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Author Topic: Tilean Campaign, IC2401  (Read 58097 times)

Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #75 on: July 23, 2014, 07:47:12 PM »
Battle of the Princes

The very western spur of the Trantine Hills, Winter IC2401-2


For most seasons the bridge over the Little Carrena was only used by wagons and coaches – those on foot or horseback found it just as easy to cross the dry river bed of stones. During the months of late autumn and winter, however, it would run with water, sometimes so much that a man would wade waist deep to cross it. So it was that the fleeing remnants of the Compagnia del Sole had been forced to cross the bridge, an action which slowed their progress and made many amongst them fearful of being caught by their pursuer, Duke Guidobaldo.



Their fear, however, proved unfounded, for not only did they cross in safety, but they then met with Prince Girenzo of Trantio and his relief force. After brief consultation, it was decided to array as one army upon the northern side of the river and there make a stand against the foe. The prince did not want them to approach any closer to his precious Trantio, and the mercenaries were tired of running (and lugging their loot). Besides, as Prince Girenzo and General Fortebraccio agreed, the decision was tactically sound: they both knew that attempting to retreat when an enemy was close gave your men the idea that they were fleeing. Once they got that into their heads, then all order and cohesion was almost certainly lost, and what they believed would indeed become the case.

General Fortebraccio still had some tricks up his sleeve, and by clever use of misdirection, concealment and a few broken horses, gave the Pavonans the impression that his Compagnia del Sole soldiers had deployed with their baggage strung out on the far left of their line, and that his heavy horse regiment was clustered in the centre by Prince Girenzo’s gentlemen.



The trick worked. (Game Note: Army list mercenary skill - ‘Tactician’, meaning two units can redeploy after all deployment.) This was the deployment reported to Duke Guidobaldo, and thus the one which he arrayed his own army to face. In truth,  however, the Compagnia’s horse were out on the far right flank, and the baggage (of course) were tucked safely behind the centre of the Trantian army’s line.



Duke Guidobaldo had not tarried too long at Astiano. Once the enemy was broken and fled the field, he halted only long enough to reform his fighting companies, recover his lightly wounded and see to it that the more seriously injured would be tended to. If he had been willing to wait a few days longer, he knew he would receive reinforcements from both Astiano and Pavona, but he was more keen to catch the remnant of the Compagnia del Sole before they could escape his clutches, to retrieve the plunder looted from his newly built settlement upon the Via Aurelia at Casoli. Some amongst his soldiers believed he also wanted the world to know that he was not afraid of a fight, not the sort of man to allow hesitation or caution to cause him to tarry.

His army arrayed itself amongst the loops of the stream, as if they cared not a jot about the slippery rocks or getting their feet wet in the cold of winter. His pistoliers acted as outriders on his right flank, and came clattering across the little bridge as the army completed manoeuvring into line of battle. The duke and his son rode with their last few knights, carefully crossing the stream behind the artillery so that the Duke could see his precious pieces well placed. He wanted them to do well, for if they did not it would make his choice to allow them to slow the whole army down in their pursuit look foolish. A regiment of swords was next in line, flanked by a company of handgunners. Two bodies of halberdiers, separated by a tiny group of archers, came next, while a large regiment of handgunners were placed on the far left. His own baggage was tucked behind the hill upon which his largest regiment of halberdiers was standing.



Of course, the pistoliers wasted no time on the bridge, and came wheeling boldly from its northern end to begin riding fast towards the foe. Some sported blue and white cloaks or feathers, so that none could mistake them for anything other than Pavonans.
 

(Game Note: Deployment and vanguard moves completed. The actual fighting to follow asap.)
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Offline timothymayer

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #76 on: July 25, 2014, 02:00:01 AM »
The detail alone is impressive.

Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #77 on: July 29, 2014, 08:16:43 PM »
Battle of the Princes Continued


Duke Guidobaldo’s pistoliers galloped onwards towards the forlorn hope of mercenary crossbowmen isolated upon the hill on the far of the Trantian line.



This bold move was not matched by the rest of the Pavonan army, as nearly every other unit simply stood, waiting. A small detachment of archers did creep up behind the central hill, while the company of handgunners on the far left found a way to be even more cautious – by falling back a few yards. The Pavonan wizard’s magical conjurings harmed no-one, merely forcing Luchino Janecci, the Compagnia del Sole’s battle wizard, to read his dispel scroll. At this range not much in the way of artillery could be played upon the foe, and apart from the three crossbowmen who fell to the pistoliers’ close range volley, only two pikemen and one of Prince Girenzo’s knights were killed by a cannonball. 

The Trantine army responded with a somewhat more aggressive action, advancing their four main fighting bodies without delay. Yet they too displayed elements of caution, due mainly to two reasons: none were keen to allow the enemy to bring their full firepower to bear (especially their vicious looking volley-gun) and, more importantly, the Pavonans were arrayed in such a way that they might bring a considerable portion of their fighting strength to bear upon the rather exposed left flank of the Trantian line, most likely supported by their pistoliers. So it was that while the rightmost regiment of horse moved as fast as possible to close the gap between themselves and the hesitant regiment of handgunners, the second body of knights moved in such a way as to be concealed by the central hill, and the halberdiers on the left – led by the mercenary General Fortebraccio – slowed and wheeled away from the line to angle themselves more towards the enemy threatening from the left.



Magic and shooting brought about nothing of any real consequence, something Prince Girenzo had thought might well prove to be the case. As he rode upon the left of the front rank of his gentlemen-at-arms he accepted that to defeat the foe he would have to close with them and fight hand to hand. Glancing to his left he wondered if his well-drilled but little experienced militia pikemen would prove capable of such a task.



He already had his doubts about the Compagnia del Sole – after all he was only here because they had chosen to flee instead of fight. Yet his own meagre force could not fight this battle alone – he needed the mercenaries to fight this time. The halberdiers’ movement away from his neat line of battle was worrying. He would just have to lead by example, and hope that they were suitably reassured. If not that, then perhaps they would fight simply to ensure that their employer remained alive and victorious, and so able to pay them what they were owed.

Some way behind him the crew of his galloper gun were attempting to line up their piece’s muzzle on the pistoliers, knowing a lucky shot now could prove crucial to the safety of the army’s left flank.



Their shot, however, fell short. (Game Note: My extensive pencil notes say nothing about the actual shot. Which means it is in fact possible that I forgot to take it. My excuse is that battles are distracting, and I am easily distracted.) The pistoliers took the cannon’s failure as a sign to do something immediately or suffer the consequences of a better placed second shot. So, while the crew of the cannon hurriedly re-loaded, they ignored the three surviving crossbowmen on the hill and hurtled directly towards their potential ruin.



The Pavonan Duke Guidobaldo and his son Lord Polcario had got themselves and their few remaining knights stuck behind their artillery pieces. Considering this, and that there was no immediate target for the volley-gun, the multi-barrelled gun’s crew were ordered to drag it out of the way immediately. As soon as there was space enough, the heavily armoured regiment thundered forwards to the rear of the handgunner detachment. The foot also began an advance, with the three main regiments moving obliquely.



As they did so, and even though the winds of magic were currently weak, one of the Pavonan battle wizards summoned a flame storm to rain death upon the Trantian pikemen, killing a dozen and leaving the rest reeling, sickened by the foul stench of cooked flesh arising from the charred corpses. With their prince so close, the survivors found the courage to march on, despite their horrible loss. The Pavonan wizard was exultant, but his expression of joy was misjudged as some uncontrolled wisps of magical energy had remained coiled around him – these now burst to send a ripple of destruction through the swordsmen he was marching with. Eight men fell dead. The wizard did not let it show, but he was secretly thankful that the soldiers did not seem to realise that the harm had been his doing and not some curse conjured by the foe.

