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[LP CYOA] Epic

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by treave, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Wait a minute...
    [​IMG]
    This once, I lack theories.

    Edit: or skin grafts now magically make new, bona fide Immortals. In which case, the Concordiat is screwed and the Masters shortly thereafter.
     
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  2. treave Arcane Patron

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    You're behaving as if I confirmed all your assumptions and conjecture about voices (or the lack thereof), powers and Dio & co being actual, bona fide immortals in the first place. Just because a rat is related to a human doesn't actually make a rat a human.
     
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  3. Baltika9 Arcane

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    That last bit was meant slightly tongue-in-cheek. But what does make me wonder is how Gieloth biotech worked with a human Immortal. Unless the Gieloth and Immortals are as closely connected as I thought.

    No, I'm not seriously expecting an answer to either of those, though it sure would be pleasant.
     
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  4. treave Arcane Patron

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    Well, consider what Ean had become prior to his disappearance. That should give you a clue.
     
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  5. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Which one? From Earth, or from the Masters' homeworld? This answer is made even more trollworthy when you consider that we don't really know what Ean is. Really should ask Fenrir about the hunger one of these days.

    Also, am I the only one who considers it slightly ironic that Ean's "children", and possibly the next Emperor, all come from an orphanage?
     
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  6. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    A - 1
    C - 5
    D - 3

    ***

    Chapter 7.16: Shadow on the Steppe

    No news comes from your Watchers as you limp your way east. You are not sure whether they were facing some difficulties or if they had abandoned you, but it seems that no matter what you would not be able to rely on them for what is to come. You follow the trail of the Imperial Army into the steppes of the Rus tribes, seeking to make contact with Ban.

    On your journey, you learn that things have not been going well. The invading army had been hassled every step of the way by tribal raiders, who struck in the deep of the night and melted away into the shadows before the Imperials could retaliate. In order to defend themselves better, the Imperials had split up into and established three forts from where they could sally forth to conduct their campaign. You were no military man, but even you saw the folly in this decision. Holing up only allowed the tribes to operate with even more impunity. The Shinari soldiers were reliant on caravans from Skane and Hatti to keep their expedition supplied. These soon became the target of the tribes, who knew the lay of the land far better and could apparently launch attacks from nowhere with little notice. Within weeks, Fort Nileia had fallen and Fort Tigrien isolated to the north.

    Arriving at Fort Euphraxes, the closest encampment to Empire territory, you found 30,000 demoralized soldiers who were eager to end the campaign and go home. You also found Prince Runikylos.

    ***

    "Dio! Is that really you?" exclaimed the Prince as you caught his eye. You had not expected to find him here and were not prepared enough to hide. "What in the gods happened to you, man?"

    You force a grin - you were not in pain despite your scarred looks, but you thought it would help to exaggerate your injuries - and bow before the Prince. "The cult, Your Highness. They took me captive and tried to get me to join their cause. I refused, and well..." You spread your hands, allowing the Prince to get a good look at your scalded and scarred body. "Still, I managed to escape somehow. I suppose the First Emperor must be watching over me from somewhere." Runikylos grits his teeth, a frown on his face. "Of all the problems assailing the Empire, Jannik and his cult must be one of the worst. Rest assured I will have those cruel bastards hanged for this, Dio. What are you doing here instead of heading back to Ankida though? You are in no condition to go traipsing throughout the world right now."

    "I heard that Ban was in trouble and I had to come and help. The kid's hopeless." you shrug.

    "Even in that condition? You really are the most loyal friend I know," smiles Runikylos. The smile vanishes the next instant. "You are right, he is in trouble. Ban was in Fort Nileia when it fell, and he managed to lead the survivors to Fort Tigrien. With the weather taking a turn for the worse, and the Rus tribals completely controlling the path to Tigrien, we have not been able to send them any reinforcements."

    "That is a pickle indeed. By the way, why are you here, my prince? Are you here for him too?"

    Runikylos shook his head. "No, I'm here to gauge the situation for myself. A prince needs to see for himself the realities of the situation at times. If I stay behind my desk in Ankida all the time I will never be able to understand the gravity of the decisions that I make."

    "You mean..."

    "Yes, I am to decide whether the army withdraws or stays. The chain of command here has been wiped out - currently we have Officer Garsu of the 67th Imperial Regiment in charge, but the man is both pompous and inexperienced. Unfortunately his fellow officers in the surviving regiments are even less qualified - the man at least has a brain."

    "You could cut your losses and leave now, but that would mean sacrificing the remaining troops in Tigrien. If I'm not mistaken, most of the more experienced soldiers were stationed there, were they not?"

