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Myth: A New Age CYOA

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by Fangshi, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    620
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

     
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  2. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,493
    THE FUCK I JUST SAW? Otter in party hat? Pink elegant elephant balloon with squint?

    Oh flaying rodents trailer "rat vs predatory birds". Will Balloon will fall to beaks of merciless hunters? Will rodents fall to they doom? Did they take parachutes?
    That and more on codex network.
    (and i think imperial march would be better music to that.)
     
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  3. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,056
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    I've been thinking about the mess we seem to have got ourselves in, being caught between the two empires and two archmages.

    How do you guys feel about the idea of confiding in Albrecht, about Mazzarin's existence, at least?

    Now, now, I am not mad. Please hear me out.

    At this point, Albrecht is guaranteed to know that we are - or are related to - the force behind the eagles. We've sent them to him ourselves. The slip-up by Argus also shows that they knew about them beforehand. They have to realize that the existence of eagles predates our arrival in the kingdom, and that we are only a part of the forces that oppose the Watcher.

    It is also not that difficult to send scouts in the general direction of the Great Devoid, where the Watcher's Army originated from (and where we told Albrecht the archmage's Keep would be), and see what happened to the Great Temple. If the destruction is as vast as TWM made it sound, it should be clear to anyone that there is a far greater power at work here.

    Mazzarin's identity might be unknown, but now that he started to act, an existence of another archmage will not remain a secret for much longer.

    I think we - and I mean 'we' in as a broad sense as possible, including us, Albrecht, and the whole dwarven army, - might benefit from putting everything we know together. We hold different parts of the puzzle, but we still can't see the big picture, and are no closer to a solution. And I think a solution needs to be found, fast, lest the Watcher 'solves' us first. We certainly have his attention now, what with us claiming 4th spot on his enemy list. He still has Hounds, strange robed figures, TWM, and several armies in the south to work with.

    So I suggest that we tell the King at least a part of the truth. That we were summoned in the desert by the most powerful of the archmages to do a favor for him, something he could not do himself - which we can not disclose, as it is not our secret to tell - and that we have been working against the Watcher since. We can't claim that we are working together, because we are not, but it seems that our, shall we say, 'cooperation' have borne fruits that even Albrecht would find hard to argue against.

    I'd like to know what is up with that necromancer they still have in their custody and are reluctant to talk about. I want to know if they have some information on the black riders they are unwilling to divulge. I want to verify if the robed figures Ceannard spoke of are the same the rats told us about. I want to have access to their scouts (personally, I want to visit the location of the Great Temple and to dig up some clues as to what should be our next step in this war, but I don't know how many voters would be up for it, as it is extremely dangerous) and their resourses. Basically, I want an honest alliance instead of this hide-and-seek we have now. To that end I propose exchanging information that is relevant to the war effort. The identity of Nine, the deal with the Faceless, and the nature of the favor we did for Mazzarin will not feature into this, but I think Albrecht needs to know about the players here, and most importantly, so do we.

    So who is with me?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
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  4. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Chapter 48: Pursuit

    "Right everyone, take off your robes," it is admittedly a strange first command and he can see the scepticism written on his new subordinates' faces which makes what he says next even more difficult, "Once you have stripped I want you to chop up a few thralls and smear yourselves in their gore, put their armour on and take up their weapons. For this point onward you all have to move and look like thralls."

    "Why?" Buer asks.

    It is a fair question and deserves a straight answer.

    An answer that Forcas has no trouble giving, "Think back to the war. Think back to what our enemies did every time one of Soulblighter's armies fell. What did they do?"

    Forcas is met with nothing but silence. Half of these children have never fought even a minor skirmish let alone an entire campaign. They are untested and to make matters worse many of them are idiots. It might be rude to say but it is the truth.

    Thankfully not all of them are children or idiots.

    Leonard understands and quickly comes to his old friend's aid, "They kill the mages."

    "Exactly," the old man nods, "Every battle, every skirmish, any competent foe will aim for the mages when given a chance. So what do we do?"

    Flaga grins in triumph, "Oh! We are going to hide. If we don't look like mages then they will not be able to find us!"

    "Precisely!" Forcas pats the girl, young enough to be his granddaughter, on the head and she positively beams, "So everyone, get to changing quickly. Help one another if necessary, this needs to be convincing."

    The young necromancers set to work with not a little giggling and blushing as the old men withdraw to discuss their plan.

    "Now what?" the younger mage breaks the silence, his tone flat and largely disinterested.

    Forcas has never been able to understand that, the way Leonard stays so calm even when his life is at stake, "We will need to split our forces. We will need a rearguard to protect us from the fort and we will need an advance party in place to give us warning of any enemy ambushes-"

    "You think they have soldiers outside of the fort already?" Leonard frowns slightly at the thought, it cast a deeper shadow over his already gloomy countenance.

    "Possibly," the older mage shrugs, "This area is riddled with old tunnels but what really concerns me is the Enemy himself, not his apprentices in the fort. If he still has that army of horrors out there somewhere we need to do everything possible to avoid it, we-" he exhales sharply, pain shooting up his body.