The Pavonan cannon sent a ball directly at Prince Girenzo, who very fortuitously moved out of its path in the last moment. The ball killed the man next to him and spattered blood and splinters of bone on the prince’s bright armour. His face blanched, though none saw as it was hidden beneath his helm. The handgunners threatened by the Compagnia del Sole’s heavily armoured horsemen brought down two with a volley, then loaded quickly to fire one more volley as they were charged. Agitated and rushed as they were, this second volley was launched a little too high, and the Compagnia’s yellow and white striped lances hit them hard.



The large company of mercenary crossbowmen upon the hill to the right of their baggage now turned to face the pistoliers, as did General Fortebraccio’s halberdiers. Prince Girenzo narrowed his eyes as he saw them move even further from him. Trust them to think only of protecting the loot in the baggage! He intended to hit the foe as one line, with the crossbowmen supporting the attack. He certainly cared not if the enemy played a while with the baggage. Now his army had broken into two, and all because of one single enemy unit.



The Compagnia del Sole’s heavy horsemen smashed through the handgunners, then ran down those who fled. What they did not know was that the enemy’s cannon crew had spotted them, and were already lugging their piece around to aim it. Had they known they might have foregone the satisfaction of hacking down an already broken foe and instead reformed in such a way as to minimise the harm the cannon could do to them. (Game Note: Almost as soon as I declared my pursuit I realised the mistake. Such is the heat of battle!)

Prince Girenzo and his knights moved forwards, while the men of the shattered pike regiment matching his move were glad of the concealment the hill in front of them provided. Both flew his brightly hued personal banner, both garbed in brightly fierce colours. One might think by their appearance that they were the sort of warriors unconcerned about being spotted by the enemy’s guns. One would be wrong to do so, however, for both had spotted the serried muzzles of the organ gun earlier, and heard the blast of the cannon twice already. They were only too aware of what might await them when they ascended the hill betwixt them and the foe.



(Game Note: For the purposes of this battle, set in a hilly region of Tilea, we had a scenario rule that TLoS did not count for the hills – they were to be considered real hills rather than slight mounds. Certainly sufficient to hide men, whether on foot or mounted.)

The mercenary wizard Luchino unleashed a magical blast of chain lightning on the pistoliers, killing four. As they turned and fled, the cannon killed another and cheers went up from the crossbowmen and halberdiers watching. General Fortebraccio allowed himself to smile, but then suddenly wondered whether his order to turn his men to face the now-beaten foe was an over-reaction. He stepped from the ranks to look towards his employer, the Prince, and was forced to accept that he had indeed broken what had been a fairly solid line. Still, he thought, the Pavonans were not exactly rushing towards them. Surely there was time enough to restore a fighting formation?

So, as on a few previous occasions, it’s quiz time. This is the end of Turn 2. You’ve seen the battle in great detail, and know quite a bit about the forces involved. Who’s gonna win this one?

Next part to follow soon.

« Last Edit: August 04, 2014, 10:01:59 PM by Padre »
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Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #78 on: July 30, 2014, 05:28:40 PM »
Awww, go on go on go on go on ... someone have a guess (educated or not) re: the winner. It's my contention that at this point in the battle, what with the two players being very amateurish at 8th ed, and both roleplaying their army commanders well, that it could go either way from this point.
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Offline Uryens de Crux

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #79 on: July 31, 2014, 12:01:58 PM »
I say the Pavonans
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 Von Kurst

  • Posts: 1415
Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #80 on: August 03, 2014, 12:10:30 AM »
I think its a trick question  :biggriin:

Looking forward to the rest of the battle report though, stop stalling!
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"It is, it is a glorious thing To be a Pirate King."
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Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #81 on: August 04, 2014, 10:23:26 PM »
I'll post the next bit, Uryens, and we'll see if your prediction looks more likely. And Von Kurst, rather than delay any more, 'll put the next bit up even though I haven't quite got to the end yet.

The Trantian mercenary crossbowmen and halberdiers watched as the few surviving Pavonan pistoliers found the courage to rally.



At that moment, Duke Guidobaldo at last gave the signal to his army to advance at the double and attack the foe in bloody combat. Swordsmen, knights and halberdiers now all came on, glad to see their enemy had divided itself in two.



The Pavonan gunners on the hill could not believe their luck as they aligned the barrel of their piece to aim down a line of the Compagnia del Sole’s mounted men at arms. Lowering the linstock to touch burning matchcord to the trail of bruised powder dribbled behind the touchhole they sent a roundshot through no less than five of the armoured riders. The survivors, the men of the front-rank, were stunned, then their shock turned into anger rather than fear – anger at their own stupidity as well as at the foe. (Game Note: Boy, was I cursing. Those figures took me ages to paint!)

Unwilling to allow the Pavonans to gain all the initiative, and hoping somehow to buy some time for the prince’s knights and the mercenary halberdiers to get themselves into the fight, the Trantian militia pikemen now charged the blue and white swordsmen before them. As the two regiments clashed, the banners flew thick above them, for each side carried both their own regimental and their army’s banners. The fight was instantly bloody, a furious melee in which seven swordsmen and six pikemen died while the commanders fought gallantly in their midst. (Game Note: Annoyingly, I forgot to direct any of up to six possible, re-rolling ones, attacks against the enemy wizard, who would surely have perished had I done so!)



General Fortebraccio, commander of the Compagnia del Sole, knew full well what was required of him, and gave the command for his regiment to reform as swiftly as possible so that he could march them up rapidly in support. His men, however, proved sluggish and distracted, and it was all he could do to get them to face towards the massed foe instead of the pistoliers. (Game Note: A pretty critical ‘swift reform’ failure!) He knew he would be hard pushed now to get into the fight quickly enough to swing the balance.

The wizard Luchino conjured a harmonic convergence to bless the pike and the crossbowmen, then, deftly directing the winds of magic swirling around him, he sent flashes of chain lightning tearing into the second regiment of Pavonan halberdiers, killing six, then he lured it to strike at the Duke’s own knights, killing two of them also. The last few searing bolts then strayed towards the handgunner detachment to kill another two men. The sound of thunder followed, as is normally the case with mundane lightning, but it was actually the Trantian artillery piece spitting a hail of grapeshot into the pistoliers.



Two more pistoliers died. The surviving pair, perhaps too exhausted, battered and bruised to fully comprehend the awful damage done to them, simply spurred their horses away from the smoke that wreathed them and galloped back towards the centre of the field.

Prince Girenzo, leading his gentlemen-at-arms, began now to swing around towards the enemy flank. As he himself rounded the hill, he could see that his militia pike were much reduced in strength and that not only were the enemy’s own heavy horsemen were launching into a charge into the isolated pikemen’s flank, but a regiment of halberdiers were about to hit the other flank.



As the chargers went smashing in …



… the prince signalled to his men to follow him. If the pike could hold just a little longer against the foe, even though outnumbered and surrounded on three sides, then he would be leading his knights into the enemy’s rear and would surely do great harm to them.

There was another small regiment of enemy halberdiers unengaged behind the melee …
 

… but Prince Girenzo reckoned he and his knights could still prevail. All hinged upon whether his militia stood their ground.



Far to the rear the last surviving Compagnia del Sole mounted man at arms accompanied Captain Scarpa as he splashed over the Little Carrena towards the Pavonan baggage. The two of them intended to kill the peasants tending the horses and mules, then gallop up the slope beyond to the cannon, there to avenge the brutal slaying of their comrades.



