Author Topic: Tilea's Troubles, IC2401  (Read 79559 times)

Offline Uryens de Crux

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #100 on: September 17, 2014, 12:54:22 PM »
Hurry up!!!
We go to gain a little patch of ground that hath in it no profit but the name.
The Free Company of Solland

The Barony of Wusterburg

Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #101 on: September 17, 2014, 01:34:58 PM »
Yeah, RL is a buXXer! Photos are done for parts 2 and 3, writing still incomplete for part 2. Will try to do it tonight (I deserve a night of fun.)
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Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #102 on: September 18, 2014, 10:52:03 AM »
End of Season 4 (Winter 2401-2) General Report Part Two

All That I Could Learn

A Letter to Lord Lucca Vescucci of Verezzo

My most noble lord, I pray to all the lawful gods that you are blessed with good health and prosperity, and that you will welcome this dispatch as a truthful insight into events to the west of your realm. Knowing full well how you wished for improved intelligence concerning the Arabyan mercenaries encamped at Luccini, I took it upon myself to travel there in the early months of winter and found a city well prepared for war. Yet it is a war unlikely to come. In preparation to fight Khurnag’s Mighty Waagh!, King Ferronso increased the fighting strength of his forces considerably, not least by purchasing the Southlandish ‘Sons of the Desert’ – an entire army of mercenaries, foot and horse, handgunners and spears. Now it is reported that the Waagh has been broken and scattered by the Marienburger mercenaries currently occupying Alcente, leaving the young King of Luccini at a loss how to play with his soldiers. If the city of Luccini were further to the north and thus closer to the terrors there, then certainly the boy king would not feel bereft of enemies, but as the city lies so far to the south, with the great states of Remas and Portomaggiore lying betwixt it and the undead, then that particular fear has yet to take a deep root in the young king’s mind.

So it is that Luccini now finds itself playing host to an expensive army of Arabyans it could well do without. Of course, King Ferronso cannot risk refusing their pay, for the consequences could be ruinous. Such men would not hesitate to extract by cruel force all that they were owed, and more besides, tearing the city apart in the process. As the boy king’s own militia forces are greatly outnumbered by these mercenaries, then he could not hope to use them to restore order. In the dark hours of night, when many Luccinans are red faced and reeling in the flickering light of the tavern fires, it is a common joke that soon there will be a Caliphate here in Tilea, just like in ancient times, and that all native born inhabitants will become little more than slaves to their new masters.

And so the mercenaries do what such men enjoy most – swaggering through the streets, heavily armed, terrifying children and maids, happily satisfied that they need not fight in the morrow, nor indeed for some time to come. The mercenaries’ general, Gedik Mamidous, is apparently in no rush to leave, and he rules an entire quarter of the city as if he is chief magistrate and mayor. I myself witnessed him holding court, surrounded by desert warriors in serried ranks, sheltered from the spattering raindrops by a silken parasol.

Merchants and traders vied for his attention, for there is profit to be made in the supplying of such well paid mercenaries’ wants. These are not only Tilean merchants, however, but ever more of his own countrymen, who have no doubt found it much easier than previously to trade with Luccini, now that an entire army of Arabyans are quartered there.

I cannot say for certain, as such men as these have no reason to converse with the likes of me, and I have not a word of their strange tongue, but it seems to me that a general as experienced as Mamidous would not sit idly as time passed, knowing that when the terms of his contract end the Luccinans will try every way possible to cease paying him. Perhaps he is already considering how to extract more money from them at that time, in return for their continued protection (no longer against greenskins but against his own soldiers)? Or perhaps he is already involved in negotiations with another Tilean state, or even a more distant realm, in order to acquire a new contract? It must be considered possible, however, especially in light of the rather more significant threat to the north, that whatever his current dealings, Mamidous intends at the first hint of real trouble, to return whence he came.

Unwilling to tarry where I could learn little else, I made arrangements to journey to the city of Remas by way of the sea. Being well travelled I know better than to put much stock in mariners’ tales, yet upon several occasions I heard the sailors talk of worrying sightings at sea. I made a point of questioning as many as possible and came to the conclusion that it is more likely than not that there is truth in what they said. They have espied with their own eyes, and on more than one occasion, ratto uomo slave galleys, of massive size and usually in groups of no less than half a dozen. These sightings occurred upon the Tilean Sea, and even close to the coast. No one claimed to have been attacked, but several muttered about ships going missing and glimpses of scuttling spies sneaking about in the docks. As to whether these events are due to another civil war amongst the ratmen, or preparations for some other enterprise, I know not, nor was there any reason to suspect anything in particular. Nevertheless it seems to me that you ought to be informed.

Upon arrival in Remas I was surprised to discover no sign of the legions of crusaders I had expected. In truth, however, I think it unlikely that any who do intend to respond to the arch lector’s call can have both mustered together and completed the journey in the short time available. As for the Remans, if I may venture my own humble analogy, it seems to me that they are like actors before a play begins. Many speak of those who are coming, alive and undead, as if they are the heroes and villains who shall take to the stage. They are much busied with fashioning the stage for the drama, repairing the city’s ancient defences and practicing their military drill and postures from the earliest hour of daylight. Martial law reigns in the streets, which swarm with the provost’s officers and common informers, in readiness perhaps for the rowdy crowds of crusaders who will surely come to play their parts. Furthermore - as you so wisely suggested to me before my departure - it is indeed the case that the arch lector of the Church of Morr once again rules supreme in the city, wholly governing matters military, civil and spiritual. He has become director of all.

Perhaps as a consequence more of the arch lector’s return to full power than the great emergency, there are changes afoot. Remas’ famous army of foreign mercenaries is no longer so purely alien. A new artillery company has been raised, and a baggage guard, both of whom consist entirely of Reman subjects, wearing the traditional orange and blue livery of the arch lector. They are listed merely as new companies of the palace guard, but it is plain to all that they are more suited in strength to support a large army in the field than stand duty at gates and doors.

I was intrigued to learn that in response to the great emergency the renowned artist Angelo da Leoni had laid down his brushes and turned his famous intelligence to the matter of engines of war once again, as he did in his more youthful years. Eager to see exactly what he was working on, I made my way to his workshop where I unsurprisingly discovered that already the great inventor’s efforts were being sponsored by the arch lector: palace guardsmen guarded the workshop and yard in which da Leoni laboured.

Not that the guards were particularly keen to keep the maestro’s work secret, rather to ensure simply that he could go about it undisturbed. In fact, they were happy that those who came might look through the open gates to see the efforts being made, and indeed the city’s streets are already rife with gossip about the deadly engine and how exactly it would help defeat the foe. Such news helps raise the people’s spirits, and no doubt the arch lector intended from the start that it should do so. I myself cannot claim to have the mechanical understanding to guess at the workings of the machine, so I will simply explain what I saw.

The maestro himself was present when I visited, book in hand as he gave instructions to the craftsmen labouring upon his creation. He is a stout, stern looking fellow in his old age, no longer anything like the youthful figure shown in the self-portrait in your lordship’s palace. He too, like most of the workers in the yard, wore the arch-lector’s livery, as well as a chain of office which I later learned signified his rank as general of artillery.

The machine itself had a heart of iron, enclosed in a growing case of timber. Massive wheels lay strewn about the yard, presumably yet to be attached, although some wheels where of solid iron and like unto those contained within the workings of a clock, though upon a much larger scale. I saw no sign of armament, neither artillery pieces nor rams nor even a platform upon which fighting men might be carried, and although it is probable such things will be added later, I would not care to suggest that they most definitely will. For all I know, some sort of flail is to be fashioned, or perhaps great scything blades, like those described in the stories of goblin pump wagons, so that it can cut a swathe of destruction through the enemy’s ranks and files. Certainly the people of Remas seem happy to make any and all of these suggestions.

My eyes lingered upon what I presumed to be the driving part of this machine. It consists of a great, iron kettle, shaped somewhat like a large barrel, out of which sprout arms, wheels and stove-like extensions. I saw no tiller, nor any obvious harness for a team of horses, but instead what I supposed was a form of steering wheel. It seemed to me that the whole was some time from completion, although I cannot say whether more work is being done elsewhere, behind closed doors, so that like a firearm is composed of the joining of barrel, stock and lock, perhaps several parts will come together quite quickly to complete this machine.

Every day the arch lector receives emissaries from foreign states, some to show their support for the great crusade, some merely to make promises concerning the same, but most to beg for aid against the foe. A large delegation of Urbinans plead daily and openly for forces to defend them now that the foe’s foul dominion borders their home. The city also plays host to the celebrated heroes of the Viadazan crusade, who at such great a cost felled the vampire duke and drove back his army to buy time for the rest of Tilea. General D’Alessio has declared himself entirely willing to lead the new crusaders to victory, while the lector of Viadaza, Bernado Ugolini, is hosted by the arch lector and is daily in conference with him concerning how best to thwart the foe.

I shall remain here in Remas into the spring, all the better to observe how the great crusade fares, and I will, at every opportunity, send letters to you concerning developments.

I remain you most loyal and obedient servant.