    "Are you going to be alright my friend?" his tone; was that a hint of genuine concern in his old companion's voice?

    It brings a smile to the old man's face, "No, I don't suppose I will be," he lets out a pair of short, sharp laughs, "Listen, I wanted to tell you before I told the rest. I am going to lead a group toward the fort to delay the enemy. Just for an hour or so, hold them off then slip away. That sort of thing, you know?"

    Ah, that cool look his second gives him.

    It really is a shame that, at moments like this, Leonard is not a stupid man.

    "Forcas, my dearest friend," his companion begins, "I am afraid I can not let you rob me of this honour. I will stay and lead the attack."

    The old man grins in spite of himself, "As the current commander though, I am afraid I will have to pull rank and choose this most prestigious assignment for myself," he pats his 'young' friend on the shoulder in consolation.

    Leonard smiles slyly at him, the first smile he has seen from the man in over forty years, "Forcas, answer me plainly, of the two of us who can run faster?"

    Forcas grudgingly answers, "You can."

    "Correct," his friend's surprising smile spreads, "And of the two of us, who is better at commanding others."

    Forcas sighs, "Now really Leonard."

    "Ah, ah, ah," the younger mage insists as he gently moves his friend's hand from his shoulder, "Who is a better commander? Who can lead this army though what will be very rough days?"

    "I-" he begins.

    "Yes, you," Leonard positively beams, "You are the one they will listen to. I will take what thralls and soulless we can spare, I will take a handful of novices to help control them and I will lead this attack."

    There is a finality to his friend's words. For all that the old mage desperately desires to argue he can not. It is decided for them both now. He turns, twists slightly, and stops. He stands there, transfixed, staring into his comrade's eyes.

    "Well, what are you waiting for?" his second enquires with just a hint of impatience, "We both have a great deal to do and no time to do it in."

    "I, just, I thought there might be something more to say, but-" he replies in a slight daze.

    "Well I can not think of anything so just save it for when we meet again," his colleague extends a hand, "A hour, two at the most, I promise."

    "A hour, two at the most?" the repeats the words, "Alright, I'll see you then."

    He embraces this man, his friend, then he bids him goodbye, turns and walks away.

    Both of them know they will never meet again.

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

    "Now this is fun!" the dwarf hollers over the wailing of the wind.

    The dwarven love of explosives, and by extension explosions, is legendary and these dwarves are doing everything they can to live up to that reputation.

    It is exciting, she will grant them that; a little insane, sure, but also very exciting and made all the more so by the fact that this is her first real command as part of the Lost.

    She has no intention of letting her employers down, her friends down- They are her friends right? Maybe? Possibly? Or perhaps they are just using her, it would not be the first time. She gives her head a shake, either way she has no intention of failing someone that is relying on her, not again at least, not like the girl...

    "Lyssa!" Otto shouts, "Where is the next target?"

    The Arrow captain snaps her back to reality.

    She is currently floating in a dwarven balloon overtop of an army of undead while her crew throw explosives and fires arrows into the host below. It is just a shame that things have not gone quite to plan.

    The first little wrinkle they encountered was the lack of clear targets. At first it seemed like there were no enemy mages in the retreating columns. Of course there were plenty of them, she could feel them, but they were in hiding. It took her only a moment to realize what they had done and adjust her plan.

    She reaches out with her mind and attempts to lock onto another necromancer. Her own experience in the field helps immensely with this task, she is able to determine not just who is casting but roughly what they are casting as well which has allowed her to pinpoint the most powerful mages controlling the most important parts of the horde. Her first two strikes went beautifully and have put a tremendous amount of strain on the enemy's command structure. If she can just take out a few more... ah, there is her next target.

    "Otto! Third column, fifth row, see that thrall with the misshapen hands? That is our next target! " she declares with glee.

    The balloon drifts steadily toward their prey as the crew ready their weapons.

    They unload in a single terrifying volley, once more delivering death from far beyond their opponents' range. Only this time it is different, their projectiles do not land and instead are blown clear of the enemy formation. Someone down there just cast a spell she is intimately familiar with.

    Someone down there cast a Strong Wind spell.

    "Otto! Another volley!" she commands, doing her best impression of Derryth, even if it is blocked again she will at least be able to get a lock on the enemy spellcaster.

    Again they unleash a volley and again it is blown wide but now she has the target. Directly below her, moving with the balloon. This will be a problem. The simplest way through it would be to exhaust her opponent, keep up a stream of fire that would burn through her reserves as quickly as possible. It would eat up a lot of her power though. Alternatively she could try out her aphids though it is likely that they too would be blown off course. No, this is not a problem she can easily solve on her own, but then maybe she does not have to.

    First she will need to apply a little pressure, "Otto, get the men to steadily bomb the area below us but only a few projectiles at a time. We want the enemy to exhaust themselves."