The Pavonans’ attempts at conjuring magical harm were proving weak, while their cannon shot at Prince Girenzo’s knights simply buried itself into the earth. The last two blood-spattered Pavonan pistoliers brought down two of the Compagnia del Sole’s baggage guard with their shots and a volley from their handgunners maimed one of the Prince’s horse artillery crewmen.

The melee in the centre of the field proved to be costly, with more than half a dozen men killed on each side. While Lord Polcario struggled to get to grips with a surprisingly nimble-footed champion, the Trantine battle standard bearer – made somewhat more deadly by the magical Harmonic Convergence still blessing him and the regiment - slew the cowering Pavonan wizard and wounded their own battle standard bearer. Just like his son, Duke Guidobaldo could not find purchase for his blade. Perhaps it was the brightly coloured enemy standard fluttering in his face, all of six foot by six foot, that distracted him?



Within moments, before most the men fighting had taken more than two or three strained breaths, the ground was strewn with the dead and dying.


(Game Note: An enforced break in game-play allowed me to do some posed shots, a luxury not normally open to me.)

A little way behind the mercenary general Micheletto Fortebrachio watched. For a brief moment he too wondered if the pikemen could hold. If so then he could lead his veteran halberdiers into the flank of the enemy knights. Such an action would win them the battle for certain, for as the Prince cut into the rear of the foe from the other flank, he and his own men could hack down both Pavonan lords, the Duke and his son.



In truth, the fate of the whole of central Tilea hung in the balance. If the Lord of Pavona and his heir died here, then Trantio would become the major power. If the Trantians failed, Pavona was very likely to swallow yet another state in into its growing empire.



Yet, despite the heroic actions of their commanders and the close proximity of their prince and general, the Trantian pikemen broke and ran, to be hacked down by the pursuing Pavonan nobility. (Game Note: I had a re-rollable 6 or less break test. And failed. What a difference a pass would have made! Still, I am the campaign GM not a player so I don’t actually care – story is all to me!)

General Fortebraccio had time enough merely to shout the command to brace, before the Pavonan knights hit him and his halberdiers at full gallop.



Even now Prince Trantio saw that the battle was not lost for certain. While the Compagnia del Sole’s halberdiers held the Pavonan knights, he and his gentlmen could conceivably cut a swathe through the foe, so that he could face Duke Guidobaldo himself. And as he thought this, he realised it was what he wanted all along – to face his enemy in personal combat and to cut him down with his own sword.



It was time to order the charge.

(Now half way through turn 4. It’ll be a couple of days before I can complete the rest.)
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Offline doowopapocalypse

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #82 on: August 06, 2014, 11:16:17 PM »
I want to say the Compagnia del Sole. But that's the thing about battles. You never know whose won until much, much later.

Offline Padre

  • Posts: 3145
Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #83 on: August 07, 2014, 03:02:43 PM »
In this case, Doowop, you're gonna find out right now...

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

If he was to reach the Duke, Prince Girenzo would have plough his way through several intervening units. This he was entirely happy to do, itching to begin the excitement of sword play in a life and death melee. The first unit in his way was a company of swordsmen, so with a thunder of hooves he and his men set off. The swordsmen had seen the prince’s approach, however, and promptly fled away long before he could reach them. This left the prince and his little body of gentlemen staring at both the wide muzzle of the cannon and the multiple mouths of the helblaster volley gun. In that moment, the prince’s previous excitement was snuffed out. (Game Note: For years now I have had the bad habit of forgetting to take into account the fact that a charged foe can simply opt to run away, which can be critical if the charge is a long one. I am beginning to wonder if my opponents have long since cottoned on to this deficiency in my thinking.)

The Duke and his son hit the Compagnia’s halberdiers hard, slaying eight of them, including the wizard Janacci, while Lord Polcario bloodied General Fortebraccio in a personal combat.



The men of the Compagnia seemed to understand that their reputation and any chance of future success lay upon this combat and stood their ground defiantly. Once again, however, the Pavonans were readying themselves to charge against a Trantian regiments flank, and the orders were already being shouted to the battered but intact body of halberdiers close by. Thus it was that they charged, led bravely by their stout champion wielding a bright steel, flamberge bladed bastard sword.



The last surviving pair of pistoliers now charged headlong into the left flank of the large body of crossbowmen on the hill, who had only recently reformed away from the pistoliers in the assumption that they no longer represented a threat! The men guarding the baggage were glad not to be receiving pistol shots, but unnerved by the fact that the enemy was riding so freely close by. Witnessing the blue and white halberdiers crashing into the flank of General Fortebraccio’s guard hardly reassured them either.



The last surviving Pavonan wizard, having spotted the prince and his knights, now wove a powerful spell indeed out of the winds of magic gushing about him. Once satisfied he had bound as much power in as possible, he sent a magical blast of searing heat at the heavily armoured band, the sort of assault that their layers of steel not only failed to provide protection against, but actually made things worse. Three of the prince’s six companions fell screaming from their saddles as their mounts bucked, reared and squealed horribly, their own hide being burned by the now super-heated metal they too wore. His flesh sorely singed, the prince tore his helm from his head and gave vent to a loud curse, something which was for him so unusual that two of his surviving gentlemen at arms turned to look at him rather than their badly suffering comrades. They even failed to notice as an iron roundshot flew just above their plumed helms, but then were cruelly snapped out of their stupor as the helblaster sent a very loudly clattering hail of leaden balls into them, one of which went through the slit of a visor to instantly kill the man wearing it.

Prince Girenzo, blood pouring from his ear which had been grazed by a lead-shot, his sword hanging limp from a leather strap tied to his wrist, his own personal standard flying ragged above his head, and his body blistered in a dozen places from what magical heat had burned his own armour, found his voice had abandoned him. So, with great haste, yet silently, and with wisps of smoke trailing behind them, he and his last two companions yanked their reins to turn their horses about and fled from the field in the direction of Trantio city.



For him at least, this battle was over: his army was destroyed, his mercenaries in the process of being so. His city, however, still survived. There he had a standing garrison force, and even some artillery pieces too heavy to be brought to this battle. He did not intend also to lose his home to the Duke of Pavona, and it was with this stubborn aim in mind, rather than anguish or fear, that he rode hard and fast away from the battlefield. He had work to do.

The two pistoliers managed to shoot one of the crossbowmen, but the foe lost no time reforming to face them and bring their strength to bear.



At the rear of the field, entirely unaware of how ill the battle fared for the Compagnia elsewhere, and having slaughtered all those accompanying the Pavonan baggage train, Captain Scarpa’s angry rage failed to dissipate, so he rode on to attack the crew of the cannon that had felled so many of his men.



In the midst of the field, surrounded by scattered corpses and wounded men writhing in agony, the combat continued. General Fortebraccio rained blows upon Lord Polcario, yet was unable to harm him. The Compagnia del Sole’s halberdiers fought bravely and skilfully, killing another knight in the Duke’s retinue (so that only one now remained with Duke and his son), as well as an enemy halberdier. At another time, with more enemies threatening, this might have broken the Pavonans, but even as they were bloodied and pushed back, they could sense the enemy's desperation, and besides they knew full well that the battle was nearly won. They were not going to run now.

Prince Girenzo’s light artillery piece’s barrel now shivered, maiming both men still crewing it, while near the Compagnia’s baggage the pistoliers broke and fled away from the crossbowmen. In the middle of the field Lord Polcario and General Fortebraccio could still do each other no harm, but the halberdiers brought down the last Pavonan knight. The Duke now redoubled his efforts, which had been mighty before, and cut down two of the foe, as to more fell to his own halberdiers fighting on the flank. This was the end for the mercenaries, who now, finally, turned to flee, only for each and every one of them to be trampled or hacked down as they did so. General Fortebraccio lay dying amongst them, so battered and bloody that he was barely recognisable, just another broken corpse in the pile.

