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In Progress The Fall of Tamriel (Court CYOA)

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by MercantileInterest, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. Usury Arcane

    Usury
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    Yes means launch a coup before the Westerosi arrive. Choose this to throw together some goofy plot. Have to deal with the four thousand Stormcloaks outside the wall but can probably think of something.

    No means help organize the Stormcloak defenses. Choose this to launch the council of war and prepare for battle. Definitely will need to use the map for this one.


    Alternately, you can say whatever you like but intend to do something else entirely. Just let me know.
     
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  2. Lithium Flower Prophet

    Lithium Flower
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    Ok, so that would mean that my Yes from the previous post is actually a No. Organizing the defense probably makes more sense than pulling off a coup in a few days and then dealing with the Westerosi. Unless someone has a very clever plan for how we would go about that.

    Remember that denying the Westerosi access to Riften is more important than securing it for the Empire.
     
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  3. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    That puts me at NO as well.
     
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  4. Lithium Flower Prophet

    Lithium Flower
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    Looking at the map, the pass and bridge between Riften and Stendar's beacon looks to be a crucial chokepoint that can be used to wear the enemy down before they reach the walls. The defenders should fight conservatively, minimizing their losses, constantly leaving traps in the narrow pass behind them and stationing skirmishers, assassins, and archers in the mountains that wear the enemy down via hit and runs.

    OR we somehow convince the Stormcloaks and/or the population that defeat is certain if the Westerosi reaches the gates. Perhaps we spread disinformation that the barbaric Westerosi and dunmer have access to the dark powers of the Old Gods and Daedra that would allow them to inflict a calamity upon the city if the witches within their ranks lay eyes upon it, or smash the walls with ease using hellish lighting or somesuch. Perhaps this would motivate the Stormcloaks to try to hold the bridge, then the pass with their lives and gets many of them slaughtered in the open (as opposed to a hold, harass, retreat approach as described above) so that people at home realize that their sole chance of survival (and more importantly the perservation of their faith, as the Talos-denying DIVINE TAMRIELIC EMPIRE is still preferable to the heathen Westerosi ((yeah, I get that the Seven and the Divines are supposed to be two interpretations of the same thing but this plan implies that we feed the people a contrary narrative, perhaps through Riften's religious authorities)) is to turn to the Empire's protection once more. Presumably the Stormcloak's effort buys us enough time to try and send a messenger towards the nearest Imperial Legion (or rather, to whichever person is able to give such a legion the order to march on Riften) and they arrive at the very last second to mop up the survivors, hopefully with magics and a hundred thousand lancers on white steeds, just like in Lord of the Rings.

    Either way, scouts, reconnaissance teams, and even light cavalry equipped should be sent to the pass, perhaps on the other side of the river ASAP (going around the enemy force and to their rear). The former will gather intel while the latter can hit crucial locations such as supply trains or siege equipment - active paroling is a bold but effective strategy during a siege and these sorties should be launched frequently though in irregular intervals (to keep the enemy guessing) throughout the siege, perhaps until the enemy utterly surrounds the city.
     
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  5. Usury Arcane

    Usury
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    Reminder:
    'K, Maven buys it and reveals some useful information. A Stormcloak formation named The Shield-brethren currently occupies Falkreath Stormcloak Camp. They number 5,000 fighters. That's equal to a legion at full strength and they're blocking the only reasonable pass for Imperial aid south of the Throat of the World. You can try recalling them to protect the city but they're on the exact opposite side of the Rift.

    Second, Largashbur. This settlement hosts at least a hundred orcs. Your typical orc is enormously stupid and somewhat cowardly but also rather tough and skilled at smashing people to a paste. The Legion sometimes drafts units of them under Cyrodillian officers to act as 'anchors' in battle. Their very presence may serve to unsettle the Westerosi who have not encountered such a race previously. Two and a half days' journey away.

    Third, Darklight Tower hosts... something evil. Magic. Maven thinks it's all charlatanry but can't explain how they've perpetuated their influence.