    The slow stream of fire has the desired effect as the enemy is forced to maintain a constant wind between their undead and her balloon. In many ways this is no different than what she has to do to keep the balloon out of the enemy's probable spell range. However she has a generous supply of energon cubes to help her. The enemy should burn out far more quickly.

    At least that is the plan.

    Five minutes pass and still the enemy has not burnt out. Her eagles scouts quickly identify the source of the enemy's longevity. A number of thralls have slowly wandered up to her target over the last five minutes. These must be some of the lesser necromancers, they are providing the power necessary for her adversary to continue casting.

    What she needs is a distraction, Berty and his team or the Stoneheim reinforcements. She calls to Aquila, throwing her voice out into the wind, and the bird promptly responds. One quick message later and hopefully this deadlock will be resolved.

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

    "So Lys wants us to hit a very particular mage eh?" his new employers' tactician is a curious sort but he has been quite useful so far.

    Kaf scratches his head, "So how you suppose we are going to do that?"

    He can think of a few ways to do it but would prefer to hear the tactician's take on things. He is still not quite sure about these people and every little piece of information might prove useful.

    "Well, we could set up a bomb built just for her, something that would explode based on the winds above it? Maybe we could float it in on the air just so, so it hits her if she casts... hmm..." the little man shakes his head a couple times, "Maybe we need to think bigger, maybe- No wait! Scratch that! I got it! Oh! Oh, this is going to be a masterpiece!"

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

    Your firebolt and Thaïs' energy bolt twine together in their usual dance, they feed off one another as they crash into the enemy formation. They are joined in their flight by dozens of arrows and the odd mortar shell, not terribly accurate but devastating all the same.

    You had not expected to meet the enemy here, the valley you are fighting in is wide which favours your enemy but also quite long which has allowed you to launch a number of quick strikes interspersed with a general rolling retreat.

    When the battle began you were outnumbered maybe two to one but the enemy simply lacks the mobility and firepower to properly strike at you.

    You launch another firebolt at the enemy formation which quickly pairs up with another bolt from your friend, the two of you are getting quite good at that as well. Soon you will be almost as comfortable working with one another on elemental spells as you are with mental spells.

    Another pass, another firebolt.

    In truth this fight is rather dull, the enemy is large but lacks the sort of elite soldiers or comprehensive strategy necessary to really pose a threat to you. In fact you should be able to win this fight without taking a single casualty.

    Then, as if on cue, things get interesting.

    The enemy commander has been quiet so far and now you know why as his entire army is enveloped in darkness.

    You continue to fire into the enemy battle line but without any real way to see your target you are going to have a much harder time-

    A javelin whizzes past your head. He must have rolled his soulless forward as soon as the darkness spell took effect.

    Hámundr pulls you back as your chariot and those of your friends cycle out in favour of more 'expendable' teams.

    'Expendable', the term does not sit well with you but all of your captains agreed. When in doubt, send in the rank and file.

    Your replacement team, now a few chariots smaller, swings past your position. Most members suffer from minor or serious javelin wounds.

    This has to end now and you think you have an idea, "Thaïs! Can you feel the enemy commander?"

    "Yes Derryth, what do you have in mind," she replies without taking her eyes off the billowing cloud before you.

    "We light him up followed by a mental assault to lay him out," she nods as you give the instructions.

    "Uttu!" you call out to the girl, "Use your flare, center right, aim for the rear!"

    She gives you a single curt nod and launches her arrow.

    It lights the darkness as it speeds over the enemy line. You will have an instant as it passes your foe, not long enough for a proper elemental spell but long enough to attack his mind. If you can get him to drop his spell you should be able to destroy him.

    You open with an assault to throw him off balance. It catches him cold and sends him reeling as Thaïs follows you in, she pulls a name from his mind, Forcas, and throws out a suggestion.

    This Forcas hates him, has always hated him, he wants him dead.

    A poor guess it seems as your target's mind immediately rejects the thought and lashes out at your colleague.

    Alright, if hate did not work then perhaps love, friendship and duty might.

    You hit him again, this time with a compulsion, this Forcas of his needs him. He is dying, alone, with none to mourn him, your target must go to him, now, there can be no delay.

    Oh, now that got him.

    His mind tries to bolt, he forces it to stay.

    Your friend hits him one final time as the darkness closes back in around him. She hits him with a beautifully crafted, false memory. Forcas is dead, he has failed his friend, he is lost, doomed, fallen.

    You think you catch a tear as the darkness collapses in on him.

    With a clear shot now you each launch your greater elemental bolts. They scream together and rip and tear into one another, coiling, constricting, spinning together they crash into your enemy. He does not really burn, nor does he melt, he dissolves, he evaporates, disintegrates and the force of your spells blast through him and wipe out most of his command staff.

    You smile, satisfied, not much to do now except wipe out his fracturing army and push on toward the main enemy force and your friends. Hopefully they are managing without you.

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

    Flaga takes his hand to steady herself, poor girl is terribly stressed from casting for the last fifteen minutes without pause. Still it must be done, with no way to reach the enemy, tucked up in the clouds, there is little they can do save endure.