As the Duke and Lord Polcario, accompanied now by the last few survivors of the halberdiers, came galloping and running past them, the pistoliers rallied yet again. They halted momentarily to see that the crossbowmen who had just sent them running were now marching away from the hill and the battlefield, then realised that the noblemen and soldiers they had just encountered were cheering as they burst upon the baggage train, killing all those who cowered there.



With the merest of glances at each other, as if to ask: “Are you still able and willing?” they spurred their mounts and rushed on to join the looting.

The Battle of the Princes was over, another victory for Duke Guidobaldo of Pavona. Another sign that his war was just (despite what the Reman priests were saying). His army had frightened Prince Girenzo off the field, all but utterly destroyed the Compagnia del Sole and re-captured the loot taken from his own realm. And all this had been done with him and his son at the fore, in the thickest of the fighting, earning glory and honour in the eyes of his men. There would be no stopping him now.

(Game Note: I nearly began writing all about what else is going on, the Duke’s plans and expectations, whether or not he is to be reinforced, and what he intends next. But then I remembered this is a campaign, the Duke is a player character, and the player in question would not thank me for revealing such things. Ah well, I will have to make do with an epilogue from an NPC’s perspective, which should follow shortly.)
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Offline Uryens de Crux

  • Posts: 3740
Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #84 on: August 07, 2014, 03:31:41 PM »
Nailed it.

The Compagnia Del Sol were in battle, stand  to reason they'd lose hah
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

  • Posts: 3145
Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #85 on: August 07, 2014, 03:37:58 PM »
Nailed it.

The Compagnia Del Sol were in battle, stand  to reason they'd lose hah

My big problem now is that I own all these Compagnia del Sole figures. Either (a) they slowly reform or (b) I re-paint their livery and call them something else! Or (c) I forget about them (fools) and bring in a force that'll scare all of you!

Hmm, Tilean campaign - what could that force be? Hmm.

In the meantime, I still (bizarrely) have a last few Compagnia soldiers to finish painting! (You'll see why soon.) Oh, and I've been collecting fiddly bits of plastic for some months now for another project. And I have more undead in the early stages of painting. And a new packet of Wood Elves. Oh, and the players are quite understandably concerned re: why everything takes me so long!
Photobucket has graciously resurrected my pictures, so my collected works thread is suddenly working again - see http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php?topic=38528.0. To see my slowly growing website go to https://bigsmallworlds.com/

Offline cagicus

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #86 on: August 07, 2014, 07:54:21 PM »
I'm sorry but I cannot give my blessing to this

Offline Padre

  • Posts: 3145
Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #87 on: August 07, 2014, 08:49:34 PM »
I'm sorry but I cannot give my blessing to this

Ooh, now that was very unexpected.  :icon_biggrin: I never thought that his holiness the Arch-Lector of Morr, Calticus II himself would speak here. I especially did not expect him to frame his announcement of disgust as an apology!

BTW: Hello Cagicus. There's stuff coming your way soon re: the campaign - letters, ambassadors, and that sort of thing.

« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 10:40:45 PM by Padre »
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Offline damo_b

  • Posts: 53
Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #88 on: August 08, 2014, 11:54:17 AM »
Compagnia Del Sol good as ever.

Offline cagicus

  • Posts: 12
Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #89 on: August 08, 2014, 01:19:43 PM »
His holiness himself? No. I merely have... an association with his holiness.
I expect, he would, like me, view this in sorrow. Good men, Lords and commoners alike, who will all come to Morr in the end to give account for their worldly choices have chosen to spill each other's blood for mere politics while the undead menace grows. The church, and indeed all right loving peoples look on in sorrow.
But all is not lost. I know his holiness is praying for you all and would forgive and welcome with open arms any who repent and flock to the true cause.

Offline doowopapocalypse

  • Posts: 39
  • It's nothing, sir. Just a burn from a ray gun.
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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #90 on: August 08, 2014, 10:50:51 PM »
I still think, emotionally, the Compagnia won....

You planning on using the upcoming Perry plastics to flesh out your forces?

Offline Padre

  • Posts: 3145
Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #91 on: August 21, 2014, 10:55:02 PM »
(@ Doowop: I do indeed intend to get a hold of them. Though fleshing out my forces isn't strictly necessary at this stage. It's more a matter of painting the same sort of stuff but in different colours!)

..........................................................

Battle of the Princes
Epilogue: I Surrender


A few miles south of Trantio City

Even before he opened the lid of the battered chest, Ruggero knew it would be waste of time. He raised it anyway, snapping one of the old hinges in the process. The lid fell backwards with a clump to hang ungainly and twisted. Inside lay moth-eaten rags and the ugly remains of a child’s poppet, a dead spider still clinging to the gaping hole in its mouldy, paper mache head.

“There’s absolutely nothing here of any use,” he said, not for the first time.

Placido was crouching down to look beneath the cloth upon the table, his armour clattering as he did so. After little more than a glance he pulled his head away with a disgusted cough and let the cloth drop back, but not before Ruggero caught a glimpse of the pot beneath. By the look on Placido’s face it had obviously not been emptied in a while.

“Nothing we can eat, anyway,” said Placido.

Ruggero suppressed a grin. “Whoever lives here must’ve taken it all with them.” He sat himself down on a rickety stool and dragged the blue and maroon cap from his head to scratch behind his ear. If last night had not been so cold, and this night likely to be so again, he would have discarded the cap and his similarly liveried tunic too. If he was going to be caught he would rather be taken for a Trantian soldier than a mercenary of the Compagnia del Sole. Duke Guidobaldo and his Pavonans hated the Trantians, but had much more of a grudge to settle with the Compagnia. Maybe he ought to try the rags in the chest, see if they could keep him warm? Maybe he could wrap himself in the cloth from the table tonight.

“Could have been some other soldiers got here before us,” suggested Placido.

Ruggero shook his head. “No, I don’t reckon that’s it. The place was too neat and tidy. This chest would have been smashed open already, and all the rest scattered higgledy-piggedy.” Much as it was now, he thought, after his and Placido’s search.

Placido slumped in the one chair by the table, causing it to creak loudly at the unaccustomed weight of a fully armoured man. He grinned, like he always did before saying something daft. “There’s a pot under there if you need to go.”

“I’d need food in my belly some time in the last three days for that to happen.”

“We should have gone with the others,” said Placido. “Renato il Famelico was with them, and he can smell food out like a hound can sniff out a hare.”

“No, it was - and is - best we’re on our own. The others’ll be leaving a trail behind them a blind man could follow, never mind a hound. We’ll do better making our own way.”

“Right then,” said Placido with enthusiasm, as if all of a sudden he was fully rested. Getting to his feet once more he gestured to the door. “Let’s make our own way. We don’t want to tarry here too long.”

Ruggero stayed put on his stool. “Tell me, Placido, if you’re so keen to move quickly, why are you still wearing your armour? We’re on foot, just the two of us, fleeing for our lives from a victorious foe who wants our guts for garters, and you’re still sporting plate steel from head to toe. How in Myrmidia's name does that make any sense?”

Placido was standing by the back door, his hand resting on the bar. “It makes plenty of sense. For a start if we have to fight, or if someone sees us from afar and thinks to send a quarrel our way, then I’d rather have the armour on than off. And, when we get away, we’ve got nothing else to sell. This armour will sell for gold, not mere silver. And that will buy us food, and plenty of it.”

If we get away, not when,” corrected Ruggero. “Right now, getting away is far more important than what we do after we get away.”