Antonio Mugello
« Last Edit: November 30, 2014, 05:10:38 PM by Padre »
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Offline Uryens de Crux

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #103 on: September 18, 2014, 12:29:33 PM »
Ha! Superb
We go to gain a little patch of ground that hath in it no profit but the name.
The Free Company of Solland

The Barony of Wusterburg

Offline doowopapocalypse

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #104 on: September 18, 2014, 02:13:55 PM »
Tops, as ever.

Offline damo_b

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #105 on: September 18, 2014, 07:32:13 PM »
Nice work

Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #106 on: September 24, 2014, 07:46:40 PM »
End of Season 4 (Winter 2401-2) General Report Part Three

Gladius Morri super terram cito et velociter (The sword of Morr, striking and swift)
A square in Trantio   

“What have you got there then?” bellowed Giovacchino as he swaggered unsteadily from the alley into the square, still clutching the wine jug responsible for his current inebriation. His words boomed around the little square, where four more Pavonan soldiers stood around the kneeling and pathetically hunched form of a man in the livery of the Compagnia del Sole. Several Trantian bystanders watched from under the jettying beams of the square’s main attraction – an alehouse - as Giovacchino strode up to join his comrades. His stockings hung loose upon his calves while his hat tottered heavily and at such an angle it was a wonder it was still attached.

“Got yourselves a prisoner, eh?” he asked. “Big deal. You should have gone down there with me for richer pickings. What I have here is worth its weight in silver.” He jangled the clattering contents of his sack to prove his point. “Because …" he paused momentarily for effect "... it is silver! What you’ve got is worth only its weight in dirt.”

A whimpering sound came from the prisoner, expressing either fear or helplessness or a potent combination of the two. Giovacchino smiled in a self-satisfied manner, rolling his eyes mockingly, too drunk either to care how annoying he would appear.

“Shut it, Chino,” said Mariano, his own slurred voice sounding no less drunk. “He ain’t told us all we need to know yet. We don’t want you upsetting him all unnecessary.”

“Why?” said Giovacchino loudly. “What you after? Is it good stuff? Does he know where there’s more?”

“We can find that out later,” said Aldus – sombre and sober despite having drunk as much, if not more, than the two much louder soldiers. Although quiet, he was the sort of man who was always heard.  His stern face suited him – for he did bloody work in battle (a soldier’s soldier was what many called him) and always seemed to have his wits about him whether fighting or drinking. His present sobriety was all the more impressive considering the blood he had lost from the head wound received during the assault upon Trantio. The other soldiers were all now looking at him.

“Right now,” he said …

… “he needs to tell us if any more of his friends are hiding here.”

“It don’t look to me,” said Giovacchino, “like he’s in a conversational frame of mind.

“I can make him talk,” offered Carlo, prodding the squatting captive’s head with the muzzle of the handgun he had kept trained on him ever since they found him. “And if he doesn’t talk, then I can shoot him to teach his friends what happens when they don’t cooperate.”

The whimper was heard again, no different from the last time. Mariano raised his hand abruptly, spilling wine from the goblet he had forgotten he was holding in it. It was perhaps intended as a gesture to silence the others, but instead looked more like he was about to make a toast. He addressed the cowering man, “We’re not going to have to shoot you, though, are we? Because you’re going to tell us where your friends are.”

“They’ll be coming out either way,” added Carlo, “whether you’re alive or not. For you, its better they come out now.”

This time the whimper had words wound into it. “Just me … There’s just me.”

Then a woman’s voice was heard, and everyone turned in surprise - more wine being spilled as a consequence. It was a serving wench who had been watching from the start, and who had, until the captive was discovered, been busy fetching Mariano’s wine. “It’s true. He’s on his own. Him and two others were hiding in the old cellar, maybe since the fall. We didn’t know anyone was there until last night, when his friends ran out. My master told the watch, who went to tell whoever the watch tell. They’d been a-drinking down there, drowning their sorrows on foul beer too long in the cask. He got left behind and we only found him this morning. Don’t think he could get up the ladder.”

“If that’s so, then he’s no use to us,” declared Carlo. He blew upon the burning coals at the end of his slow-match and opened his pan. “May as well …”

“Wait!” Aldus snapped. “You’re not shooting him. He’s not our enemy. Not any more.”

Carlo snorted cruelly. “Why? Just because he’s cowering there unarmed and afraid? You know what the Compagnia del Sole have done – you’ve got a wound to make sure you never forget. I never thought you such a compassionate soul, Aldus!”

Aldus showed no sign of offence at Carlo’s words, speaking with only his usual seriousness, and the ever present hint of potential threat. “Because the Duke has offered employment to the last of the Compagnia del Sole. Now that his realm has swelled to such a great size he needs soldiers   . And that …” he gestured towards the prone captive, “... despite appearances, is a soldier.”

Mariano snorted a laugh. “Of a sort. I say kill him. Haven’t you heard what his kind have done? How they killed a priest to rob him of his beads and robes, the better to disguise themselves?”

“I heard,” said Carlo gravely. “We are the army of Morr the supreme. We have won victory after victory in his name, being both favoured and blessed and obviously so. While this man’s fellows, defeated in battle by Morr’s own will, chose to deny his judgement and kill Morr’s priests in petty revenge.”

Giovacchino, having drained the last drop of wine from his jug, wiped the back of his hand across his lips and frowned. “What in Morr’s name are you talking about? What priest?”

“The arch-lector didn’t just send a priest to Duke Guidobaldo to beg him to end the war against Trantio because of the vampires in the north,” said Mariano, “but sent another to ask the same of the tyrant Prince Girenzo. The second priest arrived a bit late, though, didn’t he? What with Prince Girenzo being dead. Still, can’t complain as it was a happy ending after all, the war being ended already.”

“So what did the second priest do?” asked Giavacchino, growing frustrated.

Mariano rolled his eyes. “You don’t listen do you, Chino? I already told you – he got himself killed on his way back to Remas by Compagnia scum like him. Brave men, eh? Killing a priest and his servants with no soldiers to guard them. Still, they got their comeuppance, ‘cos some of our boys found them prancing about in priestly robes and killed every one of them. True judgement and justice, I say. Swift and summary too.”

Carlo nodded. “By Morr’s justice it was done, for we are his hand. Well, it so happens Morr is holding a handgun right now.” Once again he blew on the coals to clear the ash and make the saltpetred match fizzle with heat.

“Give rest to your piece,” ordered Aldus, who as corporal had every right to so command. “We serve Duke Guidobaldo first, while his grace answers to Morr. We’re the Duke’s soldiers, not his magistrates. And if you like then yes, we’re Morr’s holy warriors too. Doesn’t make us his inquisitors, though. Tell your stories round the camp fires as you wish, and believe them too for all I care. But never forget that we are sworn to obey, and that’s what we will do. Now, pick him up, tie his hands, and let’s go.”


Il reggimento e il governo della citta di Trantio (The rule and government of the city of Trantio)

A Proclamation to be Read to all those who Dwell in the Villages of Preto and the Town of Scorccio
By Order of His Grace Duke Guidobaldo, Ruler of Pavona, Trantio, Astiano, Most Obedient Servant of Morr the Supreme

I rule here in Trantio by right of conquest. The city is mine. The palace is mine. I command all forces remaining in the realm, and all officers bow to me and obey my commands and mine alone. You have thus become my subjects, just as you were subjects of the tyrant I have defeated. Fear me in the way all lesser folk should respect their master, but do not be fearful, for I would have you know that you will be kept safe from the threat in the north under my rule, as long as you obey my laws and my commands. I can and will defend this my realm from all outside evil.

If, however, you resist, deny or in any way hinder or refuse even part of my lawful, rightful and hopeful authority, then I shall burn unto the ground your homes and fields, and leave you starving and homeless to face the evils that this way come. Alone and weak, helpless before the foe, you will surely perish at their hands. And this will be right and just, for you will have the mark of traitors upon you, and furthermore you will have refused the protection of the supreme god Morr.

Be not sad, however, nor let angry pride rule your hearts, for all this is only temporary. Indeed, rejoice, for my rule is only a brief necessity. By my own son’s sacrifice the tyrant Prince Girenzo is defeated and slain, and to honour my son’s memory, as well as the fair traditions of the realm of Trantio, I intend to settle the rule of law upon this realm, and then promise to revive the glorious republic of old. It is not the way of things in my own realm of Trantio, for there I rule by my noble blood and hereditary right, but here in Trantio I accept the precedent of history and thus the right of Trantians to govern themselves, to debate in their committees, to vote in the councils, and so to create their own laws and decide their own fate.

Yet this cannot be done immediately. First the corruption of the tyrant prince must be washed from Trantio, then once this is achieved, I shall leave the reins of power in the hands of a lawfully elected council. Furthermore, I shall ease the transition by having my own surviving son, Lord Silvano, serve as first Gonfaloniere of Trantio, to chair the ruling council and command the realm’s military forces. This may seem to go against historical precedent, for the office of gonfaloniere has usually been an elected one, but it is intended as simply a temporary means to ensure the safe transfer of power and steady establishment of a new republic, as well as my continued support and alliance until all is well again in Tilea and Trantio. The realm of Trantio must be defended against the terrible forces marching from the north, and what better and more certain way is there to do so than to forge a strong, even unbreakable, alliance between the realm of Trantio and Pavona, by having the love of father and son bond the two together.