    The bulk of their army is still intact, the majority of their necromancers are also alive, if they can just get far enough to the east hopefully the enemy will give up as the risk of becoming trapped increases. They will give up, they have to give up. The alternative, that they are all doomed, is simply unacceptable. He just needs to think of a way out of this.

    The stream of projectiles pours down upon them as Flaga burns through another novice. At the rate they are exhausting necromancers their next move might matter little, they are rapidly approaching that point at which the army will break apart and after that it will be every mage for themselves.

    There has to be a way out of this, "Flaga, how high can you throw me with your wind spells?"

    "Not high enough to reach them," the girl responds in between laboured breaths, "You are too heavy, too big."

    Too big? Too big...

    He grins, "What if I were smaller or lighter? Could you throw me high enough then?"

    "Sure, ah, probably," the girl replies, uncertain as she strains against the enemy.

    "Alright," Forcas waves to Deumus, "Girl! Come here!"

    She shuffles over, doing her best to behave like a thrall and run at the same time, "What do you need!" she calls out over the blasting wind.

    "Can you make me lighter? Or smaller?" he demands of her as she draws near.

    "Lighter! I can do lighter," she nods quickly.

    "Then do it girl! And Flaga," she stares up at him, "Throw me high."

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

    He has been a great many things in his time.

    Some spectacular and some quite ordinary.

    Some glamorous and some decidedly dirty.

    He has been an explorer.

    Then a storyteller.

    An educator.

    An inventor.

    A warrior.

    A soldier.

    A veteran.

    A dissident.

    A criminal.

    A priest.

    A spy.

    A mercenary.

    A tutor.

    And finally a potted fern.

    It is, when taken together, a rather impressive list and today he will add one more entry to that rather impressive list.

    For today he will be a thrall.

    One amongst hundreds. His pop always used to say that if you want to hide in the desert then you need to pass for sand, well, if the enemy can do it then why can't he? So he will, so he has, and they have not noticed him at all. He is so close now, he will have one shot at this, one shot to break the enemy's control over the undead or face instant annihilation.

    It is truly thrilling, slowly he reaches into his 'borrowed' armour, carefully he withdraws the grenade, he pulls the pin, and he tosses it.

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

    He is going to die, that much is clear to him now and it is funny but he does not even really fear it anymore.

    It is the one thing he has been most terrified of, the one thing he has tried so desperately to avoid for the last ninety three years. Now though, when he is staring it in the face, when the ground is rushing towards him at top speed, he does not feel much of anything at all.

    The girls did their part, Deumus made him light as a feather, Flaga threw him as high as he would go, he readied his spell, determined to kill the enemy mage even if it cost him his life. He could do that at least, he was certain of it.

    Then, halfway to his target the wind that was propelling him failed and he returned to his natural weight.

    So now he is falling and when he hits the ground that will be it. Technically the fall might not kill him, it is a slight possibility but one all the same. Does not much matter though, the enemy have maintained their steady barrage, seconds after hitting the ground the enemy's cocktails will hit him and that will for a certainty kill him.

    Curious, he turns to watch and immediately recognizes what went wrong, somehow the girls are dead. All that remains is ash and smoke, the enemy killed them, magic perhaps, maybe those archmages finally decided to make an appearance, if that is the case... he supposes he should be angry, or scared, or jealous but he simply can not muster the emotion. He supposes that he should feel remorse, that he should renounce the life of misery and suffering he has led but to hell with it, he does not feel remorseful either. He did what he had to, no, what he wanted to and he lost. It does not have to be any more complicated than that.

    Still, it would have been nice to win.

    It would have been nice to see his friend again.

    It would have been nice to-

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

    As far as victories go, this one was fairly absolute. With their leaders gone the undead army dissolved into hundreds of small pockets and fragments.

    You have established a number of strike teams under Argus' general command to properly crush as many of these small bands as possible and the Champion seems confident that you will be able to destroy most of them before any sort of serious support arrives.

    Finally, you can safely say that the siege of Blackrock is over. The Watcher's strength in the north seems to be broken and you have earned a much needed rest. A rest you are not likely to get as Calaeno, one of Lyssa's eagles, arrives with a pair of letters addressed to you and Thaïs.

    The first bears the seal of the Royal House of Albrecht, it is brief and not in a hand you recognize but that is not terribly surprising. The King has a number of scribes and he likely dictates most of his letters.


    To Derryth and Thaïs

    It is our hope that this letter find you well. We have succeeded in rallying our loyal lords to your cause and military aid should now be forthcoming.

    Expect our army, led by Lords Welf and Hesse to arrive within a day or two. It is our deepest hope that you can hold out till then.

    Should you require any further aid do not hesitate to write.

    Albrecht, King of All the Dwarves


    "Well, that is underwhelming," your friend remarks, "Though I do wonder what the situation is like in the capital at this very moment."