“Then let’s get away,” said Placido, a note of frustration in his voice from having to repeat himself. He hefted the bar from its hooks and dropped it to the ground. When he turned the handle and pushed however, the door did not budge. “Locked,” he announced. “So …" (he glanced around) "we go out the way we came in.”

Ruggero hushed him, and raised a hand to tell him not to move either. “I just heard something outside,” he whispered.

“Huh?”

“When you dropped the bar - I heard something.”

“Oh, it’s always my fault, isn’t it?”

“Sshh!”

As the window was shuttered, Ruggero moved to the front door instead. It made no difference whether he opened the door or the shutter, if there was someone outside they would notice either way. Might as well be bold and use the door. That way, if there was trouble, there would already be a means for a quick exit.

Once again Ruggero whispered. “I’ll go take a look.” Somewhat distracted by his predicament, he pulled the cap back down on his head, then stepped boldly through the door. Dazzled by the sunlight outside, he could not help but close his eyes momentarily. As he opened them slowly, blinking, blue and white shapes before him took form. His eyes grew wide.



He gulped. The shapes were Pavonan soldiers, and lots of them. The bright light was glittering upon the polished, sharpened steel of the halberd points they lowered towards him.

“Good morrow,” he said, trying to sound unafraid.

A question came from somewhere among the crowd, although Ruggero was too dazzled and discomfited to identify who exactly said it. “Anyone else?”

“Placido,” he shouted, his voice faltering a little as he raised his hands. “Best come out, and best hold your hands up.”

Another time the clattering of Placido’s approach might have seemed comical. Just now, such jollity was far from Ruggero’s mind.



As Placido emerged through the door, the steel tips came a little closer, and Ruggero noticed a pistol muzzle in their midst.



It was levelled right at his breast, held in the armoured hand of a dismounted pistolier.



Another voice spoke. “Looks like we’ve got a brace of bad ‘uns here, lads. The same naughty thieves who thought they might plunder and burn our villages, then run away.”

This time Ruggero had enough wits about him to see who it was – a Pavonan officer, a young man with an orange and blue panache sprouting flamboyantly from his cap. Somewhere in the back of his mind he remembered these where also the colours of the Morrite Guard in Remas. The officer also clutched a pistol.



“This one isn’t running anymore, though” the Pavonan continued. “I suppose what with you doing so much running, from Venafro, from Astiano, from the Little Carrena, your legs are tired?”

It was not the sort of question one was expected to answer. Behind the already plentiful blades, even more Pavonan soldiers were arriving, joining the throng outside the cottage to see what had been found.



The Pistolier stepped even closer. “You dogs,” he said, “have a lot to answer for.” He formed his words slowly, as if it pained him to say them. “Good men died trying to teach you a lesson. I reckon if you can’t learn it, then there’s no point in the lesson continuing.” He turned the pistol on its side, the way riders often did to make a mere flash in the pan a little less likely.



Ruggero knew there was little he could do to save himself. Just like his choice between the door and the window, whether he spoke or held his tongue, it made no difference. It was not his way, however, simply to give in. “I don’t suppose there’s any way we can make these words not my last?” he asked, the faintest of smiles playing on his lips.

(Edited for grammar.)
« Last Edit: August 27, 2014, 10:28:05 PM by Padre »
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Offline Padre

  • Posts: 3145
Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #92 on: August 30, 2014, 08:11:53 AM »
Trantio Tested
The last days of 2401

The war between Pavona and Trantio had raged for half a year until now, for the first time, one of the two cities was directly threatened. Prince Girenzo of Trantio, fled home from his crushing defeat at the Little Carrena, mustered his last remaining mercenaries and militia soldiers to man the city walls and vowed that despite the odds, the enemy would not take his city. His officers set about stockpiling supplies for the forthcoming siege, seeking out potential saboteurs and spies, and ordering labourers to repair and strengthen. Crossbowmen patrolled the huge stone walls and halberdiers guarded the gates, while artillery pieces were hauled up earthen ramps to be emplaced upon the towers. Trantio became a hive of desperate activity. Although many were frightened and some were panicked, few among the populace begrudged the labours, for when a threatened people toil willingly for their own defence.

Duke Guidobaldo of Pavona had also been busy, scouting the approaches to Trantio city. He ordered the land scoured to gather of sufficient fodder for his horses and provisions for his men, thus preventing the foe from taking the same, as well as the cutting down of trees to fashion great numbers of scaling ladders. Before his siege camp was even completed he received numerous reinforcements from his own realm to swell the ranks of his victorious but battered force. Then when satisfied that he was ready to assault the city he sent a herald unto the very walls of Trantio to issue a summons to yield. No answer was given, so the Duke ordered his army to array in the fields before the southern gate, while his lightest troops, being huntsmen and pistoliers, moved boldly within range of the walls as if they cared nothing for the crossbowmen and cannons upon them.



Such rashness seemed recently to have become the way of the Pavonans, for they believed themselves to be the favoured servants of Morr, and further that Morr was the greatest of gods, a combination which raised them above all other states in worthiness, bravery and honour. Some of the older soldiers amongst them may well have muttered that such rashness was more to do with the Duke’s tyrannical nature, secretly praying to Myrmidia as they and always done before battle was joined. Others simply revelled in their string of victories and the plentiful loot gained thereby. All seemed happy to put aside the niggling fears concerning the dire threat of the undead armies in the north – that was something to worry about later. As the wisest among the soldiery put it: when the evil enemy did come, they would find Pavona defended behind a ring of conquered cities and towns, so that the fighting could be done there and not in the blessed streets of fair Pavona.

As the Pavonans arrayed themselves, inside the ramparts of the southern gate Prince Girenzo directed messengers hither and thither along the walls to deliver his orders. He was flanked by the two last surviving gentlemen at arms who had accompanied him from the Little Carrena, the rest having been brutally slain by a bloodily brutal combination of the mystical and mundane (magical fire and roundshot). So it was that Prince Girenzo knew full well what the Pavonans were capable of - how they cared not a jot for the quality of a man, nor respected the unwritten laws dictating the nature of civilised warfare between city states in Tilea, but instead happily employed wizardry and black powder to slay noble knights. Such behaviour might be expected of the basest sort of mercenaries, or northerners, and certainly of the wicked races of greenskins or ratmen, but Tileans ought to know better. The prince still reeled at the cruel loss of such good men, never mind his army, and had determined to exact vengeance in whatever way he could. Yet to look at him, none would know he harboured such fury and hatred, and he was the very essence of calm as he quietly issued his commands.



Upon the towers of Trantio the artillerymen hefted their iron-shot into the muzzles of their pieces ..



… while in the fields beyond the walls the enemy’s gunners did exactly the same.



Duke Guidobaldo’s plan was simple: Batter down the gate, surely the weakest spot in the city’s defences, and then assault through the gap thus created. Such was his determination that he was not troubled by the fact the enemy would no doubt have prepared for exactly such an attack, nor that his army would thus inevitably suffer great casualties. When his son, Lord Polcario, questioned the order (being the only person in the Duke’s army who would dare to do so) the Duke answered that soldiers were fools if they did not expect to die upon the field of battle, and besides, those who died would all the sooner receive the tender care of Morr, dwelling eternally in his favour because of the service they had done him. Nevertheless, while his artillery battery was placed directly before the gate, and several companies ordered towards it …



… he himself, and his son, marched on foot with two regiments towards the walls to the east of the gate. He had no intention of personally joining the deadly assault through the shattered gate, but instead intended to scale the walls left weakly defended by the foe’s need to mass soldiers at the gate.



The Duke’s army now not only contained Pavonans. He had never been particularly reliant on mercenaries, and nor was he now, for bolstering his blue and white liveried native soldiers was a new-raised regiment of Astianan swordsmen, recruited from those thugs and bravi dwelling in his recently conquered possession who had no qualms about serving their tyrannical conqueror, provided they were paid.



