way to do things. Try to work with one char for each part.

Now on to the good news. Your way of writeing a battle is great just like mine in fact! Now you may be confuesed as to what I am saying.
Dodin't he just ask me to work on one char most of the time? Well yes I did however that is not for battle sences. In battle you have to get a good view of the whole battle and jumping is the best way to do that.

Anyway keep writeing eh?!
I choose too keep "Old Warhammer" alive with my blood sweat and tears.

It's bad that warhammer might die but it would be a tragedy if it stays dead!

Offline Le Pistolet

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2011, 12:39:30 PM »
I have read some of your stuff, I shall take more time out to read it properly though and give you some proper comments as you were nice enough to give me some support  :happy:

Max has slowly developed into the main character but this was not intentional at all. As he is one of the only professional soldiers in the story, he is bound to see a lot of the conflict first hand, meaning that I always tend to use him as the eyes to relate the key moments in the story.

The aim with the switching between the characters was to change the perspective as often as possible. The story is called 'Sonnefurt in Flames' as the entire Barony is under attack, and it affects everyones lives. This is why I have detailed villagers, merchants, working class, nobility and middle class people as well as the professional soldiers. I feel too many stories focus on the military so I wanted a broader range of characters who are forced to fight. Also, it would be impossible for Max or anyone to know everything that is happening during the conflict, so I introduce new characters to give their opinions on the events so that it is not a clinical and sterile description, but had more heart. Finally, I hope the change of characters builds suspense, I try and end with a cliffhanger before every line of stars  :icon_wink:

Hopefully now you know the logic behind it, you can appreciate why I have done it. It may not be to everyone's taste, but I'm glad you enjoy it at least for the battle scenes.

And yes, I am only half way through, I will keep writing, there is much more still to detail.
The Barony of Sonnefurt - My Army Background

Sonnefurt in Flames- An Epic Tale of Sonnefurt

Le Pistolet's Monotonous Wissenland Log- My Minis

Offline Captain Dob Van Dwi

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2011, 12:52:54 PM »
Ah I see carry on then! :biggriin:

Ps: Btw are you going to modle your wissenlanders? Would love too see thw warriors od Sonnefurt in plastic!
I choose too keep "Old Warhammer" alive with my blood sweat and tears.

It's bad that warhammer might die but it would be a tragedy if it stays dead!

Offline Le Pistolet

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2011, 01:12:09 PM »
Check out my log in my signature. It hasn't been updated in a long while however...
The Barony of Sonnefurt - My Army Background

Sonnefurt in Flames- An Epic Tale of Sonnefurt

Le Pistolet's Monotonous Wissenland Log- My Minis

Offline Inarticulate

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2011, 03:22:32 PM »
Good stuff mate. Bit of a shame you missed out on The Solland Effort narrative campaign last year (or was it the year before?!). Sonnefurt wasnt claimed by anyone and you couldve slotted in there perfectly!
I for one welcome our new flying cat overlords.

Offline Le Pistolet

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2011, 03:29:06 PM »
It was missing out on the campaign that really made me want to write this, I was gutted I joined too late and have wanted to do something suitably epic with Sonnefurt for a while.

Anyway, I have been cracking on with the story:


Part Eleven:  Urgent Messages

Klaus and his escort voyaged upstream in their small vessel for a short distance, well out of Sonnefurt and towards the mountains to which they headed. The spring thawing of the mountain snow meant that they had to disembark earlier than they had thought, the strong currents making it difficult to pass further up the River Sonne. They managed to disembark beyond Scharmbeck, careful to remain undetected for Scharmbeck was Kreutzhofen territory, being caught here would spell disaster for the attempted relief effort.

Grudgingly the Dwarfs mounted their ponies whilst Klaus rode his stallion. Although he could easily have beaten them to the hold, he took pride in telling them what this would do for his fledgling career, and thus in return what he could do for them should they come into trouble.

“No offence m’lad, but yer umgi careers aren’t really worth anythin’.” One of the Dwarfs grumbled, “A real job is manual, we don’t need no one tellin’ us what the law says, wes all know it, ‘n’ stick to it. It’s not ‘ard, you break it, ye get punished. No if ye’d shut up for a minute sos we can focus on our trek, me beard keeps gettin’ caught in me stirrups”

Klaus promptly kept his mouth shut for the rest of the journey, not wanting to upset the people set to protect him. As they advanced further into the mountains it became clear they were entering the realm of the Dwarfs. Brilliantly crafted statues lined the passes, with well built and strong defences overlooking key choke points.