    "I suspect we will find out soon enough," you reply with a shrug, "And I doubt we will like it."

    The second letter is far more interesting than the first. It is written upon thinly pressed copper in liquid gold, the letter is sealed with a giant platinum M that shifts in the light and gives the illusion of being on fire.

    "I wonder who this is from," you wave the letter with a laugh, "That man just does not do subtle."

    You pop the letter open to the sound of horns, actual horns, and let out a slight groan.


    To My Dear Associates,

    I must say your work against that army was quite impressive, though your reliance on explosives does diminish the achievement just a little. A true mage would not have needed such tricks, a true mage would have bested his opponents in the open field but you are young and you still have time to learn.

    Regardless of your methods you have my thanks for disposing of the remnants I sent you. They would have been quite troublesome if left to their own devices and so as a reward and a way to even the scales so to speak I will give you a little advice.

    Do not trust the dwarf king's words, do not return to Myrgard, instead I recommend you either leave the Kingdom or if you are feeling adventurous you might wish to march your forces three days journey to the southeast and wait. I would love to see you again and catch up a little.

    Yours Truly,

    Mazzarin

    It seems you have a few options to pursue if you so choose.

    A) March out to meet the dwarven army. The sooner you link up with these reinforcements, the sooner you can get an update on the situation in the rest of the kingdom. It would also save time if you can convince them to join in your search for your missing people and any survivors of the Watcher's host.

    B) Return to the Fort and help map the tunnels. The more people looking for Bari and Neel the sooner you will find them, one way or the other.

    C) Join your strike teams in hunting down the remnants of the Watcher's host. The more you kill now the less you have to worry about later.

    D) Return to the Fort and explore the secret staircase. Your negotiations with the rodent's of the Fort have led to a number of interesting developments. One of which was the discovery of a secret passage in the fort. Now might be a good time to explore it.

    E) Rally what forces you can and march southeast as per the instructions in Mazzarin's letter. You are curious as to what you will find.

    F) "Our 3 Mages plus some good escort go for D) while the rest work on B)."

    G)"- The grenadiers under Otto's command unload Lyssa, load up Pathfinder's crates, and bomb the remnants of the enemy army to oblivion.
    - The Arrows under Ceannard's and Argus' command mop up the survivors, supported by chariots (as means of transportation only) and a mortar to help them get through this without casualties.
    - Do not pursue too far. After inflicting maximum damage and destroying the vast majority of the army, have them return to the fort and join the search for our friends. We don't need every thrall dead.
    - Thais, Derryth and Lyssa are to lead the search, aided by Blackrock troops, Hamundr, Astrid and Ori. And our rat volunteers, of course.
    - Have the Pathfinders and Berty help wherever they are more needed."

    H) "Derryth, girls and spell casting mice to D
    Thais, slow forces and part of arrows as backup to B (Ring Heal if either Bari or best tracker were in need of medical attention)
    Lyssa, Berthy, Argus, pathfinders, chariots and mobile forces to little undead hunting game [one eagle here, Argus and pathfinders are occupied so we can investigate secrets privately (they are part o king forces alter all)]
    Rest of arrows as fort garrison in case of new arrivals."

    I) Freeform. If you want to do something more complicated (split your core group for example) then write it in here.


    2. You can send out your eagles to contact one or all of the following groups:

    A) You will send out eagles (choose as many as you like, provided you have the eagles for it):

    i. You contact Mayer. You need to know what is happening in the capital, and he is the only person who had been frank with you so far. You will try to discreetly receive an update on the situation from him. You will also request information about your finances and investments.

    ii. You contact Albrecht. You need to inform him that the undead army has been broken and receive an update on what is happening in the capital. If there is a pressing need for the army to help Stoneheim, it is not too late for him to redirect the forces there.

    iii. You send an eagle southeast, to where the letter allegedly sent by Mazzarin said you should go. You are curious as to what is going to happen there.

    iv. "Send an eagle to search for the army supposedly heading our way, and if they find it, contact Lords Welf and Hesse to inform them that the undead threat is dealt with. Request an update from them, too."

    v. Send a second eagle to Albrecht via another route.

    B) You do not send out the eagles.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
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  5. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Party/Organizational Changes:

    Party Changes:


    Show Spoiler
    Derryth:

    Lost the following Items:

    1. Six Energon Cubes - four given to Lyssa to power her spells, two used for her own spells.

    2. Gold Ring - on loan to Lyssa

    3. Heaven Stone - on loan to Lyssa

    Thaïs:

    Lost the following Items:

    1. Five Energon Cubes - three given to Lyssa to power her spells, two used for her own spells.

    2. Spyglass - on loan to Lyssa

    Lyssa:

    Gained the following Items:

    1. Seven Energon Cubes - from Derryth and Thaïs for their spells.

    2. Spyglass - on loan from Thaïs.

    3. Gold Ring - on loan from Derryth.

    4. Heaven Stone - on loan from Derryth.

    Lost the following Items:

    1. Nine Energon Cubes - used to power her spells throughout the battle.

    Pet Status Updated:

    1. Calaeno now on hand.

    Gained the following Pets:

    1. Miraa - Spellcasting Mouse

    2. Poppy - Spellcasting Mouse

    3. Six 'Novice' Mice


    Organizational Changes:

    Show Spoiler
    The Pathfinders used up quite a bit of their remaining weaponry and you lost about a dozen people in total between the charioteers, your Stoneheim group and the Arrows.