So it is that I have the welfare of Trantio wholly in mind. Woe betide any and all who think to thwart these my plans, to stir rebellion, or fail to do all they can to support the cause of Trantio’s defence, for any who do will feel the full weight of my wrath.

Furthermore I have taken steps to ensure the care of your souls, elevating the priest Father Erkhart to the clerical office of Lector of Viadaza, so that all within the Viadazan diocese can rest assured that the church will be in safe and holy hands whilst facing the direct threat of the necromancy of vampires.

These things are being done in the name of the mighty and supreme god of gods, Morr. Praise him, thank him, and obey his servants as they work to make Tilea blessed in his eyes.


The Beating of Solemn Drums
The western spur of the Trantine Hills

Lord Polcario Gondi, heir to the Duchy of Pavona, was dead. He died a hero, in single combat against no less a foe than a prince, who he slew even as he himself was slain, thereby gaining the final victory for Pavona in its war of vengeance against Trantio.

Duke Guidobaldo ordered that his son would not be buried in Trantio, but in the Gondi tomb in Pavona. Considering the rise of the undead in the north, great care was taken to ensure not only that Lord Polcario’s body was carried thence with dignity, but was guarded well, to prevent any attempt by the agents of vampires to steal it and use it for their own foul purposes. The column included several ensigns, each from regiments once commanded by the young lord. Eight drummers marched too, four before the coffin and four behind, beating a funerary march most sombre and solemn, while a single flute added a plaintive bird-song sound of singularly sad beauty.

The carriage upon which the coffin was lain was decorated with the blue and white of Pavona, and so too were the draught horses pulling it. Eight of the best halberdiers Pavona had to offer marched at its sides, while Lord Polcario’s own personal standard followed behind - unlike in life when it would go before him - sloped in the traditional manner of mourning.

Slowly but surely, the creaking of the wheels conjoined with the sorrowful sound of drums and flute, the little convoy made its way south towards the Via Aurelia, upon which Lord Polcario would travel the last stretch of this his final journey through the realm of Tilea.

« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 08:38:19 PM by Padre »
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Offline doowopapocalypse

  • Posts: 39
  • It's nothing, sir. Just a burn from a ray gun.
Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #107 on: September 26, 2014, 09:40:29 PM »
I must get those Artizan looters. The shotte also Artizan?

Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #108 on: September 27, 2014, 12:34:29 AM »
Sorry Doowop, don't know. Had long assumed both were Wargames Foundry. I just bought 'em at some convention somewhere - can'r recall what brandname was on the packet.
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Offline Il Condottiero

  • Posts: 90
  • Crying Havoc since 1992!
Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #109 on: September 27, 2014, 01:48:23 PM »
Superb, Padre!

Narrative is something that embodies all miniature wargaming for me - Warhammer specially so. Love reading your 'illustrated tales'. Those houses - are they Conflux? They look great with your miniatures about. I should acquire some ;) I struggle on taking the pictures myself, but perhaps soon :)
Seeee todo este ouro... for MEU!

Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #110 on: October 21, 2014, 07:28:53 PM »
Yes, Il Condottierio, they are Conflix. I've had them a while and they are lovely. I wish they did a wider variety. [edit] I now, two years later, have more conflix buildings - they do do a wider variety!

The Reman Town of Stiani

Baccio had been watching the door to the other room for a while now, awaiting his friend's return. This was not his customary habit - usually he would get on with drinking without a care for how long his friend was absent. But, considering their current situation there was a genuine chance his friend would not return, and that would leave Baccio entirely alone in the world. At first he had listened to the inn’s landlord talking loudly with some local fellow - exactly as Ottaviano had suggested he did. Then when they shut up, he had brooded in silence, eyes fixed upon said door. Relief flooded through him when, at last, Ottaviano burst through it to take his place back at the table.

“Not good,” said Ottaviano. He gestured to the little company of men he had left feasting in the next room. “They are Verezzan merchants, and they are returning from Trantio.”

“Well, that’s what we wanted,” interrupted Baccio. “News from Trantio. Or were they tight lipped?”

“Oh they talked alright. What I mean is that they didn’t have anything good to say. So far we’ve been at best defeated soldiers, and at worst cowardly mercenaries. But now we’re apparently murderers too.”

“Why? We were paid to fight and we fought, against the odds. That should stand us in good stead.”

“The story they told me happened after the battles and the fall of Trantio. Some of our lads, it seems, have killed a Morrite priest. And not some lowly father, either, but an emissary of the arch-lector himself, carrying a message for the dead prince.”

“Why carry a message for a dead prince?” asked Baccio, confused. Then his faced took on a look of horror. “You mean … Girenzo is a vampire?”

Ottaviano shook his head. “No, of course not. The message was sent when Girenzo was alive. It just didn’t get to him in time.”

“Oh,” said Baccio, sounding reassured. “Still, it don’t sound right. Why would any of our lads kill a priest? Especially a Reman one, when Remas is one of the few places we can go?”

Ottaviano shrugged. “I honestly don’t know. And no-one will ever know, because the lads in question were caught and killed by the Duke’s men. No trial, no questions. Dead.”

“Well that last part doesn’t surprise me. The Pavonans are killing everyone who fought against them, no mercy given.”

“They were,” corrected Ottaviano, “but not now. The merchants said that Bucci’s crossbow company have been offered a Pavonan contract to remain as part of the garrison. ‘Needs must’, it seems. Now that his newly enlarged empire happens to sit so close to the undead, Duke Guidobaldo needs all the soldiers he can get, even ex-Compagnia men.”

“Well, that’ll be it then. The Duke wouldn’t want to anger the arch-lector, not when everyone needs to stand together against the vampires – and so he had the priest killers executed.”

“Except the story doesn’t make sense. You yourself said so. Why would any Compagnia lads do it?”

Baccio frowned, then sighed. “Maybe they didn’t know?” he suggested. “Maybe the priest was in disguise? Maybe the priest threatened to reveal them to the Pavonans?”

“Could be any of those reasons, and more besides. Whatever, it doesn’t help those of us still on the run. No-one likes priest killers, especially when Tilea needs all the holy men of Morr it can get.”

“So,” said Baccio, “we don’t tell anyone who we are … or, I mean, who we were. It’s worked well so far.”

The two of them had indeed found it remarkably easy to gain free passage, by the simple expedient of telling any who asked that they were off to join the arch-lector’s crusade. People did not then merely let them pass, but fussed to find them provisions and beds, and see them on the right path. ‘All roads lead to Remas’, was the saying. Right now, it was true.

They ordered another jug of wine, more bread and cheese, then ate silently for some time. They were hungry. It was Baccio who finally piped up.

“What else did they say about Trantio?”

Ottavio talked in between stuffing chunks of bread in his mouth. “Martial law … bad for trade. Duke Guidobaldo’s men setting all the prices … The army’s still in the city, not sacking the place, but eating everyone out of house and home.” He drank a deep draught of wine. “And the Duke’s got elves in his service now. Riders on white horses. He might not like dwarfs, but he doesn’t seem to have a problem with elves. Maybe it’s beards he doesn’t like?”

“I heard the arch-lector will excommunicate him for continuing the war.”

“I don’t think that’s way the duke sees things. He calls himself Morr’s ‘most obedient’ servant, and claims all he has done was so he can better defeat the undead.”

“You said as much in summer, didn’t you?” mused Baccio. “How he would be the hero when the time came.”

“I did. I just didn’t expect it all to work out so well for him.”

“Apart from the death of his son.”

“Aye, apart from that,” agreed Ottaviano. “Although he’s apparently not one for grieving. The merchants said his son’s corpse, still warm, was packed off to Pavona in a cart while he ordered his other son to come and serve in his place. He’s going to give the city to the lad – a mere boy!”

“In name he might. But in truth he’ll be ruling.”

“He will,” agreed Ottaviano. “I think the man wants to rule all Tilea. I think he wants to be a king – they’re even calling the war the ‘War of the Princes’. But I counted only one real prince.”

“Dukes, princes, lords – they’re all much of a muchness to me. And arch-lectors too.” Baccio snorted, then looked his friend in the eye. “Are we really going to join this crusade?”

“Well, we are going to Remas, even if it’s just to make sure we don’t end up in Pavonan hands. Let’s see what happens when we get there, eh? Might be preferable to spend a while labouring on defences or such like, for that way no one might suppose us to be mercenaries and wonder where we came from.”

“They won’t care if we were Compagnia men, surely?”

“No,” said Ottaviano, “I doubt they will. Could be the opposite – they might like us all the more for being soldiers. Remans like mercenaries. Their army is made of mercenaries, by law.”

Baccio raised his hand to hush his friend, a smug look of cleverness coming over him. “It was, but no longer. Now they say – well the landlord said to one of his neighbours before you came back – the arch-lector is raising Remans to serve him as citizen soldiers. Maybe he wants to emulate Duke Guidobaldo’s successes with his Pavonan fanatics?”

Ottaviano gave a fake laugh. “The arch-lector just wants soldiers, and all he can get. He’s already threatened to excommunicate everyone who in any way hinders the crusade, and now he’s even asked the wizard lord of Campogrotta to send his Ogres. The arch-lector means business. This crusade is going to be big.”