Still, he did not wholly trust them, nor consider them yet worthy of full acceptance into his army. So it was they did not carry a blue and white Pavonan standard, but rather bore their own city’s standard, fastened upside down upon the staff to symbolise their subjection. By proving themselves to him I battle, he had promised they would earn the right to carry the arms of Astiano in the proper manner.

Amongst the duke’s ranks strolled two wizards, one of which had arrived with the reinforcements, having travelled from the distant and mysterious realm of Cathay. He was a skilled wielder of fire magic and would prove himself an asset several times in the fight to come, bathing the walls in streams of fire, although it was the Pavonan wizard who would to become closely involved in Lord Polcario’s fate.



The battle began with a thunderous volley from the Trantian artillery which proved very effective indeed. As the roar reverberated around the walls, Duke Guidobaldo was shocked to see that two of his three great-cannons had been destroyed before even firing a shot. The Trantian crossbowmen lining the walls failed to add much more harm to this destructive start, however, as they were frantically running from wall to tower to wall to better position themselves to receive the foes’ ladder assaults.

Somehow the gunners on the last surviving Pavonan piece were not disheartened by the loss of their comrades, and busied themselves all the more to do what their Lord had presumed he needed three cannons to do. They sent a ball to crunch into the stones beside the wooden gate (Game note: We were using the old 6th ed siege rules, thus the random assignment of either the actual gate or the wall section in which the gate was set – does seem an odd rule, considering the way cannons normally target down a very fixed line, but that’s what the book says!) The Pavonans marched closer to the walls, their pistoliers firing clattering volleys at the men atop them, while crossbow bolts finally began to rain down from them. The Trantian cannons fired, but this time one ball ploughed into the ground before the last Pavonan cannon, while the other merely clipped it. With loud prayers to Morr that the barrel had not been cracked (and silent prayers to Myrmidia to protect them from such a flaw), the attackers reloaded with extra powder and fired again at the gate. This time their ball hit almost exactly the same spot and in so doing, perhaps due to some flaw in the construction or a weakness which manifested over the centuries, collapsed one entire side of the gate tower. (Game Note: Roll of 10 on damage, +10 strength, +1 for extra charge of powder, +1 for previous damage inflicted, result = 22 – collapse.) Luckily, Prince Girenzo had already left that part of the wall to make his way over to the parts where the enemy’s ladders would be placed. Of the eight crossbowmen atop that part of the wall, only two managed to leap to safety. Afterwards, they scrambled into the rubble, while glancing back to see if those inside were rushing to do the same.



With the creation of such a gaping hole in the defences, and the arrival of the massed regiments of foot at the base of the walls, whilst magical fire and volleys of helblaster shot burst through the crenellations to topple the grievously injured defenders backwards, it was obvious that the Trantians would certainly take the city. Whilst the last surviving defenders fought on as best they could …



… Prince Girenzo tore off his richly embroidered surcoat, unsheathed his sword and leapt up to stand at the crenellations, his last surviving guard by his side. Below he saw a veritable sea of blue and white clad swordsmen setting ladders to the wall, the Duke and Lord Polcario visible amongst them. At last his pent up rage could no longer be contained. Just as another prince might consider flight, or surrender, or at least a desperate offer of parley, he could think only of vengeance for deeds done, and for what the loss he was about to suffer. He knew his city was lost. He knew his life was forfeit. And he knew he would make the Duke pay dearly.

A stream of shouted curses came pouring forth from his lips. He called the men below rogues and robbers for the taking of Astiano; vile, base men, the worst sort of scum, for the butchery of his nobles. He saw how the Duke was ordering his men onto the ladders, whilst holding his son back, so he laughed and mocked and dared either ‘creature’ to face him. Already his last companion was fighting one, then two, then three of the attackers as they poured up the ladders and over the wall, but Prince Girenzo did not notice, so engrossed was he in insulting the two noblemen below, declaring the Duke a madman, a lunatic, for thinking himself the most blessed of Morr, and if not that, then a liar for claiming such nonsense. His companion now fell to the enemy’s blades and yet still the prince did not notice.

He saw Duke Guidobaldo holding his son by his shoulders to speak a few words, then release him. Lord Polcario stood as if in a daze, then with a slight nod, began to ascend the ladder. Falling silent at last, Prince Girenzo pulled his helm on and lifted the visor to watch with sick fascination as the young lord climbed with an unnatural, inhuman grace. In fact, every Pavonan soldier now climbing seemed to be similarly imbued with an uncanny nimbleness. For a moment Prince Girenzo wondered whether he had somehow unknowingly suffered a blow, and that it was he himself who was disorientated. When he saw the wizard among the mass of soldiers below, however, hands a-dancing to conjure and control, he understood -  Polcario and the others had been imbued with magical power, or he himself cursed, or both. (Game Note: Pha’s Protection and Speed of Light at play here, as well as the Helm of Discord and the Terrifying Mask of Eee! Not so good for the prince!)

Girenzo shook his head to clear it, clenched his teeth and steeled himself for what was to come. Bursting with hatred he did not wait until Lord Polcario had mounted the wall, but hacked at him even while he was still on the ladder. The time for honourable gestures had long since passed. The magical energies woven around Polcario, however, proved disorientating enough to mean that despite the prince’s blows, the Pavonan lord still managed to mount the wall.

Now a crowd of soldiers stood either side, while more kept appearing at the top of the ladders, as the two nobles hacked hard and fast at each other, parrying, feinting and clattering blades upon armour.



The fight was not over quickly, with both men stumbling and slipping more than once, as their armour stopped blow after blow (Game Note: full plate plus enchanted shield and both with 4+ ward saves) and the Pavonan wizard was kept busy maintaining his magic. Until suddenly, the winds of magic weakened and the spell melted away. Lord Polcario was momentarily slowed, and somehow Prince Girenzo noticed it.



Both lords, dizzied by exertion and the magical energies crackling around them, stepped back, their gasping breaths audible to all around. Then, with all their might, they both lunged, their heavy blades squealing down each other to plunge through their breastplates at one and the same time. For a moment they stood, locked by their deathly grip upon their hilts and the blades piercing right through them, then collapsed together loudly against the parapet wall into a tangled heap of steel-clad limbs.

Slipping on the puddle of blood beneath them, two Pavonan soldiers tore them apart and rolled Prince Girenzo over the side to crash into the yard below, while others shouted down to the Duke that Lord Polcario was grievously wounded. Elsewhere the remaining defenders were fleeing the walls and running into the city streets, while Pavonan halberdiers, handgunners and swordsmen climbed ladders or clambered over the rubble.

Around Lord Polcario, however, only one man moved, kneeling down to lift Polcario’s head and remove his helm. He looked into the young lord’s eyes, then said only one word: “Dead.”
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 04:10:02 PM by Padre »
Photobucket has graciously resurrected my pictures, so my collected works thread is suddenly working again - see http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php?topic=38528.0. To see my slowly growing website go to https://bigsmallworlds.com/

Offline Armfelt

  • Posts: 7
Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #93 on: August 30, 2014, 06:13:37 PM »
Looks really good and good initiative with the story-mode!  :happy:
My Armies: Empire, Tomb Kings, Bretonnia, Imperial Fists.