    Fourth, Faldar's Tooth lies on the other side of the lake. Borgin Batter-axe can call upon up to 400 armsmen and he can launch them across the lake by boat.

    Fifth, the Dawnguard reside within Dayspring Canyon. This apocalyptic cult spent too much time listening to bed time stories as children, and now believe vampires stand poised to blot out the sun and suck the blood out of all creatures. Against this eventuality, they've heaped up stockpiles of armor and arms, including the exotic Akaviri crossbow. They number only two hundred fighting men but their secluded location presents some interesting possibilities. They do not allow women into their refuge for various reasons relating to blood.

    Finally, Kai Wet-pommel with the 2,000 strong formation The Unspeaking is besieging the remnants of the XVIIth Legion at the ruins of Ansilvund.


    To repeat, you've 100 city guard in Riften and 4,000 Stormcloaks outside, of which 200 are cavalry. A number of boats lie at the docks. The city has a north gate, a south gate and an east gate (which doesn't show on the map 'cause it doesn't open in game. Still, you can see a road leading to it.)

    You (probably) have three days to prepare. I've written down the Westerosi battle plans, so you'll be responding to a pre-arranged attack. You can send mounted couriers at 35 miles a day. Naturally, you'll try to draft all five of the resources listed above and any others you can think of, but you'll have to list the relative importance you assign to each one. Can't send the best diplomats everywhere in such a short time. Also, feel free to run any complicated stunts past me.

    Now, for your battle plan:

    Discuss.

    Lithium Flower sorry 'bout ignoring your neat plans above. You got there a little too soon. With this additional information, you can be a bit more precise.
     
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  6. Lithium Flower Prophet

    Lithium Flower
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    First of all, more information if you let us:

    0. Besides the obvious eastern pass, are the two other paths (ones without roads and that appear to have some bodies of water in them, north of Black-Briar Lodge and south of Forelhost) passable by armies?

    1. How much actual "authority" do we have over the Stormcloak defensive effort, bearing in mind that we are acting through proxies such as Maven? Is something like paragraphs 1 and 3 of my last post actually doable or are we limited to going after the 6 assets you outlined?

    2. Ask the Maester what he knows about the local orc tribe. Do they have strong feelings one way or another over who rules Riften? Is there a substantial population of legionary veterans living there? What motivates them and what could motivate them to back an action against the Westerosi and/or Stormcloaks?

    3. Ask the Maester about the Dawnguard. Are they the type to burn the learned men as witches or do they have respect for them? Do they mistrust the gov'ment as a proper right wing militia does or would they be open to cooperate with the Imperials? Any weaknesses, strengths, quirks, opportunities, etc? Also ask if there are any recent events that match their mythos that can be used for influence/fearmongering.

    4. Ask the Maester about the Dorklight Tower. Specifically about how its place in the local mythos can be used for influence/fearmongering.

    First steps (to be revised if/when questions above are answered):

    1. Launch plans as per par1&3 of my last post: conservative defensive strategy starting with the bridge and retreating into the pass, with frequent sorties etc. Since we have 200 cavalry, perhaps send as much as 50 light horse for the latter purpose.

    2. Send a Stormcloak messenger to Kai Wet-Pommel and try to recall him back to Riften. Overemphasize the Westerosi threat and that the cloaks cannot afford to lose another city, the Imperials be damned.

    3. We together with Maester and one of the Occulati ride to Dayspring Canyon to parley with the Dawnguard. We show off the seal to explain that we are speaking with Imperial authority explain that there is a Westerosi force heading our way. Explain that King Robert is a tyrant who will certainly not tolerate independent armed groups such as the Dawnguard to operate in his realm and that therefore this is an existential fight for them as well as for the Empire. Promise to make give the Dawnguard official standing as Imperial Witch Hunters and given the full support and cooperation of Occulati intelligence network when Riften is in Imperial hands. Have them stay put until activated - maybe set up some sort of signal or swap information.

    4. Meanwhile, send the other Occulati agent to the local orc tribe to parley. Somewhat stupid and cowardly? Try to sell them on the idea that Riften is about to be very weak and that, if Orcs help Empire attack it, they get first dibs on all the raping and pillaging. Maybe have the agent sell this idea to fellow veterans who would in turn sell it to the rest of the tribe?