“That lad in Palomtrina said elves from Tettoverde forest were joining the crusade,” added Baccio.

Ottaviano laughed loudly. “That lad in Palomtrina told us that painted Skaven were swarming on the western coast, and that flying arabyans had captured Luccini while the young prince, who was actually a girl, cried. I wouldn’t put too much stock in what he said.”

“Maybe not. But I’m not so sure the crusade is going to be so big. They say the arch-lector won’t send help to Urbimo.”

“What?” asked Ottaviano. “Why?”

“That’s what the landlord’s neighbour was complaining about. Apparently he has family there and the arch-lector has sent no help. The man said his holiness is only really concerned about Remas’ safety, not that of Tilea. Calictus hasn’t even recognised the hero of Pontremola, neither rewarded him, honoured him nor invited him to attend him, because that would mean acknowledging the Viadazan crusaders were forced to fight alone, and lose their city in so doing. ”

Ottaviano rolled his eyes. “Nonsense. That’s all mere gossip and tittle tattle. If the arch-lector was so embarrassed by the fall of Viadaza, why has he lodged its exiled lector in his palace? And only a fool would think he could defend Remas while all the rest of Tilea fell to the undead.”

Baccio grinned. “So, the landlord’s neighbour is an idiot.”

Ottaviano smiled too. “Oh, yes. I see. It is good to know what people are saying.”

“Did you ask the Verezzans about Raverno? Their city is close by. They should know what’s going on there.”

“I did and they do,” said Ottaviano. The two of them had talked previously about going south not west, maybe to Verezzo, or maybe Raverno. As there was no love lost between Pavona and Verezzo, however, this meant it could well be Duke Guidobaldo’s next conquest in his desire to forge a mighty empire. Neither men were keen on fighting the Pavonans again so soon, which left Raverno looking like the best choice.

“There’s trouble of a different kind there,” Ottaviano continued. “Since Khurnag’s Waagh was defeated, the VMC northerners in Alcente have begun throwing their weight around, just like general Fortebraccio said they would. A VMC army has already held Raverno to ransom, claiming they were exacting revenge for the ‘defenestration of Raverno’ – gods know what that is. Apparently, they’ve burnt the settlements at Camponeffro south of the city, and extracted a large sum of gold from the terrified Ravernans. I doubt they’ll stop at that, nor honour whatever terms were agreed. The merchants said the VMC were little better than armed robbers, who call their threats ‘haggling’ and their plunder ‘profits’.”

Baccio shrugged his shoulders. “That sort of trouble could be good for us, maybe we should go there? It could mean work.”

“You’re still thinking like we’re part of the marching Compagnia. It’s just me and you now. I don’t want to go where we might find ourselves on the losing side, and with no friends left.”

“How is going to Remas better then? Fighting the undead is going to be one hell of a bad war. Wouldn’t you rather be paid to fight in a war between merchants rather than between the living and the dead? Maybe we should go to Estalia and join Captain Mazallini? They still call themselves Compagnia del Sole, despite taking a separate contract. I reckon they’d take us on gladly. I know the captain well, and I didn’t join in any of the nastiness when he left.”

“I don’t know,” said Ottaviano. “What if the seas are swarming with Skaven? Maybe its best we join the crusade? Be more than mercenaries for once? Fight for more than money? We’ve never been anything else and look where it’s got us. If the undead defeat the crusade while we’re burning crops in Alcente, all we’ll have done is bought ourselves a little more time before they get to us. I am not talking about duty, but common sense. Fight so that everyone might live, or die with them because not enough men fought? They might be the only real options left.”

« Last Edit: April 29, 2017, 07:05:33 PM by Padre »
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Offline jchaos79

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #111 on: November 17, 2014, 09:06:10 PM »
Hi Padre,

I am lurker of Tilean campaing. I would like to congrat. you and your players for the great history and good battles you are doing. Looking forward to see more material.

Also you have a cracking painting style.

All of this is inspiring me a lot, thanks for sharing!

Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #112 on: February 18, 2015, 10:59:03 AM »
(Thanks jchaos, nice of you to say. Been a bit of an RL induced lull, but now I am back on  with the campaign in all its forms - modelling, painting, processing orders and communications, photos and ... stories: )


The gnoblars emerged from the trees, scuttling over the rocks in their usual higgledy piggledy manner. Habbdok did not bother to count them as he could see there were still plenty left for his purposes, which was all that mattered to him. Most men who saw his servants laughed. One captain in the Princes described them as ‘comical’. Knowing them - their nastiness, their unpleasant goblin stench, their foul ways (and it takes considerable talent to seem foul to an ogre) Habbdok could not see what the man had meant. Annoying, yes. Too small and skinny for both their arms and armour, yes. Funny, no, not in the slightest.

As they clattered to a halt, Habbdok squinted, flicking his eyes from one to another in search of any he could expect to get some sense from. The closest to him was so out of breath he did not look as if he could speak if he tried. All his own fault, of course, for he had a triple-layered helm tilting to one side on his head and an ill-fitting iron breastplate, all made heavier by several, dangling lengths of chain with no apparent purpose. His cheeks were puffed, and he all but dragged a battered and most likely blunted iron axe with both hands, his back and legs bent from the strain.

There was a clutch of four gnoblars off to one side, even more misshapen and bent than the puffing one, but they simply stared at him as if they were expecting him to speak. Habbdok could feel the usual surge of furious impatience already building, his head throbbing beneath his skull plate, as he wondered yet again at their stupidity. They were here to report to him, yet they seemed to expect him to report to them!

Still they stared.

Just as he was tempted to stick the razor-sharp tip of his hunting bolt through the panting pie-hole of the foremost gnoblar, he caught sight of a little runt with ridiculously over-large horns adorning his noddle-pot, and not a single tooth to line his raggedy maw. That was one he recognised, and one who had proved capable of something approaching intelligence in the past. ‘Horny’  was the name Habbdok had given him before.

Indeed, the gnoblar took the cue, and pointed towards the forest canopy. ““Mighty Hunter, lord of gristle and bone, we’s been over there an’ all ‘round an’ back agin,” he said.

“Very nice,” snarled Habbdok. “Stretching your legs and ‘aving a breath of fresh, eh?”

Horny grinned to reveal swollen, bloody red gums. “An’ looking, o’course. A lot o’ looking.”

“So here’s a thought for you,” said Habbdok. “Why not tell me what you saw before I get so angry you’ll never have a chance to tell again? D’you see the … the denizens, or not?”

The gnoblar’s grin changed to a rather more fixed affair, almost imperceptibly. Habbdok certainly noticed no difference, having never been of a mind to look for such subtleties in runts like this.

“No denizens. Nuffink. If they’s there, then they’s slippery an’ sneaky, leavin’ not so much as a bent leaf behind.”

Habbdok pondered this. If there was no-one there, then why was the army going the long way around? Mangler, their commander, had changed his mind, never saying why. But it had been obvious he had first planned to go through the forest, which is why his change of plans had been noticed. Most of the lads seemed to think it was because what little they might find in the forest would not make up for the effort of finding it. One or two had suggested, though never within earshot of Mangler or any of his lieutenants, that Mangler was afraid of the trees and what they contained, conjuring thoughts of bark-skinned, monstrous demons and invisible foes planting arrows in your eyes, just like in the old stories of the forest. Habbdok had given this latter suggestion little credence, yet still wondered why they couldn’t go a little deeper, if only to find some bigger cuts of fleshmeat for the supper pots, or maybe some flesh of the sweetest kind. And if the trees were thinning, as they seemed indeed to be, surely it would save time to go along a forest path which went the right direction than continue this circumambulation?

Then again, there could be so many other reasons for their route, including the quite likely possibility that Mangler simply intended to enjoy some good looting ‘off to the side’ as they made their way. Having a destination in mind was one thing, but there were many reasons to take one’s time getting there. None of the lads were complaining about taking the easy route: the rootless route; the flat ease of the old road instead of the tangled briars of the ancient forest. Just a pity that the wild animals Habbdok would dearly love to hunt were so unlikely to favour the same route, nor were the Sylvan folk the sort to traverse such an open road. He had never tasted their flesh, but he had heard more than one report that it was a delicacy beyond compare.

While Habbdok the Hunter did his thinking, two of the gnoblars were sharing their own thoughts.

“He’ll ‘ave us running back in any moment,” said Frokit Anglegrinch, both hands clutching the shaft of his bill-hook as if he might fall without it. “Look at ‘em. Everyone else gets to walk .. I’d go so far as to say amble … while we has to scamper never-ending hither and thither through a tangle of thorns.”

His companion, Pooshin Cotchwallop, twisted his frowning mouth to ever lower depths, his chin thrusting more prominently between the sagging lips. If one took into account his protruding eyes and his potato nose, the sum of the parts made for one ugly whole, neatly framed by his chainmail hood. Mind you, Frokit was no looker either.

Pooshin looked beyond the Ogre hunter at the marching column on the road.

“Some ain’t even doing that, Frokit,” he said, watching the huge, grey beast carrying the scraplauncher and its numerous gnoblar crew, “but sit all comfy-like as their beast does the work beneath their idle arses.”

 “I hope they get splinters in their backsides,” Frokit spat through his teeth, “and that all the jolting gives their joints the jip.”