    The following personnel have been added to your Myrgard mercenaries:

    Named Personnel:

    1. Kaf

    2. Skite

    Unnamed Personnel:

    1. Five veteran human archers

    2. Six veteran dwarven warriors

    3. Three veteran human sellswords

    The following information about your personnel has been updated:

    Your Stoneheim forces:

    Named Personnel:

    1. Tind

    2. Thrend Atop the Piled Dead

    Unnamed Personnel:

    1. Five veteran Maul warriors

    2. Twelve veteran dwarven grenadiers

    3. Three veteran dwarven warriors


    Rolls:

    Show Spoiler
    This update played out as a set of essentially three separate encounters happening simultaneously which meant a lot of rolls.

    First up you had the main body of the enemy that Lyssa was dutifully shelling. The opening attack from her team had a set of very easy rolls for your side and very difficult set of rolls for the enemy as one would expect. They did not think you were going to bomb them and they had no real way of hitting back so they just had to try and absorb it.

    Lyssa managed to take out two good chunks of the enemy very quickly at which point the necromancers responded with a Strong Wind spell of their own. So long as the necromancers could keep their screen up there was little Lyssa's team could do except expend ammunition.

    So she called for help which brings us to the second battle ongoing in this update and the one that received the least amount of attention. It received so little attention because it was quite dull. Neither side rolled terribly well, your people managed to kill a large number of thralls but little else while their side proved completely incapable of seriously injuring most of your people or moving forward. The end result was several rounds of nothing and so it was cut in favour of the other battles. Eventually your side managed to break the enemy which is where the scenes with Berty and Kaf come in, once they had dealt with their enemy they were free to come to Lyssa's aid and that was when everything came to a head.

    Berty had to roll a number of checks to sneak through the enemy army toward his target, if he failed he would have had to fight his way out. However he did quite well and managed to get to the heart of the enemy formation. While that was going on the necromancers were rolling to cast their spells and launch Forcas into the air. If he had managed to get high enough to hit Lyssa she would have tried to defend herself and the balloon, possibly with her aphids, possibly with the feather she carries, and possibly with a spell. None of that happened however as Berty blew the necromancers up and doomed Forcas to a quick and messy death.

    The battle you and Thaïs were in, though one sided, did take up a lot of time. Most of the rolls had to do with your side shooting and moving while the enemy tried to close the distance between you to little effect. Leonard had one trick up his sleeve which he played to moderate success. There was a slight chance that he could have times it better and hit your group with a single volley but the odds were not that high.

    Your combination of spells provided you with one opportunity to end the fight quickly, if it had failed (about even odds) then the update likely would have ended there and I would have given you a selection of more dangerous strategies you could have tried, naturally you would have had the opportunity to come up with your own options as well.

    There were a few other points at which the update also could have ended. If Berty had failed then the enemy would likely have still been intact when you arrived. You would then have been presented with a variety of ways to deal with the enemy army. It is also possible that the enemy might have turned around and attacked if things had gone particularly poorly. So there were a few ways this update could have broken down.

    There were also a number of more general rolls for events occurring elsewhere in the kingdom as usual.
     
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  6. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Any more casualties on our side?

    Freeform. Regardless of what we decide to do, send an eagle to Mayer's estate and ask for an indepth clarification of what the hell is going on. Arrange for the eagle to arrive at night, so that she would not be noticed by anyone else. If there is an insurgence, or something else, we must find out about it before the army, allegedly lead by Lords Welf and Hesse, arrives. I expect a reply within half a day, a day at most.

    Eh, ask him for a financial update, too. We aren't fleeing this kingdom anytime soon. :)

    If Mayer is unavailabe (captured? imprisoned? dead? I can't imagine him going on a vacation), the eagle is to return immediately.

    If the eagle is not heard of within a day, then I think we should start getting worried.

    This should be a second choice, independent from the first one, I believe.

    I suppose we can send our second eagle (we have 3 of them, right?) to Albrecht and inform him that the army of undead is dealt with. Ask him what is happening, too. This mission should be separate from the first one, as we need the first eagle to return ASAP, but at least we would be able to cross-reference the information.

    How many of the Watcher's army survived? As much as I'd love to kill everything undead in sight, I'd also prefer if we didn't overextend ourselves.

    Also,
    Ok, maybe not. :lol:
     
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  7. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
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    Greece
    F) Our 3 Mages plus some good escort go for D) while the rest work on B).
    Also, similar to Nevill's idea: send an eagle to Mayer and an eagle to where Mazzarin points.
     