    5. Send a messenger to the Shield-Brethren and try to sell them on the threat of a Westerosi assault from the direction of Windhelm. Try to convince them to transition at least a thousand of their men to Mistwatch (this will hopefully safeguard us against a hypothetical attack from that direction while weakening the force stationed in that canyon)

    6. Send the men to Faldar's Tooth. Getting flanked is for pussies.

    Darklight Tower is obviously superstitious nonsense.

    Abstracted long term plan: We help the Stormcloaks fight back the Westerosi but consolidate pro-Imperial assets (ideally consisting of legion remnant, orcs, Maven's criminal connections, Dawnguard, armed with the latter's tech) to mop-up and takeover or at least isolate Riften until a larger Imperial force gets here. Since I assume the city guard is on Maven's payroll, perhaps we can close the gates on the army in the final days of the siege (Visby, anyone?) and force the Westerosi and Stormcloaks into an open battle outside, then mop up with our assets? We'll see, I guess.

    Anyone have criticism or ideas? Grimgravy ?
     
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  7. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    I'm not sure about promising the Orcs or Dawnguard too much (I do want them on side just questioning how to get them there). The Dawnguard (assuming they stay hidden) would be in a good position to flank the invaders or cut their supply line once they lay siege to town. I'm on board with the rest.
     
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  8. Lithium Flower Prophet

    Lithium Flower
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    Allowing Orcs to sack the city would piss off Maven immensely, not to mention sow the seeds for future rebellion Empire, but I figure that it would also reduce Riften's population to the point where said rebellion would not happen for many generations. The former is an issue, but remember that Maven is working against the Emperor and/or with Mottierre. Perhaps we can arrange it so that the orcs target her during the sacking of the city.

    As for Dawnguard, I think it comes down too how easily...guided their zeal is. If it can be steered towards political dissident, I think empowering them is a good thing. But if they are dead-set in their dogma, then they are probably better off dead.
     
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  9. hello friend Arcane

    hello friend
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    Lithium Flower's plan and rationale sounds good. I'm on board with the whole enchilada.
     
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  10. Usury Arcane

    Usury
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    To answer the questions:

    0. Black-briar lodge stands atop a cliff. No one can pass the north side without climbing equipment. It is possible to move south of Forelhost, though a traveller would encounter a good deal of rugged uphill terrain. It is also possible to move off-road through the forest but that would slow an army and leave it vulnerable to ambush. On the other hand, it might allow an unexpected assault angle.

    1. What Lithium Flower proposed is entirely possible. The Stormcloak commander will probably listen but he might get his own idea.

    2. Orc society revolves around force. One chief succeeds another by defeating and eating him in personal combat. They're not terribly smart, so they assume men operate the same way. Nor are they intelligent enough to distinguish between different human leaders. Orc Legion Veterans are not welcome to return to the strongholds. They generally end up as mercenaries or miners.

    3. Maester Agrippa doesn't know about the Dawnguard. They've only assembled within the past few years. Maven knows a bit about them. As the jarl has largely ignored them, the Dawnguard fear that the authorities may have been tainted by vampirism. However, they're still Nords and, as such, don't care for outsiders. The Westerosi are even more foreign than the Empire.

    4. The jarl's rangers avoid Darklight Tower. So do highwaymen. Many Riftishmen can testify to having heard tortured screams and unseemly shrieks echoing from the tower. Growling bar patrons tell gruesome stories of bloodshed and sacrifice. Darklight Tower, however, has no prophetic or political role in local lore, except that some mock the jarl for being too fearful to tear it down.


    A little confused about point (6). What are you trying to accomplish with Faldar's Tooth? To clarify: Borgin Battle-axe is loyal to... Borgin Battle-axe. With the proper incentive he might call his men to arms. For that matter, how are you guys approaching the Rift Stormcloaks? Are you trying to secretly direct them from a distance or do you want to present yourself as an Imperial Agent with an offer of amnesty?
     
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