Offline fauthsie

  • Posts: 594
  • Animosity Team GM
Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #94 on: September 02, 2014, 08:59:28 PM »
Brilliant stuff mate!
A new Campaigning home....

http://animositycampaigns.com/joomla

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Offline Padre

  • Posts: 3145
Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #95 on: September 12, 2014, 08:49:30 PM »
Thank you Fauthsie and Armfelt! I just wish I could find the time to move things along a little bit quicker - if only for my poor, necessarily patient players! But we have reached the end of the fourth campaign season and so my general report now begins ...  (NB: It's a 'General Report' to differentiate it from the individual, private reports my players receive concerning their own personal affairs, actions and knowledge. I still have all of them to write.)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

End of Season 4 (Winter 2401-2) General Report Part One

A letter from the Council of Urbimo to the Princes and Rulers of Tilea
In which we lay bare the Terror of the North, and in so doing warn all those living souls dwelling south of our desperate and besieged city of the threat now facing each and every one of them.


This is no exercise in scare-mongering, nor the skewed account of a people living in fear, exaggerating and lying in order to convince others to come to their aid. Our bravest youths have sailed the coasts and crept through the wildernesses to look upon these things with their own eyes. Those who returned – and sadly this included less than half of those who ventured forth - have reported what they witnessed. And now we report the same to you.

Despite the demise of the vampire Duke Alessandro Sforta, the undead threat is not merely undiminished, but in fact growing. The reigns of power in Miragliano remain in the clutches of vampiric hands, with the once-captain of the guard Theobald Hackspit declaring his new and eternal rule of both that realm and the city of Ebino. Viadaza also has fallen, its ruler Lord Adolfo succumbing both to undeath and the vampire Duchess Maria, who sired him. If she were living then the duchess would be the heir to Miragliano, yet considering Miragliano, Ebino and Viadaza have become corrupt and cursed realms, perhaps she will soon rule all three?

Although now become a place of eerie shadows, Miragliano is not still, nor entirely quiet. Few speak there, and certainly there are none who sing, but footsteps can be heard, the creaking of doors and gates, and the sound of picks and shovels tearing at the ground, for the dead are busy with labours. Hackspitt, desirous of an ever stronger army, beyond that which the city’s current graveyards can provide, has ordered his foul servants into the forgotten and ruinous corners of his realm to dig up the most ancient of charnel pits and the most ruinous of tumbledown temples, and so acquire the bleached and brittle bones of the long dead.



Fleshless carcasses are being collected in great piles, then carried by tireless slaves to Hackspitt’s necromantic minions, who employ foul magics to conjure the cold spark of un-life into them, thus swelling the ranks and files of his terrible legions. Our spies have seen skeletons clambering through crumbling ruins hefting baskets almost the size of gabions upon their shoulders, as well as trains of rickety carts hauled by rotting, fly blown nags.



More than this, Hackspitt’s lifeless legions have scoured the realm for everything and anything of value: gold, silver and treasures of all kinds. Clattering carts carry locked chests containing every silver florin, scudo and lira that can be found. Even casks of wine are being carried to Hackspitt’s palace, or if not wine, then perhaps blood to feed the evil appetite of the vampiric rulers.



And worse than all these things is the continued suffering of the living. Not every poor soul in Miragliano has yet succumbed either to death or undeath, but some few unlucky inhabitants hide even now in terror, squatting in shadows, ever trembling with the knowledge that at any moment they might be seen by eyeless sockets and grabbed by fleshless hands. Every village, hamlet and farm is being scoured and ransacked, and while all are robbed, and some are killed …



… the rest - the unluckiest of all - are taken prisoner. We cannot claim that we know their fate, but we can state with certainty that we do not want to know it, either to be told it or to suffer that same fate ourselves.



And so we hereby add our cry to that of His Holiness Calictus II, and call on all god-fearing Tileans, for the love of the gods, family and neighbours, and for the love of all that is right and good, to arm themselves and make haste to face these most terrible of foes before their evil consumes so much of the realm that it can no longer be defeated.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This Letter to His Holiness Calictus II, Arch-Lector of the Most Worthy Church of Morr & de facto ruler of the Ancient City State of Remas, from Your Most Loyal and Obedient Servant Father Erkhart, Your Ambassador to the City State of Pavona

Published openly for the perusal of all well-affected subjects and citizens of the Tilean states, that they might know the good news contained herein, and that it may give hope to each and everyone.

I have good news to deliver unto you which will without doubt please you greatly, as it is certain to further the cause of the church of Morr in Tilea in its fight against the foul foe to the north. As you commanded, I made my way towards the city state of Pavona accompanied by the fine elven horse soldiers you sent to guard me, but soon discovered that Duke Guidobaldo was not currently at his home city, being instead in command of  his army in the war against his enemy the tyrant Prince Girenzo de Medizi of Trantio. I thus immediately altered my course to search out the Pavonan army and met with it at the very walls of Trantio only hours after the Duke had taken the city. Although victory had been achieved, the soldiers’ celebrations were somewhat muted in light of the sad death of Lord Polcario, the Duke's eldest son, who was killed even as he dispatched the tyrant prince to his own death. Thus it was that I found myself only hours too late to deliver your Holiness’s words and the call to crusade in which Tilea's desperate need for peace amongst princes was so clearly stipulated, and indeed in which the threat of excommunication was made should any prince continue with aggression against his living neighbours. When I delivered the letter and your spoken intentions to my lord Guidobaldo, he was much saddened that I had not arrived in time to prevent the continuation of the war, or even to make the tyrant Prince Girenzo recognise his folly in ordering the looting of the noble realm of Pavona. Such was Duke Guidobaldo’s sorrow that he would most surely have cried, had he any tears left after weeping so much for the loss of his son and heir.

Yet there is joy to be had, nevertheless. For the Duke has taken your call to crusade to heart, being much pleased that you thought to send me as an ambassador to deliver your words rather than a mere letter as has been dispatched to all other princes and rulers.  He even went so far as to explain to me that his war against Trantio was not merely done in a spirit of vengeance for the evil crimes committed by the debased mercenaries in Prince Girenzo's pay, but that first and foremost Duke Guidobaldo had always had in mind the need to prepare Tilea to defend itself against the undead threat. By taking Trantio he has consolidated his power, much increased his revenue, and will thus now be able to raise even more soldiers for the real war to come. Furthermore, he has tested his soldiers in battle, therefore forging a force of experienced, loyal and battle hardened veterans who will neither flinch from the foe nor fail to do what must be done to save Tilea. And most of all he has removed the weakness that was Prince Girenzo's rule, a state which relied far too much on mercenaries to conduct its wars and perform its defence, and as such a state that would have been easily toppled by the vampires of the north giving them a foothold in central Tilea from which to threaten all the realms around.

And so it is plain that the capture of Trantio by Duke Guidobaldo much strengthens our holy cause. The Duke intends the battle for central Tilea to take place at Trantio, so that neither Remas nor Pavona nor any of the realms to the south need be corrupted by the presence of the walking dead. It may seem cruel to some that he has presumed this fate for the people of state of Trantio, but their previous lord was a weak and wicked tyrant, who would have brought this same ruin, and more, upon his subjects with no subsequent gain for the rest of Tilea. This is not to say that the Duke intends the city of Trantio itself to fall to the foe, rather that his armies will be mustered here to fight in the lands around, and that this city, made holy in its purpose, will be the bastion against which the wicked legions will be broken and scattered.

The good news continues, for it pleases me much to tell you that the Morrite Lector of Trantio, Silvestro Maruffi, who was one of the principal advisers urging Prince Girenzo on in his wrongful war against Pavona, whispering lies to him and offering misguided council merely to inflate his own importance, perished in the conquest of the city, killed by vengeful people of Trantio who took the opportunity to right some of the wrongs done to them by the tryant and his advisers even as their city fell around them. Yet fear not, for all is well for the church of Morr in Trantio: Duke Guidobaldo has offered me the post of Lector, and indeed already has ordered the building of a new grand palace much better suited to the holy office I am to perform than the previous building (badly damaged during the aforementioned riots). Obviously, the position is subject to your confirmation, but the Duke wants me and me alone, as it is I who have done him the honour of bringing his call to crusade, and he believes that by having me serving here I will act as his conscience and good guide, ensuring that he always serves the cause of the church in the most perfect way possible.