    Runikylos gave you a pained smile. "It looks like you've managed to gather quite a bit of information yourself. That's right. High Command decided to put their best troops in the base deepest in the heart of enemy territory."

    "I don't envy you for having to make this decision."

    "I don't envy me either." The Prince lapses into thought as he looks at the shoddy fort. "I have summoned Officer Garsu to meet with me tomorrow to discuss the matter of withdrawal. I would like for you to be there, Dio. For now, get some rest. You look like you've been through hell."

    As the Prince turns to leave, he stops and looks back at you. "By the way, I've managed to get rid of the rogue Watchers that were holding your behaviour hostage. Sorry for not consulting with you earlier, but I think you must agree that their usefulness did not offset the threat they posed to your own wellbeing."

    You thank him for his actions as he walks away.

    ***

    "If it would please you, Your Highness, I can prepare the men for the march back to Shinar immediately!"

    Garsu was indeed as pompous as the Prince had said. Though he was but six years older than you, he had already cultivated a great bushy moustache that curled around his cheeks. The man's breastplate shone dimly in the tent, with not a speck of dirt or mud to be found on it. It seems that he was keen on returning to the Empire as soon as he could.

    "Sir Garsu, I have not yet decided. Do not be presumptuous." muttered Runikylos.

    "But, Your Highness, there is no point in us staying here. As the most senior officer in this fort, I must impress upon you the wisdom of listening to my advice. Tigrien is lost and if we stay here so are we!" You keep your mouth shut, observing the situation. Though you could think of a dozen rebuttals to Garsu, you were here on the Prince's orders and not as a member of the army.

    "Sir Garsu, the Imperial army operates on meritocracy, not seniority. Qualifications and experience determine who is fit to command."

    "Yes, exactly, Your Highness! I knew you would see reason. I did not get the best grades in my class for nothing."

    Runikylos's eyebrows perked up. "What marks did you get?"

    "70, Your Highness. I ranked in the top 300 of graduates for military tactics and strategy that year, and I am the best officer in this fort." His bravado was amusing, considering that there were usually no more than 500 students studying the martial courses in any particular batch. Still, if he was the best, it must mean that this fort was staffed with worse officers.

    "Well, I suppose that is pretty high, Sir Garsu. In the absence of any noble with higher grades than that, you do deserve to be in command."

    "As it should be, Your Highness."

    Runikylos casts a glance at you. You shake your head. You had scored a nice round 80 for tactics and strategy, though it was mere theory and you were not confident in your ability to apply it in such testing conditions. "Sir Camna, I believe you are also a graduate of the Imperial Academy, and you have taken the martial courses? You scored quite high, I believe. More than 70." Runikylos grins, and Garsu turns blue.

    "Yes, Your Highness."

    "If you want to save Ban, this fort is yours. I'm sorry I can't do more than that for you. It's either this, or a comfortable carriage ride back to Ankida. Honestly, I'd rather you accept the latter. I don't like you throwing your life away like this."

    ***

    A. You accept command of the fort. At least this way you would have more resources to call upon to bail Ban out of the mess he was in.

    B. You ride back to Ankida with Runikylos. Ban can sort things out himself, and you were weary from your travels. If you thought you were suited for military life, you would have signed up with the army in the first place.

    C. You reject command, but do not return with Runikylos. You will head out for Fort Tigrien by yourself. One man may sneak past more easily where dozens of soldiers have failed.
     
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  7. oscar Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    A

    Dio sounds like he has the chops for military command
     
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  8. Baltika9 Arcane

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    A- but this is just magnificent.

    Either overbearing goodwill, or isolation of resources.

    I just can't understand this guy.
     
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  9. TOME Cuckmaster General

    TOME
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    A

    Didn't Ean use his telepathy to pair up soldiers who would work well together?
     
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  10. Esquilax Arcane

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    TOME, Ean's telepathy allowed him to pick out which soldiers would be most effective in serving under him:

    First, we should ask why Runikylos is here to begin with. I believe the real reason he's here is because he knows that the madman presents the biggest threat to the stability of the Empire, so he wants to off him the quickest. He also knows that Dio is a power-hungry dick who could present problems of his own, so he wants to get rid of the madman while simultaneously marginalizing Dio. Getting rid of the Watchers loyal to us is one way of going about it, ensuring that Ban is taken out along with the madman is another. So he wants to limit our ability to maneuver, I think. Too bad we didn't can't notice anything about his intentions from our telepathy.