Little did the party know, they were being watched.

**********

Once well out of the Sonnefurt docks, it was safe for Albert and the nobles to emerge from the hold of the ship. The ship was cruising quickly down the River Soll, passing the countryside rapidly. Fortunately there was a good wind, and the sail was full. Albert remarked at how busy the river was, huge amounts of traffic filling it from bank to bank. It was evident the Kreutzhofen blockade had no effect on the lives of any other river based merchant, hence the lack of objection. It would still take a couple of days to cruise this river but the weather was good and the boat was luxurious, befitting its crew.

The passengers attempted to make small talk with Albert, probably out of boredom, and Albert found this difficult. He much preferred to look out upon the lands, land he had never voyaged out in before. He had no comprehension of how far Wissenland stretched for, or what Nuln would be like. He was a simple country fellow; he knew what he liked and didn’t like to be taken out of his comfort zone.

He did not that the rest of Wissenland was terribly peaceful in comparison to his homeland. Over the last few days, with all the chaos in the offices of the Council he had imagined everyone was at war, that there was a huge incursion of beasts. He forgot that it was just his small Barony that was having any trouble. Most of the land was quite content to let Kroppenleben and Sonnefurt have their dispute, it was nothing to do with them. He knew the other messengers would be unsuccessful or even turned away. How he wished he was one of them, no responsibility whatsoever, but he was given the most important task. With no other aid Nuln was the only other ally besides Karak Hirn Sonnefurt could try and rely on. It was all down to him and Klaus.

*********

Out of nowhere a band of Dwarf rangers appeared from the rocks before Klaus and his Dwarf escorts. They emerged laughing, having caught the three Dwarfs sat on their ponies. They began to mock the Dwarfs in Khazalid, their sergeant leading the verbal assault.

“Look ‘ere lads, these boys are riding umgi ponies, they must be Lowlanders. All that town air and human fraternising has lost them their way. Look at their clothes, all baggy and poncy.  How could you do this to yourselves boys? And now you dare to bring your tainted ways back up into the land of the real Dwarfs?”

One of the Dwarfs bucked up, but having only learnt Khazalid from his parents, was fairly rusty.

“We, errrr, are here, ummmm, on official business errm, of Sonnefurt. We, hmmm, wish to speak errrr, with the King.”

“We can speak the umgi language if yous want pal?” the sergeant retorted, “seems yous ‘ave lost touch with yer roots!”

The band chuckled amongst themselves. Klaus was very glad they were now speaking the Imperial tongue, for he had no idea what had been going on, but now wished to show his negation talents off.

“My good men, we are on official business of the Baroness of Sonnefurt, we seek an urgent audience with the King. If you would be so kind as to lead us to him, I would be eternally grateful and in your debt. ”

He showed them a seal bearing the rose and briars of the Von Heisenberg family.

“Do yer now, well methinks ‘es quite busy bein’ King and that, but might be able fit ye in m’lord” the sergeant mocked Klaus’ well spoken Nulnurt dialect.

“That would be most excellent, thanking you kindly”.

Klaus felt rather proud of himself once again, he felt that he was definitely sent on this mission due to his evident talent and personal skills. He had managed to get an audience with the King of Karak Hirn and had an escort there. The rangers marched the messengers through the mountain passes all through the night. Klaus hoped the next morning he would be able to speak to the King, and maybe he could personally turn the tide.

The Barony of Sonnefurt - My Army Background

Sonnefurt in Flames- An Epic Tale of Sonnefurt

Le Pistolet's Monotonous Wissenland Log- My Minis

Offline Inarticulate

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2011, 10:05:58 PM »
Im sure Marschall Hans von Plauten in Nuln would help out Sonnefurt, unless the Baroness has Solland sympathies of course!
I for one welcome our new flying cat overlords.

Offline Le Pistolet

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2011, 10:16:48 PM »
Eugh, we don't take kindly to those Solland scum round these parts  :dry: :closed-eyes:

This does change things however, have been wondering how we might win round Nuln and it was proving difficult at best, what with the Countess and Baroness having a great disdain for one-another. I will look into your background for Marschall von Plauten and attempt to include him in the story. Thankyou greatly  :happy:
The Barony of Sonnefurt - My Army Background

Sonnefurt in Flames- An Epic Tale of Sonnefurt

Le Pistolet's Monotonous Wissenland Log- My Minis

Offline Le Pistolet

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2011, 11:41:10 AM »
Part Twelve: Shattered Hopes

The next morning Albert arrived at the port of Nuln. The steady wind had kept up through the night, and the swollen river had helped with strong downstream currents. It was almost as if Lacothea herself had been with the ship on its voyage, and was on Sonnefurt’s side, willing it to gain the support it deserved.