Such is the happiness engendered by this victory against the tyrant prince, as well as my own rise in fortune, that the soldiers you ordered to accompany me, the mercenary elven horse, begged to remain my guard and to serve myself and Duke Guidobaldo here in Trantio where they might be amongst the very vanguard of the crusading forces being mustered. At first, Duke Guidobaldo was quite deaf to their pleading, for he expects complete loyalty in soldiers, whatever sort they might be, and told them that they were obliged to serve only you, for reasons of a financial, legal and moral nature. But I myself was pleased to devise a happy solution that would suit all parties concerned, and the Duke agreed. So it is that the Duke is to send to you, in the wake of this letter (but traveling slower as it is under guard) the full cost you paid for the service of the elven horse company, as well as more gold besides, so that you are amply compensated for their loss with funds that will allow you to raise not only replacements, but even more soldiers for the holy cause of crusade.

Praise be to the great god Morr, and all honour and respect be given you, Morr's highest servant in the mortal realm. 


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Big Boys
A river in the northern part of Tilea

It had been a long and lonely journey for Fazzio. Not that he was on his own – he had the young herald Vittore for company. If you could call him company, that is. Vittore was quiet to the point of rudeness, quite strangely so, and Fazzio had so far been unable to fathom exactly why.

The lad had a tongue, but beyond the occasional (and long delayed) yes or no, he did not use it for much beyond the licking of his lips. As the days went by Fazzio played out in his mind every possible reason for his companion’s silence: Could it be his youth, or simply nervousness, arising from the same? He may well have been ordered to keep silent, and was determined to quite literally be so. Perhaps, he mused, it was some affliction, or even a curse conjured by some ancient crone? In the end Fazzio decided it was likely a consequence of fear, or a madness born of that fear. As they came further away from the safety of Remas, the lad’s eyes grew wider and more staring, until they were fixed that way during every waking hour. And he slept so fitfully one might think he was dancing a jig in each and every dream.

One thing no-one could fault Vittore on was his attention to his duty. He was fastidious to the point of obsession about the care of the golden topped ensign he carried. The flag bore the crossed keys of the Arch-Lector of Morr and Vittore treated it as if it were as precious as a holy relic. Fazzio knew full well the etiquette involved in honouring a company’s colours, and the care with which they should be defended in battle – certainly by soldiers who wished to retain their reputation. His own company, being part of the Arch-Lector's palace guard, played many a fancy game passing the colours back and forth whenever the guard was changed. But Vittore took his care of the pretty, silken cloth to new levels. He folded it meticulously every night, in a carefully considered manner so that no crease would be in the same place as the previous night, thus ensuring no single part of its delicate fabric would be troubled with a sharp bend two nights in a row. As he rode he held it by his side exactly perpendicular to the ground, and had several ways, each performed with practised precision, in which to furl it, either fully or partially, whether mounted or on foot.

None of which would have particularly troubled Fazzio were it not for the fact that Vittore treated his cross-key emblazoned tabard in like manner, and even fiddled just as ludicrously with the little silken pennant hanging from his brass horn. It was as if his body had become the altar of some high church upon which was draped the ornate and holy images of the gods. Their departure had been delayed every morning by Fazzio’s need to get each and every part of his accoutrements and paraphernalia in its proper place, and they would stop every mile or so for some adjustment to this or a straightening of that.

Now as they approached the river’s edge, and caught sight of the soldiers who had already crossed, Fazzio was actually surprised to see that Vittore was capable of a further degree of stiffness beyond any he had adopted before. The flag was unfurled to flutter perfectly in the breeze, and Vittore lifted the brass horn to his puckered lips to begin a long, loud and yet (as it could only ever have been) perfect musical flourish.

Fazzio tried to ignore the somewhat bizarrely neat combination of herald, page, trumpeter and ensign exhibiting both visually and audibly by his side, and looked instead at the force they had come here to meet.
 


It was not what he had expected. Perhaps he should have done, for they did hail from Campogrotta, and everyone had heard the stories about the immortal Wizard Lord Bentiglovio and his monstrous army of brutes led by the all-conquering tyrant-general Razger Boulderguts. Yet he had never thought that Razger’s ogres would actually join the crusade. Throughout the journey he had supposed the force they were travelling to escort to Remas would consist of men not only here for the holy cause, but also to escape the tyrannical regime of their homeland. 

There were men in the force - almost all archers by the looks of them. Perhaps every noble and gentleman in both Campogrotta and Ravola had been killed, and these ragged, peasant soldiers were all that was left? But it was the ogres who drew his eyes. Both men and ogres were still in the process of crossing the river, which was no surprise as apparently they only had two boats. In fact most of them were still waiting on the far bank where they built a ramshackle camp of earthen huts for the men and rolled boulders covered with felled trees and skins for the ogres.

Only a handfulwere on this side of the river. One boat had apparently already landed a little cart and a mule, while the other was approaching the shore. It was not being rowed, however, instead a particularly burly brute of a grey skinned ogre was hauling it over the murky waters with a dripping wet rope, while the boat’s occupants just stood idly upon it as if it were quite normal to have a heavily armed ogre drag you along for a ride. 



Fazzio saw one of the ogres was lugging a cannon barrel – a huge thing of iron that would surely crush a man instantly. He was wondering whether the gun carriage had yet to be brought across, and even began to look for it, when it suddenly dawned on him there was no such thing. The ogre was hefting the iron piece as of it were nothing more than a large handgun, and when Fazzio noticed the brute was missing an eye on the very same side that he now held the piece, it all became very clear. The ogre had actually fired it whilst holding it!

That must be some sight to see, he mused. I wonder what the living dead will do when faced with such weapons? Fall to pieces, I hope.
 
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General Report Parts 2 and maybe 3 to follow as soon as possible.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 10:25:49 PM by Padre »
Photobucket has graciously resurrected my pictures, so my collected works thread is suddenly working again - see http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php?topic=38528.0. To see my slowly growing website go to https://bigsmallworlds.com/

Online Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #96 on: September 12, 2014, 09:39:13 PM »
Great scenes and scenery.
It is not enough to have no ideas of your own; you must also be incapable of expressing them.
Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)

Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #97 on: September 12, 2014, 09:57:58 PM »
Yeah, I liked the way the scenes came out. But ... is the writing any good? Or is my (deliberately slightly archaic) style annoying?
Photobucket has graciously resurrected my pictures, so my collected works thread is suddenly working again - see http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php?topic=38528.0. To see my slowly growing website go to https://bigsmallworlds.com/

Online Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #98 on: September 12, 2014, 10:06:59 PM »
Don't worry: the writing matches the scenes & scenery.  :icon_wink:
It is not enough to have no ideas of your own; you must also be incapable of expressing them.
Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)

Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #99 on: September 12, 2014, 10:14:30 PM »
Don't worry: the writing matches the scenes & scenery.  :icon_wink:

It ought to match, because I make the pictures based a general impression of some event or area I have to write about, and then write the piece based on the pictures. It is so much easier that way. I think I would find it impossible to write a piece and then create images for it.

I hope my players will either laugh or fume at the audacity of the priest-ambassador's letter to the Arch-Lector!
Photobucket has graciously resurrected my pictures, so my collected works thread is suddenly working again - see http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php?topic=38528.0. To see my slowly growing website go to https://bigsmallworlds.com/