Habbdok had at last come to a decision, so, clearing his throat loudly enough to make the beast of burden behind him grunt …

… he gave his orders: “You’re all going back in, and this time you’ll look properly, or I’ll have your eyes in a bowl for a tasty treat while supper roasts. Everyone knows what lives in these woods, and if you can’t find them you’re not looking hard enough. Do something naughty and get their attention. I know you’re good at running away. See if you can’t get someone to chase you. And if you can’t net them, bring them my way and I’ll stick a stick through ‘em.”

Behind him the column continued its journey, Mangler the Merciless’s Mercenaries, flags a-fluttering overhead while their iron shod boots ground the road to dust.

« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 09:15:44 AM by Padre »
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Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #113 on: March 14, 2015, 11:41:53 PM »
Remas, Spring 2402

Standing by the window, Father Biagino could already hear the bell, somewhat earlier than it had sounded the previous day. His friend and fellow refugee Father Antonello must have intended a larger circuit through the city streets tonight, thus the early start. Each night the procession had grown, as more joined to begin their whipping and wailing, scourging their mortal flesh to purify themselves in Morr’s eyes, engendering a frenzied urge to fight the foe no matter what horrifying form it took. The very existence of the flagellants was entirely due to Antonello’s efforts and his incendiary street-corner sermons. He yearned to stir Remas from its slumber. The higher clergy, following the dithering arch-lector’s lead, seemed forever locked in vacillation, unable to decide exactly what should be done, when and where. The way things had been going, no Reman blade would have been unsheathed until the undead legions were already scrabbling over the city walls.

Biagino could not fault Antonello’s ardour, nor deny the need for action. Yet he was not sure that raising another army of apprentices, peasants and ill-paid mercenaries was the best course. They had done exactly that at Viadaza, and marched at the head of the rag-tag army so created. And yes, they had pushed the enemy back and even brought down the Vampire Lord. Yet it was not enough, for while their backs where turned, Viadaza was lost, and their battered throng of exhausted peasant crusaders could do nothing about it. Death begets death, it seemed. Here in Remas was a chance to do things differently, better: to gain the backing of church and nobles as well as the common people, and thereby forge a mighty army able to feed itself, march, fight, then march and fight again and again, until victory was won. This time they should learn all they could of the enemy, plan and prepare for all possible contingencies, ensure that their lines were secured, the towns and cities guarded, and the army properly armed. If Father Antonello had his way he would once again lead a rabble from the city, unprepared, unsupported and ill-advised. Biagino, however, would rather such men were put to use digging earthwork defences, repairing crumbling walls and driving mules and carts to move supplies. Then the professional soldiers would be properly supported, ready and able to do battle.


The bell’s sombre tone was quite contrary to its size and placement. If it were three times the size and housed in a great, stone tower rather than suspended from a wooden gibbet, then such a sound might indeed be expected. Biagino wondered whether some enchantment had been put upon it to make it ring with the note of a different bell, from another time and place. That was no doubt the intention – as if it were the bell hanging at the gates of Morr’ s garden, singing a receipt for each passing soul. Estimating it to be at least two streets away, he turned back to the chamber just as the door opened to admit the man he had been waiting for.

Even if Biagino had not been told he would have known the fellow was a fisherman, what with weather-beaten, leathery flesh clearly advertising decades of hard labour in the wind and sun. Carlo Gora was his name, a Viadazan by birth, although now a refugee like every other living Viadazan.

Carlo closed the door then stood, saying only, “Father.”

Biagino gestured to the chair. When Carlo hesitated, he said, “Please, do sit. I am not some great, noble bloodied churchman with airs and graces. Merely another homeless wanderer just like yourself.”

The fisherman seemed barely to register Biagino’s words, but took the seat nevertheless. Hearing a howl from the street, Biagino glanced out of the window again. There below ran a half-naked old man, thin as a rake, bearing bloodied scars upon his back and carrying the knotted cord that had made them. A flagellant, off the find the bell no doubt. When he turned back again Carlo’s face appeared to be, for the briefest of moments, stripped of all flesh and fearful to behold. Biagino tried to hide any sign of fear, but could not, for a moment, bring himself to speak. Apparently, his oneiric visions were bent on plaguing his waking hours too.

In his dreams, for several nights now, Biagino had found himself back at Pontremola, once more with the militia pikemen of Viadaza, his stomach knotted with fear as he witnessed the foe’s inexorable advance. Just as in the waking battle, he became fascinated by the motion of their lifeless limbs, the glaring hatred somehow evident in the shadows of their empty eyes. Everything was as he remembered – the way his hand slipped upon the hilt of his sword, the foul stench wafted on the breeze from the massed body of animated cadavers at the centre of the enemy’s line.

Then (every night) his attention was drawn away from the vampire duke’s army as it dawned on him that he was not where he thought he was, but instead on the southern side of the river, its water now laying between him and the foe. When had they moved back across the bridge? Why had they changed their plan of battle? Why could he not recall the retreat? Still, he thought, perhaps it is better to be on this side, for then the enemy must ford the river to reach us, being weakened in the attempt? This glimmer of hope, however, died almost instantly, as something else caught the corner of his eye. In that moment, his neck stiffened and the air suddenly congealed about him to become an invisible force pressing against him. With effort, he forced his head to twist so that he could look at the men by his side. In turn, they looked back at him. Every face sported a fixed, fleshless grin, while their bony hands clutched at splintered and mouldy pike-shafts. Every pair of eyes was sunken within black, bottomless pits. The nearest opened its mouth and screamed an ear-splitting silence, making him stumble weak-kneed from the ranks then tumble onto the dirt. Then a shadow fell across him, which took away not just the light but the warmth too – the shadow of something bent yet strong, horned of head and clawed of hand, wielding a blade almost as big as itself. Finally, just as he saw the shadow-blade lifted in readiness to strike, he awoke. Bathed in sweat, shaking and weak of bladder, he would scrabble out of his bed, tearing the blanket from him as if it were the thing that had held him in the dream.

What could it mean? He knew the dream was certainly sent by Morr, for he had become adept at recognising his god-given premonitions, yet he could not even say whether it concerned the past, present or future. All he could do, as ever, was suffer the wait until the meaning revealed itself. In the meantime, he had questions to ask the fisherman.

“I am told you have been back to Viadaza. Is this true?” Biagino asked.

“For my sins, yes.”

“Why would you go there?”

“To get my best boat,” said Carlo. “I thought maybe the dead would not think to watch the sea.”

“And do they watch the sea?”

Carlo shuddered. “They do.”

“Oh,” said Biagino. “You are brave. Better than that, you’re lucky. Can I ask you now to be helpful too? To tell me what you saw? Exactly what you saw. When that is done, you can put it from your mind forever.”

“Yes father, I would like to do just that,” said Carlo. He took air, as if about to jump into the sea, then spoke. “I got into the bay after dark. This was no difficulty for me as I know it like the back of my hand - every shoal, every rock, how the currents play in the tides. It was darker than ever I saw. Not one fire burned in the city, not one window was lit. I suppose the undead don't need light, don't want light. But the moons were waxing, which gave me light enough to get my bearings. Dark shadows divided the buildings, everything was black and grey. I couldn’t descry any boats at all, thought maybe they had been hauled up further than usual, so I paddled closer.”

Dong! The sound of the bell was growing louder.

“That’s when I spied them. I took them to be Adolfo’s dock guards, brute ogres from the east. And I suppose they were … or once were. Now they looked not just mean but wrong. Their flesh had changed – it was torn, bloodied, blue! And pricked with bones. They had skulls dangling all about them. And they stank – not of sweat and dirt like before, but worse even than rotten pork after too long at sea.”

“I knew some of them. Seen them many times, guarding gates or addled with ale in the typpling houses. Ugly brutes with dead-eyed stares that looked right through you. Now their eyes really did look dead. One of them carried a mast, I think, from which hung a string of skulls. Another carried a gravestone as if it were merely a piece of flotsam.”

Dong! rang the bell. It must be entering the street now, thought Biagino.

“There were half a dozen of them. Standing, stock still, like statues.”

“Then I spied another one, smaller than the rest, with its back to me, and I knew that the others were ruled by him. He had a brute’s blade, which he hefted as if he were as strong as any of them. Even before he turned I could tell he knew I was there. And when he did turn, slow and deliberate, like he wanted to rub the fear in deep, his red eyes found me immediately, looked into mine.”


“In truth, father, I think he’s been watching me ever since.”

Biagino frowned. From the moment Carlos spoke of a huge blade he had suspected that this was the shadow in his nightmares.

“What .,..” his voice faltered, “I mean, who was it?”

“The beast was no man, but it was Lord Adolfo. Twisted and foul, all teeth, talons and horns. But still Adolfo.”


Biagino could now hear the clattering of the bell-cart and the creaking of the wheels, and a familiar voice preaching Morr’s hatred of the walking dead. The light of the flagellants’ torches flickered into the room. He turned to the window once more.