Albert was blown away by the city of Nuln. It was enormous. People filled everywhere Albert looked. It was hectic, noisy, smoky, and smelly. Albert’s senses were assaulted violently as he left the ship. He was to be accompanied by a noble who had links at the Court of Nuln and could manage to get an appointment fixed for Albert to plead Sonnefurt’s case against Kroppenleben. The man lead Albert through the streets, for it was almost certain Albert would have become lost without him.

Albert was amazed by how different Nuln was to anything he had seen before. In Sonnefurt he felt safe and in a friendly environment, it was clean, flagstonned and organised. It was busy, but not chaotic, and he felt like he could fit in. Already in Nuln he felt violated. People pushed and shoved and shouted. They were rude, obnoxious and selfish.

As they left the docks and entered the University district however, Albert suddenly felt much more at ease. It was quieter, more serene and beautiful and full of polite people who greeted him and his guide. He could imagine living and working here, not in the noisy city but in this peaceful enclave amidst the bedlam.

Soon he reached the Palace. His companion had a few words and managed to secure him a meeting with the Countess and her advisors in a couple of hours. This was Albert’s time to shine, he desperately needed to come out of his shell.

***********

As Albert was seeking an audience with the Countess, Klaus was making his case known before the King of Karak Hirn. The King had been busy with other business, but wanted to know whether the conflict below would cause him any grief. Klaus obviously turned on his charm and oratory skill to present his case.

“Your Highness. I have been sent to you on behalf Baroness von Heisenberg to seek your aid in a matter of war. Soldiers from Kroppenleben threaten to utterly destroy and take over our lands. Baron von Kalb seeks to take all of our trade with you under his own wing. Surely you do not want this to happen? The Hirn-Sonnefurt Banking Corporation and the many other trade partners have had long established relationships. Why change this now? Would you not rather deal with people you know you can trust, instead of changing the leadership? We need your military aid to put this right. If you could pledge some soldiers to turn the tide in our war, we would be eternally grateful to your hold and people and our long established trade links could continue to proper and flourish.”

Klaus finished his speech, pleased with himself, and sat and waited for the King’s reply. This took longer than he expected, as the King mumbled to several advisors, and carefully considered his answer, which took him a while to formulate in his long unused Imperial tongue.

“You mention that Baron von Kalb of Kroppenleben wishes to take over yer trade with us do ye not? We find this arrangement acceptable. We deal with too many of you umgi as it is, and a simplification would be greatly appreciated, the less I have to deal with yer politics, the better. Besides, the Baroness ye represented is too young to know ‘ow to truly deal with us Dwarfs, and she is a female, she does not ‘ave the beard for it. I’m afraid I won’t be gettin’ involved, ye’ll ‘ave to sort yer problems out yerself.”

With that the King stood and left, his bodyguard leaving with him, leaving Klaus and his party stood gobsmacked in the great hall of the hold. Klaus was particularly stunned, not believing he could have failed, especially with such an impeccable speech. All his hopes from the night before had been dashed in an instant.

**********

Meanwhile, word had reached Baron von Kalb of the return of the Baroness to Ertingen, along with the reinforcements she had brought with her. He had also learned of the smuggling of the Council to safety and of the messengers out of the docks. He began to curse loudly at Leopold.
“How could this happen?! How could we let them slip past us?! We had the noose tightening around their necks! Now they could be gaining support from anyone! The River Patrol is on their side, it is only a matter of time before Nuln are too! And what about Karak Hirn?! We were so close! Damn these Sonnefurters”

He threw his empty goblet at the portrait of Max von Heisenberg above the fireplace in the large dining room.

Leopold softly calmed his inflamed master.

“But my liege,” he cooed, “there is no one left to help them! They lost a lot of friends in the Solland Effort by staying neutral; they can count on no support from the local area. Only the local division of the River Patrol are set to help Marshall, and they act against direct orders, I have alerted the correct authorities as to their betrayal of trust in their neutrality in politics. Nuln will be reluctant to help, the Countess is reluctant to help her cousin due to her jealousy, it will take a lot to convince her otherwise, and this will buy us time. The Dwarfs were also easy to manipulate, I convinced them of the ease if you were to assume control of Sonnefurt’s trade, and a sowed seeds of doubt in the leadership of the Baroness for many years. There is no need to worry my lord, no need at all.”