    There are a few advantages to taking command, though. It'll give us more control, and more importantly, we look like a total badass at this point with our missing eye and burns, so I don't think that we'll have trouble gaining respect from those under us, despite our lack of experience. The men are demoralized at this point, but I believe that Dio's presence might instill some hope in them.

    Also, I really think that Dio's telepathy will allow him to lead more effectively. However, it's important to note that I think he should avoid leading from the front. Ean had the gift of being able to do both things at once, but Dio doesn't really have the battle skill to pull it off, honestly.

    treave, how is Ban at tactics? From what you mentioned in a previous update, the madman has a very sharp military mind. I'm getting the impression that while Ban is a badass in actual combat, he isn't really that great at the tactical side of things. Oh, and another thing:

    I'm almost positive that the madman was a former Watcher. I think that's how he knows everything.
     
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  11. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Or, RK doesn't expect Dio, or Ban for that matter, to return, basically sending him on a suicide mission.

    Too bad for him, we played ME2.
    :troll:
     
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  12. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Ban is great at actual fighting and improvising tactics on the fly, but he doesn't have the inclination for grand strategy, nor does he have the rank for it. He's still nominally a squad leader, not an officer commanding a regiment. The Empire has not been really challenged in a war for some time so its military thinking is a bit dull.
     
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  13. Kipeci Magister

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  14. Lambchop19 Arcane Zionist Agent Literally Hitler Batshit Crazy

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    A
     
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  15. Stinkanator Novice

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  16. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

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    Let's roll with A.
     
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  17. TOME Cuckmaster General

    TOME
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    Do we know if the madman has any ties to the Rus tribes? He will be extremely dangerous if he manages to unite the tribes under one leader. And how are the tribes armed?
     
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  18. Stygian Lurker Scholar

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  19. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Chapter 7.17: Fort Euphraxes

    Taking command, you reviewed what you knew of the military aspects of both the tribes and the Empire. A population census had never been performed on the tribes of Rus, as the nomads were not under Shinar rule and obviously would not sit still for some Shinari scholar to take their numbers. Estimates of their population, however, range anywhere from 700,000 to more than a million. The number of fighting men gathered by the Madman of Anatolia, on the other hand, was entirely unknown due to the hit-and-run tactics the tribes had employed. Numerically they did not seem to be more plentiful than the 60,000 men from the Empire that had marched in, but no one knew for sure. The tribes fought from horseback with bow and arrow, relying mainly on lightly armored skirmishers for infantry. They were skilled with the horse, and the Hittites often spoke of the Rus tribes as having their children born in the saddle.

    The Empire, on the other hand, had embraced a dualistic doctrine of steel and mobility. Their footmen were heavily armoured, influenced by the traditional steel wall of men that had been used to defend against the Terasphagos. There had been no pressing need to change even after the Terasphagos stopped their attacks. These were supported by longbowmen, operating from behind the lines of steel that slowly encroached upon the enemy. Their cavalry divisions, however, were divided into horseback lancers and chariots, which had never fallen out of favour especially amongst the Imperial Army and the southern nations. Though the empire employed a variety of chariot designs, the most common patterns served as armoured, mobile platforms for bowmen - or more recently, musketeers, though those were rare as few horses were trained for the sound of gunfire. Each squad of ten men was usually organized together according to their specialties; ten archers, or ten footmen, or ten charioteers. A regiment would usually consist of a mix of these squads, with regiment officers expected to be able to utilize the weapons at their disposal to the fullest.

    Meanwhile, to no one's surprise, Garsu was extremely unhappy at losing his position of command. It took all of your flattery just to manage to soothe his displeasure. Though you would rather do without him, he was still the most competent officer around; your initial staff meeting with the other 19 officers currently left at the fort had informed you of the fact that they were all, to the last man, less competent than Garsu. They were content following their orders, preferably in as cushy a tent as possible far from the frontlines, and when it came to matters of organization they could not be relied upon to coordinate with other regiments. As you settled into your new position as a commanding officer of the Imperial Army, you found that you had to rely on Garsu - who admittedly knew his way around the army better than you did - to keep things organized and running in the fort. He may be a pompous, cowardly windbag, but the man was not without merit.

    You did not keep yourself idle, of course. You could tell that Garsu was just waiting for a chance. Right now you kept yourself at the top by royal approval and sheer bravado, but if you slipped up he would attempt to take control of the fort himself. The man clearly did not want to be here another single minute if he could help it, but out of pride he would not desert. However, he and his men had become a persistent source of negativity in the fort and sooner or later he would have to go. In the meantime, you picked up as much knowledge as you could of the practicalities of running an army. It irked you to have to spend so much time down in the dirt with the common soldiers, but your little encounter in Skane has left you quite a bit more tolerant of dirt, grime and pain. You looked far worse than you felt and your scars gave you a hardened appearance which apparently endeared you to the grunts.