As usual, Father Antonello led the little procession, sword in hand. Behind him came the first of the flagellants garbed in priestly reds and greys. One had somehow set the crown of his head on fire, and yet still walked beside the others – undoubtedly some sort of clever illusion. Biagino was surprised that Antonello would stoop to using stage trickery. The other flames, born on torches, were real enough, as was the battered and bruised state of the self-tortured flagellants carrying them. The bell cart was decorated with pages of scripture and an inevitable hourglass. Two robed men struggled with all their might to push it.


Biagino turned back to the room. “Thank you, master Carlo. Your report will be passed to all those who need to know. You have done good service, and holy Morr will assuredly reward you. I will speak of you in my prayers. For now, however, make do with some broth and some ale. You’ll find both in the kitchen, just tell the servants I sent you.”

When Carlo had taken his leave Biagino looked at the mad rabble of flagellants processing along the street in the wake of the bell cart. He did not really see them, however, for his thoughts were elsewhere. Lord Adolfo was indeed now a vampire, just as the Urbimans had claimed. And he still ruled Viadaza. And he was in Biagino’s dreams.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2016, 07:41:51 PM by Padre »
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Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #114 on: March 14, 2015, 11:51:26 PM »
Very interesting. But - dong - for whom the bell tolls. Would official changes in the fluff (i.e. destruction of the world) affect your story in any way?
It is not enough to have no ideas of your own; you must also be incapable of expressing them.
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Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #115 on: March 15, 2015, 12:04:09 AM »
Short answer = no. Long answer = This is a campaign set in my own version of Tilea, using (some) lists modified from unofficial web campaigns, with my own take on Old World religion, and my usual low fantasy slant, and in the year IC2402. So, also no.  :happy:
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Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #116 on: May 09, 2015, 09:02:43 AM »
End of Season 5 General Report, Part 1 of ?

Not Gormless

As soon as he saw the burnt out tower Big Boss Gurmliss knew where he was. The ruin was no more than a mile from where the big mob had been camped when he left them a couple of weeks ago. They might not still be there, but once he found the camp it would be very easy to follow their trial. Greenskins were not what you would call tidy, and even if they made an effort to hide their passage, Gurmliss still knew the sort of signs to look for.

“Boss!” came Frabble’s urgent voice. “I knows that tower. We was ....”

“Ssh” ordered Gurmliss. Someone was approaching. He always seemed to know when someone was creeping up on him, though which of his senses did the work of revealing the fact he had never quite pinned down. He unsheathed his heavy bladed sword. There was a skittering sound, the clatter of stones, then a familiar goblin lurched around the tower. Known as the Ratter  - on account of his constant companions, a mangy pack of red eyed rodents who were indeed pulling him along right now - his real name was Mig.

Mig yanked upon the leads to bring the rats to a jerking halt, while cocking his pistol by rubbing the hammer upwards against his shoulder.  “You came back then?” he said, scowling at Gurmliss and the other survivors.

Gurmliss laughed, wondering if the sight of his unsheathed, bloodstained blade had prompted Mig’s unfriendly preparations, or whether such suspicion was due to yet another shift in power in the mob. Out of the corner of his eye he saw that his companions had both knocked arrows to their bows, and it dawned on him that all this nervousness could result in him playing a deadly game of piggy in the middle. So he cut short his laugh and answered quickly: “Yer lookin’ right at me Mig. It’s not like you need them rats to sniff me out. You thinkin’ I’m all ghostly?”

 “I see you,” said Mig. “An’ I see only two gobs wiv you. So, I reckon you left some behind.”

“Some, yeah. And before you go a-askin’ where our snarlers are, we’ve got wolf flesh in our bellies to answer that question. Tasty too.”
Mig’s lips curled in a snarl, he pulled on his rat-pack’s leads. “These are mine. If you get to thinkin’ you’s wantin’ some seconds, I’ll set ‘em on yer an’ then we’ll see who bites who.”

“Don’t you go worrying, we’s all full up,” said Gurmliss as he patted his chainmail clad belly. “Never mind yappin’ about dinner, I’ve come back with
stuff to tell and I wanna know who it is I’ll be telling it to, and where they are.”

It was Mig’s turn to laugh. “So Big Mosher and his boys didn’t want you then? That’s why you’re back, lookin’ for your old mob to take you in?  I bet your missing gobs and snarlers are in orc bellies not yours.”

“Look here,” said Gurmliss, “I said I was going to see what they were up to and that’s what I did. I’m back ‘cos I was always coming back. Besides, even if I were the naughty gob you think I am, there was barely anything left of Mosher’s mob. They can’t decide what to do and so they’re doing a bit of everything, some going this way, some going that, and what with an army after them, they’re doing it all quickly. Mosher’s not got more’n a dozen to boss around now. Even the Bull’s left him.”

“An army after them, you said. What army?”

“Same as that smashed and bashed us at Tursi, o’course, with its stinking blackpowder an’ a gun in every hand. An’ it’s on its way here right now. Seems Old Firgle was wrong – leaving the orcs didn’t shake the men off our tail, and now they’re pickin’ us off one by one. So, tell you what, I’ll ask again and we’ll make this the last time shall we? Where’s the mob and who’s in charge?”

Mig had become fidgety, something his rats seemed to sense, their fur bristling, and when he spoke Gurmliss could tell his mind was elsewhere. “Old Firgle ain’t running things anymore, on account of him being dead.,” Mig said. “Moonface Dulldrood’s the boss now. The mob ain’t that far away, neither. I can show you.”

“Moonface is in charge! How low can the mob sink? Old Firgle was bad enough, with his gammy foot, but I’ve seen Moonface struggle to work out how to unsheath his blade never mind use it in a fight.”

“He ain’t one for scrapping, true, but he’s got ideas he has. He says he can read man words for one, and he knows how to mix up black powder – good stuff an’ all - but most important he knows how to get secrets from the stubbornest of gobs.”

The last part got Gurmliss' attention. “What gobs? What secrets?”

“One of Scarback’s runts. Whispered to a blabbermouth that he knew where some great prize was, something the ratmen would pay a lot more than a lot for. Moonface got him to say it a bit louder.”

Even Frabble, not the brightest of goblins, was interested now. “A ratman prize?” he said. “Gold and glitter? Magic and machines?”

“Dunno,” said Mig. “Don’t think the runt knows either. If he did know he’d still have some fingers and toes. But he knows where it is, an’ Moonface reckons when we get it we can buy our way out of Tilea.”
« Last Edit: May 09, 2015, 09:36:28 AM by Padre »
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Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #117 on: May 15, 2015, 06:17:25 PM »
End of Season 5 General Report, Part 2 of ?

Dis Ducibus (Directed by the Gods)

The Northern Stretch of the Via Diocletta

Frediano crossed the road nearly every day at this time, burdened with a snapsack containing a loaf wrapped in linen, a pot of soft cheese and whatever else his mother had packed to take to his grandmother’s hovel. His grandmother had simple tastes and was always grateful, fussing over him and offering something seasonal she could gather nearby, either olives from the bushes in her little garden, an orange from the little tree by her door, or more often a cup of goat’s milk from Rubina, as well as sharing the bread saying: “That’s too big a loaf for me. You have some sweet boy.”

Today Frediano was stuck on the wrong side of the road, his growling belly unnoticed as he gazed at the unexpected traffic. Of course, he had seen soldiers on the Via Diocletta before - little companies of mercenaries with crossbows, pikes and colourful clothes, sometimes riding nags but most often afoot, their nags pulling wagons. But these soldiers were different in every way. Their clothes were mostly loose, white linen, with blue or red scarves, either around their waists or coiled about their heads. They carried shields of strange shapes, decorated with golden orbs and tassels of golden silk. They sported neatly curled beards, shaped rather more elegantly than the empire’s mercenaries wore. Strangest of all were their mounts – hulking beasts with overlarge heads, lazy eyes, spindly legs and large fleshy lumps heaped upon their backs to provide a cushion upon which to strap a saddle. He’d heard about them in stories, desert animals called cammelli, but he had never seen one before. They were not what he had imagined.

He could have crossed the road before they reached him, but on spotting the vanguard of the column he forgot his errand and stumbled to a halt, standing wide eyed and curious. A lone trumpeter led the way, mounted on a fine black horse, something like the sort that lords use to hunt upon but more slender and graceful. Then came the cammelli riders, their double pennanted banner fluttering high above them, accompanied by the booming sound of the largest drums Frediano had ever seen.

“Not them orcs then?” came a voice. “The ones everyone was going on about, eh?” It was Peppe speaking. Frediano had not heard him approach, and nor did he turn to look at him now.

“Arabyans,” he said.

Peppe sniffed. “I know. Sons of the Desert they are,” he said all matter of fact, as if he were an accustomed witness to such sights. “My papa told me all about them. The boy king bought them to fight the greenskins.”

“But the orcs have been beaten by the northerners down in Alcente?”

“They have. Now that the northerners beat them to it, this lot are marching north.”

“Where to?”

Peppe laughed. “Your mama and nonnina should not keep the world from you. You must know there’s a war in the north, vampiro and scheletri?”

“Everyone knows that.”

“All the soldiers are supposed to go and help.” Peppe sniffed. “And it looks like they are.”


Remas, The Street Outside the Palazzo Montini, Residence of the Archlector of Morr

Father Gonzalvo was alive.