“Very well Leopold, as always you have planned meticulously. I still dislike that Ertingen is gaining strength however, perhaps we need to knock them down a peg.”

“I’ll get right on it my liege.” Leopold cooed slyly.
The Barony of Sonnefurt - My Army Background

Sonnefurt in Flames- An Epic Tale of Sonnefurt

Le Pistolet's Monotonous Wissenland Log- My Minis

Offline Captain Dob Van Dwi

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2011, 12:45:12 PM »
Nice pice. I find it interesting but not all that shocking that The King Of Karak Hirn (Alrik Ranlufsson) would not help. He is a VERY conservative dwai and is pro old style dwarf. Ie dose not give a shit about anyone but dwarfs.
I choose too keep "Old Warhammer" alive with my blood sweat and tears.

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Offline Le Pistolet

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2011, 12:50:59 PM »
Exactly, Sonnefurt believes it has strong relations with the hold but ultimately King Ranlufsson knows he will still be there when the next Baron or Baroness is in power, as long as the trade is kept open by someone, he couldn't care less who conducts the business...
The Barony of Sonnefurt - My Army Background

Sonnefurt in Flames- An Epic Tale of Sonnefurt

Le Pistolet's Monotonous Wissenland Log- My Minis

Offline Le Pistolet

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2011, 12:32:46 PM »
Part Thirteen: Rules of Engagement

Victor woke up again to commotion, but this time it was much more sinister. The ships in the harbour had begun a bombardment of Ertingen. Fortunately for Victor, he had few minutes to rush his family to his cellar before the cannons turned on his district.

As they did the noise was horrific. The balls of iron crashed all around, sending shrapnel in every direction. Victor donned his armour and grabbed his halberd, he was expecting an invasion, and the bells were calling for the militia to assemble. He weaved his way around the town, dodging collapsing buildings and flying cobblestones, burning buildings and fleeing townspeople. It was carnage. People lay dead in the street, torn apart by the whirling debris. Time seemed to slow as Victor darted everywhere, nowhere was safe, there was no cover from such an attack.

Shrapnel scraped his leg, and he swore as he saw his blood trickle down his leg, but thought himself lucky considering the other outcomes. To his surprise, the bombardment continued, but began to slow. This wasn’t a preliminary attack to signal an invasion, it was planned to throw the town into disorder and disrepair, to maim the townsfolk and drive down moral and to attempt to deplete or damage the reinforcements.

The fire slowed to a reasonable rate, but continued for most of the day, an occasional blast to keep the people on their toes. In a way, the attack had been successful. The town hall was ablaze, the place that held most of the Council and many troops. Many townspeople were lying dead in the streets, and many had and were fleeing to the safety of Strazen, fearing another ferocious attack in the near future.

Victor helped in any way he could. Fortunately his family had been saved, but the window he had looked out of that morning had become a large cannon ball hole, with a similar one of the other side of the room. He had been lucky, many others had not. He helped bury the bodies, mostly of civilians, and put out the fires. The enemy had gone too far this time.

***********

Klaus and his band had left the hold disappointed and had been shown to a point where the River Sonne became traversable by boat as it emerged out of the mountains by the rangers. From his view, Klaus could see smoke rising from the distance, to what he believed to be Sonnefurt. He knew he had failed. He couldn’t win over the King of Karak Hirn and now Sonnefurt was in flames.

***********

Captain Strotmann stood on the prow of his ship, followed by several others from the River Patrol, all brimming with armed men and re-entered Sonnefurt for the second time in two days.  This time, however, he had a legitimate cause, rather than the tenuous warrants he had secured to aid his old friend Marshall Eichhorn. This time, he had been ordered to force the Kreutzhofen fleet to stand down. Their bombardment of Ertingen had killed many innocent bystanders without fair warning, and was unprovoked due to the nature of the conflict being between Sonnefurt and Kroppenleben.

The ships cut through the amassed fleet in the harbour, and the Captain headed for the flagship, hoping to talk to the Admiral of the Kreutzhofen fleet. He and his support boarded the ships, bearing an official declaration of the breach of the rules of engagement and the violation of the use of the River Soll.