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  8. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Keep in mind that 'M' does not necessarily mean the letter came from Mazzarin.

    There is a another mage that is very interested to meet us. I suppose, as far as traps go, this is fairly uninteresting and uninspired - still, I would not put it past him.

    Can't we ask Calaeno who gave her the second letter, how did they get their hands on her, and where has she been all this time?

    Also check her for unusual mental activities indicating false memories or perhaps some triggers.

    I don't want to send our eagles there. Smells like a set-up, and I value them more than that.
    Why not let the Observers in, first? That's what they always wanted, right? A whole unexplored section of the fort!

    What I know about the current situation is that I would trust Albrecht over Mazzarin any day of the week. That does not mean I trust the 'army' that is heading to our fort, the letter that announced its arrival (the eagle was obviously intercepted), or whoever is leading it. I guess we can outlast yet another siege in our fort, if it comes to it, as the Arrows still make the bulk of our forces, and they are unaffiliated with the Great Lords.
     
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  9. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Alright, so here are my thoughts.

    We have to finish what we have started here. We have killed off the enemy mages, but they were an obstacle, not the goal. The goal was to destroy the Watcher's army, and it still has a considerable amount of bodies left in it, from what I can tell. We need to get rid of as much of it as possible before the next batch of necromancers picks it up and leads the remnants away.

    However, there are more important tasks for us to attend to. So I suggest the following:

    Have the dwarves relieve Lyssa of her duties and load up as much of the Pathfinder's explosive arsenal as possible - maybe even a pair of crates - instead. We only needed Lyssa to keep the balloon out of enemy spells range, so now that all the necromancers are gone, the dwarves can finish the job by themselves. The balloon should be safe from the javelins. Leave Otto in command of the team.

    Have the Arrows under joint command of Argus and Ceannard mop up the survivors down below. Argus is to serve as an advisor and a tactician, as Ceannard is somewhat lacking in that regard, and the latter should issue the actual orders to his men.

    Have our charioteers and a mortarman provide support if any of ours need to get out of dodge. Do not engage the enemy if you are not certain you can crush them without casualties.

    Kill as much of the enemy army as possible without venturing off too far, and then have the soldiers return to aid the search.

    The Blackrock troops should manage the search, as they already did for the last several days. It is their comrade, Neel, down there, so it is only fair. We should join the search as well. Lyssa is the only one who can communicate with the rats and organize them to cooperate with our forces more efficiently, so I don't think we can assign her anywhere else anyway. As for Derryth and Thais, they should be there, too. Not only Bari is our close friend, but we have to assume a personal responsibility for our own soldiers, much like Hamundr does, if we want to be the leader they would follow unconditionally. These sentiments have to go:
    And these need to stay:
    Neel is our employee, he is our responsibility, and we have to do everything in our power to save him.

    It is also a good way to win the trust of our Stoneheim colleagues. Our Myrgard division was devastated quite a bit in the attack, and the new guys must be feeling a bit anxious about their futures. We must reassure them we take our duties as a commander seriously.

    Astrid and Ori should help us (obviously, since Bari is their friend, too), as should Hamundr, both to look for his soldier and to look out for us.

    We will probably need to help the wounded as well.

    Therefore:
    G) Freeform:
    - The grenadiers under Otto's command unload Lyssa, load up Pathfinder's crates, and bomb the remnants of the enemy army to oblivion.
    - The Arrows under Ceannard's and Argus' command mop up the survivors, supported by chariots (as means of transportation only) and a mortar to help them get through this without casualties.
    - Do not pursue too far. After inflicting maximum damage and destroying the vast majority of the army, have them return to the fort and join the search for our friends. We don't need every thrall dead.
    - Thais, Derryth and Lyssa are to lead the search, aided by Blackrock troops, Hamundr, Astrid and Ori. And our rat volunteers, of course.
    - Have the Pathfinders and Berty help wherever they are more needed.


    I am afraid exploring the staircase will have to wait, though we might ask the rats if they want to check what is out there.

    As for the second choice, I propose the following.

    2. You can send out your eagles to contact one or all of the following groups:
    Ai) You contact Mayer. You need to know what is happening in the capital, and he is the only person who had been frank with you so far. You will try to discreetly receive an update on the situation from him. You will also request information about your finanses and investments.
    Aii) You contact Albrecht. You need to inform him that the undead army has been broken and receive an update on what is happening in the capital. If there is a pressing need for the army to help Stoneheim, it is not too late for him to redirect the forces there.

    Aiii) You sent an eagle southeast, to where the letter allegedly sent by Mazzarin have said you should go. You are curious as to what is going to happen there.
    B) You do not send out the eagles.

    I feel there is a need to contact Albrecht. I still think we should put our trust if not in the man himself, then in the fact that he needs us and that we can be of tremendous use to him. He did send us help, as much as he was allowed to, and I am sure he wants us to be safe.