Like everyone else, Biagino had believed him cut down with the rest of the Viadazan swordsmen at the Battle of Pontremola, but instead he had lain unconscious and covered in mud amongst the corpses at the river’s edge, to be taken away with the badly wounded in wagons to Rapallo. Just able to walk when the undead arose throughout the realm of Viadaza, he fled with a farmer’s family to Scorccio, remaining there until he recovered, both physically and mentally, from his ordeal. Not that he was quite the same man as previously, for now he was utterly committed to fighting the undead armies of the north, with no conversation, nor even a thought in his head, that did not pertain to that cause. It was as if he was the very personification of the crusading cause. Which is why, perhaps, it was him and not Biagino who stood upon the wooden dais beside no less than the Morrite Lector of Viadaza, Bernado Ugolini and the archlector of Morr, Calictus II himself!

While the greater clergymen watched the military parade in the street, Father Gonzalvo raised his hand to bless each passing company of soldiers, saving his most impressive and powerful prayer for the great engine of war at the heart of the procession. Designed and built by the genius polymath Angelo da Leoni, the hopes of Remas were bound up in this machine, a mighty contraption of iron and timber intended to smash the undead legions. Buried inside its sturdy hull was a steam powered engine, its clanking, grinding red hot heart, fed coal by two sweating crewmen. Atop this was an iron-armoured platform mounting an impressive artillery piece of nine barrels and several more brass patereros besides, about which the liveried gunners busied themselves to fire occasional shot-less salutes for the encouragement of the crowds.

Da Leoni himself, like the master of a ship, was directing his invention, dressed like the others in Reman livery, honoured to be joined by the archlector’s own standard bearer whose crossed keys flag fluttered from the rear as they trundled along the wide street. He was deep in thought, listening to every croak and rumble from the engine below, occasionally breaking his reverie to shout correctional instructions down through the peep holes drilled through the upper platform’s base to allow communication with the driver’s down in the darkness of the lower deck.

Just ahead of the machine strode another priest of Morr, repeatedly chanting the words of blessings not dissimilar to Father Gonzalvo’s. Rarely, even in the city of the gods, had so many prayers and blessings been poured upon something other than a mortal soul. It was as if the engine were being transformed into a carroccio not by carrying holy relics, but by washing it with prayers for hours on end.

In contrast to the constant priestly intonations, the vigorous beating of the drums, and the steaming judders of the steam-powered workings, the watching crowds fell silent as the engine passed them by. Although they had cheered every company of soldiers as they came into sight, the monstrous, horseless engine was so strange to their eyes that their voices invariably petered out in awe. This was not magic, nor illusion, but an ingenious, artificial construct so heavy it ground up the road, and so well armed that it must surely prevail against the enemy. It had been a topic of conversation in every inn and typpling house in the city, and so many hopes were pinned upon it, that it could do no other than draw everyone’s eyes.

Now, said so many in the crowd, Remas is ready to go to war.

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Offline Uryens de Crux

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #118 on: May 15, 2015, 08:56:56 PM »
Absolutely astonishing Padre! So much work!
We go to gain a little patch of ground that hath in it no profit but the name.
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The Barony of Wusterburg

Offline doowopapocalypse

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #119 on: May 16, 2015, 06:37:01 PM »
Dunno if it's shooty enough..

Offline damo_b

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #120 on: May 19, 2015, 12:27:22 PM »
 :Ohmy: Impressive Padre. well done.

Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #121 on: May 22, 2015, 05:51:08 PM »
Thanks guys. Oh and doowop ... BANG! (Shooty enough for ya?)
End of Season 5 (Spring 2402) General Report, Part 3 of 3

A Letter to Lord Lucca Vescucci of Verezzo

This to my most noble lord, from your loyal and obedient servant Antonio Mugello, being an account of my continuing travels in your service to gather true intelligence from the lands surrounding the beautiful realm of Verezzo.

Having tarried sufficiently long in Remas to dispatch my earlier report, I determined to make my way to the newly conquered realm of Trantio, there to discover how that realm fares under the dominion of the conquering Duke Guidobaldo Gondi of Pavona, as well as to do what I could to ascertain the Duke’s intentions. Upon the day of my departure from Remas I witnessed the arrival of a regiment of brute ogres, accompanied by brigand archers, all hailing from the northern realm of Ravola. They processed through the streets led by several chanting priests of Morr, and all those who witnessed their passage declared them to be the strangest of crusaders, quite an unexpected addition to Morr’s holy army yet not at all unwelcome.

I know full well how the people of Verezzo grow daily more concerned at the Pavonan duke’s conquests, for if both Astiano and now the entire city state of Trantio have fallen to him, then it is not inconceivable that the duke might turn his inquisitive - nay acquisitive - eyes upon Verezzo, especially in light of the Gondi family’s continued yet unworthy complaints concerning the annulment of Lady Leonara’s marriage. Like so many recently ennobled families the Gondi’s pride has the sharp, hot edge born by those who still worry about their worthiness for such rank. Thus it is that Duke Guidobaldo is said to be as angry as ever at the unfortunate misunderstanding over his niece.

Upon arriving at Trantio, in the guise of a Reman petty-merchant, I immediately learned how oppressive is the new Pavonan rule, being not one jot less than that of the tyrant prince Girenzo, and in truth, probably more so.  The city was in a state of alert, having just learned that a sizeable army of mercenary ogres was upon the Via Nano with unknown intentions yet sensibly presumed to be unfriendly. This added to the native populace’s sense of unease over Duke Guidobaldo’s declaration that his surviving son, Lord Silvano, was now Gonfaloniere of Trantio, to become its de facto ruler when the duke himself left. Nor was the barely hidden bitterness ameliorated by the news that the region of Preto had been subdued (after some resistance elicited cruel reprisals by the Pavonan soldiery). This meant that the whole realm was now as one again, the city of Trantio - the town of Scorcio and the olive groves and vinyards of Preto - but it is a unity bought at a high price: the tyrannical oppression of Duke Guidobaldo. Ancient Trantio has become merely a servant to Pavona.

I lingered a few weeks to better judge the people’s mood and to learn what I could of the strength of the Pavonan forces present there. Here I humbly direct your attention, my lord, to the document accompanying this letter in which I attempt an accounting of said forces. Before I left Trantio to continue my journey I learned that a large fortified camp was being constructed near unto Scorcio. This seemed somewhat to alter the mood in the city, the common people now believing it possible that Duke Guidobaldo’s promises of Pavonan protection against the incursion of the dead may indeed be true, and that rather than simply burden them with taxes and impressment, the duke is indeed preparing to defend their realm. Nor is he intending to do so at the walls of Trantio itself, by which time the rest of the realm would surely have been lain waste, sacrificed to weaken and disperse the foe, but rather to make his stand at the northernmost borders, thereby halting the foe before they encroach upon the rest of the realm. Yet my Lord, you must not think this to mean I am certain of these matters, for I was unable to ascertain what exactly the Pavonan army intends to do next. Apart from a company of light horse sent to scout the Via Nano in light of the mercenary ogres, I know not whether the rest of the army intends to remain at Trantio, occupy the fortified camp at Scorcio or march away to some other purpose. Duke Guidobaldo keeps his own counsel concerning such matters.

Thence I travelled towards Pavona itself, intending to reach that city in a week’s time. I write this from Astiano, which has become settled in its subservience to Pavona, and indeed has raised both a fighting regiment for their new master’s army and a militia to guard the town in Duke Guidobaldo’s service. I will send a letter to you as soon as I arrive in Pavona, where I hope to gain a much better understanding of the Pavonan’s intentions towards your fair city of Verezzo.

Ever and always your servant.
Camponeffro, South of Raverno

“There’s nothing here for us. Nothing of any worth, anyway” complained Pasquale for the third time that hour, his voice loud enough so those riding ahead of him could hear. 
Tino answered, not bothering to turn in his saddle to look. “You knew that, Pas, before we even set off. We’re not here to loot, nor to have a holiday.”

 “Never mind holidays and looting, there’s not even food or shelter. Fields all barren, cattle stolen, and what few folk we’ve found in a bad way and a worse mood. We may as well be in a desert.”

They had ridden for three days now, different companies of Portomaggioren soldiers scouring different parts of the region – this road, that village, this path – while some patrolled the forest edge at the southern border. The VMC had done a thorough job of sacking the place – it seemed northerners were no less adept at plundering than even the most veteran of Tilean mercenaries. Now all that remained were the ragged victims and scattered bands of brigands bolstered in numbers by the desperate and the dispossessed.

Tino gently slowed his mount’s pace until he was riding beside his irritable comrade. “You’re looking at it wrong. You should be glad that the northerners came, for if they had not fought Kurnag’s Waagh then I reckon it would have been us who had to do it.”

“I’m looking at this place!” argued Pasquale. “Looking at what those northerners did! Heroes they may be for fighting the Waagh, but then they did this. Turned farmers into beggars and robbers.”

“Aye, they did. But I say again, you’re still not seeing it right. Why not be glad the northerners attacked here instead of Portomaggiore?”

“Oh, I’m ecstatic about it. I suppose next you’ll be telling me that I ought to be happy I don’t have to carry all the loot they took, and that the wine they stole would’ve given me a headache in the morning, and that …”

“Hush now,” interrupted Tino, pointing ahead. “No shelter you said? Well, that looks like shelter to me.”