“By decree of the Countess and Wissenburg, and orders of the Soll River Patrol, you are hereby ordered to stand down immediately, or risk punishment! You shall end you’re blockade of Sonnefurt and return to Kreutzhofen. Any reformation of this fleet for use against Sonnefurt and its protectorate towns will be seen as an illegal usage of this neutral waterway.”

“What authority do you act under Captain Strotmann?” the Admiral retorted, “do you think we were born yesterday? We know you work for Sonnefurt, your stunt the other day was in their interests. Who says we should believe you?”

The men on the ship began to draw their weapons, the River Patrolmen reached for theirs too. The atmosphere was tense, it was becoming a standoff.

The silence was broken as a cabin boy shouted.

“Admiral, I think you need to look at this!”

In the distance, dozens more ships bearing the insignia of the River Patrol were heading into the docks of Sonnefurt.

“Alright men, stand down! We best be out of here!”

***********

Klaus had quickly made it down the mountain on the rapids streaming from the melting snow. On bis descent he had seen many ships entering the Sonnefurt harbour from downriver and thought that maybe help had been on its way. He had felt slightly relieved; he had not failed the town entirely, perhaps Sonnefurt would be saved after all- he could only hope.

As the band had reached just south of Scharmbeck they had noticed a crowd of soldiers waiting on the banks of the river, wearing the livery of Kroppenleben.

Simultaneously they swore as they realised their fate.
The Barony of Sonnefurt - My Army Background

Sonnefurt in Flames- An Epic Tale of Sonnefurt

Le Pistolet's Monotonous Wissenland Log- My Minis

Offline wissenlander

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2011, 02:46:02 PM »
I keep seeing your updates but have yet to read them, unfortunately.  It is on my to do list though, I promise.  I've been tracking your progress as anything relating to Wissenland piques my interest.  Keep up the good work (I'm sure it's good!) and when I get a chance I will post feedback!
Me and Wissenlander had babies!

not together.

finding photographic evidense that Wiss smiles is going to be hard...

Offline Le Pistolet

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Re: Sonnefurt in Flames
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2011, 04:47:39 PM »
I was hoping to draw your attention Wissenlander, glad my story is on your radar. I await your comments eagerly  :happy:

I've managed another part today to make up for the lack of updates this week. The next part is waiting on some information from Inarticulate so I can include his character, as I love it when fan fluff comes together in one place.


Part Fourteen: Treachery and Greed

The Council sat around in the broken and battered town hall of Ertingen. Although the Baroness was now entitled to assume total control of the situation, she was happy to delegate to her Council, for she found the harsh realities of war hard to deal with, and preferred the Marshall to assume command on her behalf.

She still however attended the meeting, and Gustav was selected to stand guard within the meeting room with several other guards. The debris inside the hall had been cleared to some extent, and a table had been found in a nearby merchant’s house that served to replace the destroyed official table.

Marshall Eichhorn began the meeting, sitting this time as its chair.

“As you well know, the Kreutzhofen fleet has been banished from our waters on orders of Wissenburg and the River Patrol, this was not even my doing. Captain Strotmann assures me that the Patrol are here to stay to make sure the free conduct of our war can happen without illegal impediment or citizen slaughter. Their intervention also gives me faith that we may well soon be hearing from Nuln, the misconduct of the Kroppenleben-Kreutzhofen alliance has been noted by the authorities, it is only a matter of time.”

“But we still ‘aven’t ‘eard from Karak ‘irn yet” grumbled Jusk Stromsson, ‘it shouldn’t ‘ave taken this long, we should’ve ‘eard the great ‘orn blowin’ if they was comin’ to war.”

*********

“Open the gates!”

Max was on gate duty with his militia regiment, and had seen a lone cart dragged by a single pony heading towards the town. When it had reached the gate, it was searched by a guard, hoping it was not explosives, and was quickly admitted through.

Max struggled to see the carts contents through the inquisitive crowd that began to form. The cover was removed and a gasp rose amongst the assembled onlookers. It was four bodies, racked with crossbow bolts, one human and three Dwarfs. The human wore the seal of the Baroness.

**********

The messenger whispered in the ear of the Marshall, passing on an urgent message.

“In answer to the earlier question of Karak Hirn’s support, I have just had reports that it seems highly unlikely. The bodies of the four messengers were reportedly pulled out of the River Sonne by Kroppenleben forces today, riddled with Dwarf made crossbow bolts. It seems that either our messengers fell foul to a patrol who believed them bandits, or that they managed to upset the Dwarfs. Either way, it looks like we cannot count on the support of our mountain allies.”