    The squad officers were made up of a mix of commoners and minor nobles who had not obtained the grades to overcome their social ranking. Though they were less educated than the regiment officers, spending time with them was far more educational - the regimental officers had all scored lower than you in their Academy examinations after all, and their practical knowledge was far outstripped by that of the squad officers.

    Learning was not all you did while with the grunts; you also identified those who were loyal to the Empire, those who were less so, those who would be willing to follow competent orders, and those who you thought you could turn into your faithful lackeys. Though there were about 30,000 men in and around the fort at present - which had practically become a town, with more than half the number of armed men in camp followers - there were only 20 regiments. Each of the regiments were over-staffed due to the lack of nobles to lead new regiments. Garsu had not made any field promotions amongst the minor nobles of the squad officers during his time in command, as he had been expecting to be able to return to Shinar soon, not stuck as the second-in-command to some scarred, inexperienced noble greenhorn. Furthermore, the regiment officers appeared to be enjoying the prestige of commanding a larger than usual number.

    ***

    A. You make field promotions based on merit, creating 10 new regiments led by the best men that you can find regardless of whether they are noble or commoner. Victory is more important than politics, because if you are victorious here by defeating the tribes and the madman, glory and power will follow naturally.

    B. You promote only the lesser nobles to command of the new regiments, leaving them in your debt. Commoners have less power in the politics of the Empire, and it makes no sense to curry too much favour with them. These steppes are a lost cause and you plan to hang around only long enough to get Ban and retreat, not to teach the tribes a lesson.

    C. You do not make any changes, pleasing the current officers in charge of the regiments. They are more powerful nobles, and you recognize at least 3 of them have a seat on the Council of Nobles including Garsu. It would be wise to placate them as much as you can.

    ***

    Barely a week into your command, you get news of tribal troop movement. Though their full number was unknown, reports from survivors of attempts to break through the blockade of Fort Tigrien, as well as knowledge about which tribes were in the area gave you an estimated enemy number of about 50,000 men. Now, you had received notice that 40,000 tribesmen were preparing to assault the town of Odessa, a week's march southwest of your position. It was unlikely that a new horde of tribes had migrated into the region from the north and the east, and so you could only conclude that most of the enemy controlling the way to Tigrien had moved on. There had been no news from Fort Tigrien in weeks, however, and you are not sure as to the strength of numbers they still possessed.

    Still, why would they attack Odessa? It was a town in actual Imperial territory, and the tribes had only ever raided settlements established by Imperial colonists thus far.

    ***

    A. You send only a thousand men towards Odessa and send 25,000 men towards Fort Tigrien. Now that the enemy forces on the path were reduced, you should be able to break through and rescue the men still remaining at the fort.

    B. You send 25,000 men to attack the tribesmen heading for Odessa. Having the tribes move that far into Imperial territory can only be a bad thing, creating more panic in the Empire. A thousand men will be sent to attempt to break the blockade.

    C. You divide your forces, sending 13,000 men each to Odessa and Fort Tigrien. There is no reason why you cannot do both at once.

    D. You wait, sending only a token force of a thousand men out to each of the locations in order to scout out the situation more cautiously.

    ***

    This could be a good chance to get rid of Garsu by sending him on a mission instead of letting him cower within the fort. You could also grab some glory for yourself by leading a force of your own.

    A. You go wherever Garsu is sent, planning to deal with him permanently.
    B. You go where you do not send Garsu; with luck battle will take care of him by itself.
    C. You do not go anywhere, staying in the fort.

    1. You send Garsu to Odessa
    2. You send Garsu to Fort Tigrien
     
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  20. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    First off, we need to determine our ultimate goal here: do we want to get Ban, the Madman, or both(the problem here is that Dio is not in his best shape)?
    I'm pretty sure that the squidfucker is leading the charge on Odessa, trying to get his hands on another artifact/info/whatever it is he's after. Remember the raid on Ankida?
    He's after something.
    Besides that, after General Failure, the troops need as much a morale boost as they can get, so we should promote on merit and not sit on our ass. This should allow us to multitask.
     
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  21. Baltika9 Arcane

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    Really? Still using chariots?:lol:
    God Emperor, the Empire really did turn into :patriot:, huh?
     