It was a dwelling of modest size, which on first sight appeared as ruinous as nearly every other they had seen, but upon closer inspection had obviously been repaired, though in a haphazard and makeshift sort of way. The original roof was gone, replaced by a tangle of broken timbers supporting a canvass sheet. Faces peered over the walls.

Tino rode off the road through a gap in the hedge and three of the column, including Pasquale, followed. The other riders carried on down the road, simply not as curious, tired of this miserable land and its meagre pickings. Besides the place was so small they knew they would have to find somewhere else for the night.

As they drew close they saw three inhabitants who were everything they had come to expect from this region – an old, bent man leaning heavy on a stick, a battered and bruised peasant with his arm in a sling, and a wench carrying nothing more exciting than a bundle of twigs.

“You there,” shouted Tino, having unholstered his long horseman’s pistol, a habit formed from bitter experience over the last few days. “Is this place yours?”

“What’s left of it, aye,” said the injured man in a thick Ravernan accent. “All ours. Why, are you intending to smash it up some more?”

Pasquale laughed. “There’s not much left to break, friend.”

“You needn’t fear us,” reassured Tino. “We’re here to make things better, not worse. Stupid question, I know, but who did this?”

“Foreigners, the ultramontane kind,” said the old man in a croaky voice.

Tino asked the question he had been using a lot recently. “Why?”

The old man laughed. “Because this is what soldiers do. I know, I was one once.”

“No, old man. I meant why here and not somewhere else? Why attack Camponeffro?”

“They said we were being punished,” said the wounded man. “I told them I hadn’t done anything to them and this is what I got.” He held up his injured arm.

Tino frowned. This was new. “Punished for what?”

“I don’t know. Having hens? Being nearby?”

The old man coughed and everyone looked at him. “I heard them say: ‘This will teach you not to throw Marienburgers out of windows.’”

Pasquale swept his hand as if to indicate all around. “Seems a bit too much for a spot of tomfoolery and rough and tumble,” he said.

“That was their excuse,” said the old man. “Not their real purpose. When I was a soldier we found fighting greenskins to be a very unprofitable affair. The sort of things they treasured weren’t exactly what we wanted to loot. I reckon the ultramontanes came here because they needed pay, and plucked at any old excuse to make what they were doing seem more than mere robbery.”

“You can tell us about your adventures over supper, old man,” said Tino, smiling. “In the meantime, wench, how about using your burden to get a fire burning? Oh, and what have you got to eat?”
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 09:28:13 PM by Padre »
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Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #122 on: June 22, 2015, 04:52:19 PM »
Finally catching up on some of this.  Tremendous!  As usual. :eusa_clap: :::cheers:::

By the way, can't wait to see that Reman war machine in action! :icon_biggrin: :icon_cool:
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Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #123 on: July 12, 2015, 07:05:17 PM »
Believe me, GP, I can't wait either. But we're a bunch of players pressed somewhat by RL, and things take quite some organising! For now, another little story piece ...
Holy Blessings Upon this Weapon, May it Serve Morr’s Purpose

As father Biagino and his military escort walked into the Piazza d’Agezlio the sky darkened momentarily, due to nothing more than the shifting of clouds yet given a somewhat ominous feel by the priest’s thoughts and concerns. He was here to bless the newly forged Reman artillery, the one part of the Arch-Lector’s forces that had not taken part in the recent holy parade, and a part that most soldiers believed was in particular need of prayers if it was to function safely. Biagino himself knew the importance of guns, having witnessed at Pontremola how the foe would fall to blades only to rise again, knitted back together by wicked magics. Those blasted apart by iron shot, however, took considerably longer to re-animate – their splintered bones scattered widely, their shivered arms and armour beyond repair.

Most of Remas would agree with him. Much hope was pinned on the artillery in the coming battle, not just the marvellously fashioned steam bastion, but also these brass barrelled pieces. They promised a most modern form of warfare, of a kind that could bring down even massive and monstrous foes in the field of battle, and which could slay entire files of undead before even their stench could be smelled by the soldiers of Remas.

There were three pieces in the square, each attended by newly raised gunners and matrosses busy learning their art. They had already fired this morning – Biagino had heard the latest blast from several streets away - using just powder and wadding, and although the smoke from the volley had been cleared away by the fresh breeze, the smell of brimstone was still evident. Soon the crews would no doubt reek of the stuff, as if their pockets were packed with rotten eggs, and their new, brightly coloured Reman liveries of orange, blue and red would be blackened and singed.

The drummer by Biagino’s side had announced their arrival in the square with a pretty peel and now the master gunner strode over to greet them. By the look of him - his heavy black beard, his stern expression - the fellow was a veteran. Of course he had to be, as the arch-lector’s clerks would not have hired him if he had not presented adequate proof of his expertise. Considering the nature of mercenaries, Biagino wondered just what cruel acts this man might have perpetrated over the years, possibly a veritable torrent of murderous robberies and assaults. Let us hope, he thought, that this fellow can put all that behind him in his present service. Indeed, the arch-lector had promised each and every crusading soldier that Morr would forgive them all their sins and open the gates of his eternal garden to them if they served well. It was an absolution that could cleanse this man of a long litany of crimes.

“Good morrow, father,” said the gunner. “Come to chant a prayer or two over our new born pieces? If you please, make them powerful prayers for I’ve seen what can happen when a barrel bursts, and it ain’t a pretty sight.”

“You doubt our gunsmith’s skills then?” said Biagino, trying to match the man’s banter.

“No, good priest, I am sure the brass is flawless and pure, like the church itself …” (Someone in the nearest crew sniggered.) … “but I intend to work them hard, to make these girls hotter than hot. Best mix in some cold charms too if you can.”

“I’m no hedge wizard dealing in petty cantrips, but a priest of Morr, channeling his divine will to those who deserve it.”

The master gunner grinned. “Then you’ve come to the right place, ‘cos we’re all deserving - arch-lector himself says so.”

Biagino had not expected such irreverence, though perhaps he should have. Suddenly the man looked sombre again, stepped a little closer and spoke a little quieter.

“No disrespect meant, father. Just soldier’s banter for the sake of the boys here. ‘Taint an easy thing to go up against what we face. There’ll be no surrenders when the slaughter gets too much, nor truces to catch our breath. We’re to risk our lives facing death itself, not march about burning fields and robbing cattle. Best then to keep these lads occupied with postures, procedures and puns, takes their mind off tomorrow. A bit of bravado doesn’t go amiss either.”

Biagino understood. Fear was a soldier’s worst enemy when facing the undead. Religious conviction could remove it, and if not, then bluster and boasting might quash it almost as well. “Well and good,” he told the gunner. “I have no doubt you know your business. In this war, however, it is Morr who will guide us to victory, whether we do so laughing or crying. Now, let us go about what must be done.”

The three of them walked over to the first piece, a mortar. Like the crews, it too sported the city’s livery, with colourful wheels pretty enough for a travelling players’ wagon. Its wide muzzle looked terrifying, but of course could not worry a foe who felt no fear. Although Biagino had never seen a mortar in action, he knew them by reputation. Sometimes called ‘murderers’ they were reckoned one of the most dangerous weapons to crew, as in order to fire them one had to tip a lighted grenado of massive size down a short barrel already stuffed with powder, with only a wooden bung to separate the burning fuse and the charge. It did not take the expertise of a gunner to recognise how the simplest error, or the tiniest flaw in either barrel, grenade, bung or fuse could tear weapon and crew to pieces. Maybe this was why the master gunner escorted Biagino here first?

Biagino spoke the blessing and sprinkled some holy water on the piece, while the crew listened intently as if to gauge the potency of his words. Once done, Biagino asked the gunner, “Have you witnessed one of these at work?”

“Oh yes. A nasty beast should it land a grenade amongst a body of men. And it can work great terrors against a garrison, lobbing fiery death right over the walls to anywhere within. This one is a monster indeed, and it’ll need a good 6 or 8 horses to shift it.”

The man seemed to know his stuff. “I saw the brutes from Campogrotta carrying iron and brass barrels, yet hauling no carriage,” said Biagino. “I scarce believed them to be real guns. Do they really intend to hold them as they fire?”

“They do, but they don’t load with round-shot, merely hail shot or sangrenel. That stuff doesn’t kick quite the same. Ogres might be strong, but not enough to take the recoil of 6lb of iron ball. Reckon that’d take their arm right out of its socket.”

Biagino blessed both cannons too, and the crews manning them. Once he was done he began to bid the soldiers farewell, promising that he would be with the army to help ensure Morr watched over them in their holy work. But the master gunner interrupted him, gesturing at a man carrying a cask.

 “What?” asked Biagino, somewhat confused.

“The powder,” explained the gunner. “You will bless that also? Ask Morr to keep it dry and healthy?”

“Yes, yes. Of course,” said Biagino, and for a fourth time began his prayers. Considering he had two other piazzas and a yard yet to visit, this was going to be a long day.
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Offline Xathrodox86

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #124 on: July 13, 2015, 10:23:04 AM »
Padre you're here as well! I can't belive that I've missed this thread. Good to see your epic campaign in two of my favorite Warhammer forums. :smile2:
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