Whispers and groans of disappointment echoed around the table.

Prince Imre Lank, stood up, for the first time offering his thoughts on the conflict. Being from the Border Princes, Gustav struggled to understand entirely what he was saying.

“I thinks that asa the Dwarf no want to helps us, we haves to takes the matter into our own. I has many contacts in this land here froms the old country, mercenaries who will fights for a cost. Maybes we cans convince them?”
Herr Elzacher interrupted the Prince.

“A fair point, this land teams with mercenaries, but it seems they have all been taken under the Kroppenleben wing, Baron von Kalb has used his wealth to pay all the available mercenaries, hoping to pay them back with the spoils he earns from us. Besides, we have no money to afford mercenaries, we are financially stretched as it is.”

“Not entirely true, my dear Miengot.” Herr Guttmann interjected, “as human company executive of the Hirn-Sonnefurt Banking Corporation, I am sure I can secure us the funds. The Dwarfs have refused to help us, and may even have killed our messengers, I think we are fully justified in legally seize their assets stored here to finance a mercenary contingent.”

This was the first time anything Herr Guttmann had said had been greeted with joy by the Council. It was quickly decided that a messenger would be sent to the nearest mercenary captain, one working for Kroppenleben who was stationed outside of Ostrach, hoping to turn his allegiance with the promise of large amounts of Dwarf gold.

**********

Alonso sat in his tent smoking, pondering on how he would spend the riches he was currently earning for sitting doing nothing. Baron von Kalb had hired him and his mercenary company before the conflict had started, promising the spoils of Sonnefurt and perhaps some land in the southern Barony, somewhere he could spend time when not in his home country. However, he had yet to actually fight in the conflict. Instead he and his boys had been filling in the lines, and they were growing restless. Alonso had become a mercenary not for the money, but the fighting and the glory, and this was being denied. He did not object to the princely sum he was being paid for his lack of work, but hoped he would be put to best use soon.
One of his guards ran into his tent, out of breath.

“A messenger from the other side wishes to speak with you, says he has an interesting proposition.”

“Bring him’a to me, I am’a so bored it might’a provide at least leetle a bit of entertainment.”

***********

Johann had been chosen to send to the message to the notorious mercenary captain Alonso Capitore. He had a reputation of being a grizzled veteran of many campaigns, all over the Old World. He was a Tilean but spent much of his time in the Empire, and had made a name for himself in Southern Wissenland as an expert general, and his band for being ruthless and efficient killers. As such, Johann was more than a little nervous about meeting him.

When he was ushered into the tent, he saw the man before him. His face was covered in scars and wounds. He wore an eye patch over his right eye and had a scraggy black beard. He was a terrifying sight to behold, but when he spoke his gentle Tilean accent was juxtaposed with his rugged appearance.

“I hear’a you have a proposition for’a me? Howa can I help’a you?”

Johann stuttered, and finally managed to get his pre-prepared speech out.

“Senore Capitore, I have been sent on behalf of the Baroness and Council of Sonnefurt to ask for your aid. They recognise that you have been employed to fight against us by Baron von Kalb of Kroppenleben but are prepared to double his payment to all of your men should you turn against him and act in our favour. Furthermore, should your actions turn the tide of this war, and Baron von Kalb should lose, we will aim to recover your already agreed payment from him, allowing you to earn three times your rate if you should side with us.”

“That’s’a very interesteeng offer you’a make my friend. My men’a grow bored of his’a treatment of us. I will’a consider your offer, and will’a discuss it with my men”.

Johann issued his great thanks and headed back to his boat. Perhaps these men would be interested.

*********

Alonso watched as the timid messenger left his tent, considering his handsome offer. He knew conflict would come soon and he would get his chance for glory, but for which side? If he stayed with Kroppenleben he may well be victorious, but would be involved in a long, monotonous siege, with only one decisive battle after months of waiting. If he joined Sonnefurt, he could turn their campaign around, be recognised by them as a great hero, and fight in many battles against his employers. Plus, he could earn a tidy fee doing it. He began to ponder his treachery....
The Barony of Sonnefurt - My Army Background

Sonnefurt in Flames- An Epic Tale of Sonnefurt

Le Pistolet's Monotonous Wissenland Log- My Minis