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  22. oscar Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    We could do a Julius Caesar here and rely on our popularity with the troops as a path to political power. 'The two war heroes and saviours of the Empire: Dio and Ban '
     
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  23. treave Arcane Patron

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    Don't diss the Shinar chariots yet, think of them as serving the function of an armored personnel vehicle, except horse-drawn. Improvements in suspension and wheel & axle technology mean that they are more stable for ranged weaponry even at fast speeds, and have a far better turning radius than their 3000 year-old brethren, though the weight of the armour means that in terms of speed they aren't as fast as single riders. Instead of training horseback archers, the Empire relies on having their bowmen hop on the chariot and do their thing, which means less training is needed. They can focus on just aiming and firing at the target while the charioteer steers.

    Now someone just needs to get to work on a steam engine and strap it to one. :lol:
     
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  24. Esquilax Arcane

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    First, we need to determine our goal here, as Baltika9 said: do we settle on getting our boy out of there, or do we want to go for the gold and attempt to defeat the Madman and rescue Ban? Considering we already know the most important things that the madman has learned, maybe getting bogged down here isn't the best idea. It's important to note that our initial reason in coming here was to get Ban and then proceed to New Athens. Fighting a war wasn't what we initially signed up for. This situation has Vietnam written all over it, and perhaps retreating is the best thing to do - as we know, there are more important things at play here than petty power grabs.

    However, I acknowledge that things probably aren't that simple because Ban almost certainly wants to take out the madman after having failed at it already. He's emotionally invested in the situation, so I think talking him out of catching him will be a little hard, though not impossible. Also, I'm curious to find out why the madman didn't just head to New Athens after determining Ean's location at last. I'm quite certain he discovered Ean's whereabouts after his raid on Ankida, so it seems odd that he went to Rus instead of directly going to New Athens.

    I think it's important to note that the madman is extremely unpredictable, so it's possible that this trip into Odessa is just one big ruse. There are a few things that are a serious cause for concern:

    treave, how have our steel wall tactics fared against the Rus? Or for that matter, our APC's (Armored Personnel Chariots)? I'm guessing fairly poorly, and the tribesmen often rely on flanking tactics and superior mobility to neutralize our shield walls. We are definitely way, way behind the Rus in terms of innovative thinking. We're in a bit of a Catch-22, it seems: if we are out in the open, the Rus' advantage on home turf and their mobility allows them to wear us down, but if we hole up, that makes things even worse and we starve to death. I don't enough about military tactics and history, but do you bros see any solution to this dilemma?

    Anyways, I see two ways of resolving this situation:

    Rescue Ban, Get out of this Shithole
    B) Ensures that we don't have idiots in charge, things are better organized and avoids stepping on too many toes. We only need people competent enough to ensure that Ban and the men of Fort Tigrien are saved. It'll ruffle a few feathers, but it'll also get the job done more efficiently.
    A) Obviously.
    B1) While we rescue Ban and use our telepathy to keep us appraised of any ambushes along the way to Tigrien. Sitting back in our fort might work as well, but with 25,000 men, we should be okay.

    Glory! ... Or Ignominious Defeat
    A) Best people possible for the job. However, we need to be aware of the drawbacks here - a few nobles will begin moving against us, and I am fairly sure that we may even have to deal with an assassination attempt or two. These guys came here for a cushy campaign and the possibility of a promotion down the line: getting bogged down in Rus will inspire mutiny for sure.
    A/D) Wow, this is a tough one. I can't see why the madman would attack Odessa: Ean was never in the area, so I'm not sure how Odessa relates back to him. treave, Fenrir didn't mention this, but I believe it would make sense: we know Ean's body is in New Athens, but where did the Watchers dig it up from?

    I understand that this might be something way may not know if it was something the madman learned prior to gaining powers. If Odessa was the place where Ean was first found, or a place where his body was at for a period of time before ending up in New Athens, then going there makes sense. However, I have a feeling that this is a tactical feint from the madman - if Odessa is unrelated to Ean, then I believe that he's trying to bait us into a trap.

    In any case, splitting our forces seems like a very bad idea. Avoid C. We'll get torn up like this, and the fact that we're given a choice like this is indication of Dio's inexperience on the battlefield, IMO.

    A2) We really need to survey the situation in Odessa ourselves, with a bunch of soldiers loyal to us, and then immediately head back. Taking out Garsu shouldn't be a problem that way. On the other hand, I could also go for B2 or B1 to get him out of the picture.
     
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  25. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Steamtank? With marksmen riding inside?

    [​IMG]
     
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