    However, if he stepped over some heads to send the reinforcements to us, it might be better for him - and everyone - to take the forces to the Stoneheim where they were intended to be sent originally. If something dangerous is happening out there, I do not want to be held responsible for a 'false alarm' that might cost the dwarves their second capital. It just lends more power to our opposition - and judging by the delay it took to send that army, I'd say we have our fair share of adversaries among the Great Lords. We probably should have a talk with them when we get back.

    Also, we can cross-referense the information Albrecht will send us with that of Mayer, and we might be able to finally understand our position in the dwarven kingdom.

    1) G 2) Ai, Aii
     
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  10. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Yes, though no one named. I will get all the numbers up for you when I can.

    About 40% survived.

    Added.

    Added

    Also added.
     
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  11. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
    Joined:
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    24,376
    1. G
    And send the rats to explore the staircase.

    2.
    Aiv)
    C)




     
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  12. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Show Spoiler
    Did they at least do something useful with it? I haven't noticed them throughout the update. :)

    Also, could you please detail the losses a bit more? I am mostly concerned about our own company here - we've lost over 30 people from our Myrgard division, so every man stings a bit. It also would be nice to know if the Arrows didn't lose too many of their elites. I grew quite fond of them. :)

    Overall, not too shabby for a battle with 6-to-1 odds... or how many of our people were there?

    A pair of questions.

    Is it a poor tactical assessment on Lyssa's part, or do I not understand something about our aphids? If she stopped dropping cocktails for a minute, the enemy would have to drop the spell, as they were maintaining it for the sole purpose of protecting themselves. Then the aphids would have had a clear shot at the whole bunch of enemy mages. Are they really that noticeable that the mages would have time and wits to recognize them and blow them away? I thought they were just flies.

    Is it a physical spell, is it a popular (as in 'not obscure') spell, and where one might learn it? I have some wicked ideas. :D

    My understanding is that the enemy fled immediately after Gullveig's death and didn't have time (or reason) to pack their things. Is Gullveig's command tent still standing? Can we check what's inside? The late Shade had a habit of writing some of her thoughts down to motivate herself, and perhaps it might shed a light on our situatiuon here.

    It should not take long to see if there is anything of value in there.
     
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  13. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Sep 12, 2013
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
  14. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    1,493
    1) H) Derryth, girls and spell casting mice to D [Ring Bestial Tongue to communicate with mice, girls in case we need help able to keep secret to do something there (we want that room to remain secret)]
    Thais, slow forces and part of arrows as backup to B (Ring Heal if either Bari or best tracker were in need of medical attention)
    Lyssa, Berthy, Argus, pathfinders, chariots and mobile forces to little undead hunting game [one eagle here, Argus and pathfinders are occupied so we can investigate secrets privately (they are part o king forces alter all)]
    Rest of arrows as fort garrison in case of new arrivals

    2)A I - Mazzarin? know something we dont. Still i am not sure if he is correct about king, lets check it shall we?

    Yep maximum free forming babe.
     
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  15. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    1,997
    She says Mazzarin gave her the letter. She was flying back to the fort a few days ago when she was gently plucked out of the air and brought to the archmage. The next thing she remembers she was flying over the fort with two letters instead of just one.

    You probe her mind and can safely say that her memories of the last few days are not false. You know this because she has no memories of the last few days, her mind has been wiped clean and there is not even a trace of what she experienced since she was brought to Mazzarin.

    As for triggers they might be there but you can not detect anything which proves nothing as Mazzarin is far more skilled than you are. You are confident that if he wanted to he could easily hide a trigger from you, alternatively he might have done nothing and instead wants you to distrust your eagle to reduce your confidence in your animal agent, or maybe- Thaïs puts a quick stop to your paranoid musings before things start to get out of hand...

    Show Spoiler
    Ah, sort of. They slowed down the enemy's retreat by quite a bit as the thrall columns could not simply march through your minefields so there was that. They also are responsible for a decent chunk of the enemy's dead though they did not get very many mages. They had no real way to tell the real thralls from the fake ones so most of what they achieved was simply luck.

    You did not lose any of your Myrgard people but you did lose a few from your Stoneheim reinforcements, you lost two human sellswords and about six dwarven warriors all told. Most died to the javelins of the soulless.

    Ceannard lost a few more men, mostly recruits, and a few more charioteers died but like I said, casualties were low.

    Well you had the reinforcements, the Pathfinders and Berty, your group of mounted archers and the like, and Lyssa's team up in the balloon so you were quite outnumbered.


    Aphids are quite small and not terribly heavy. They would not fall straight down if thrown from that height which means she would likely have to drop the entire container of them if she wanted to actually hit her target and that would be enough to provoke another casting of Strong Wind.

    It is a physical spell and it is common enough I suppose, depending on which exact variety of the spell you want. Lazy mages often use it to avoid having to climb stairs and the like. Different versions have different secondary effects as well but Derryth is not really an expert (or even terribly knowledgeable) about that field so you would need to seek out someone that could give you a bit of guidance.

    One would learn such a spell from one of the schools that specializes in it though most schools guard their spell lists quite jealously. It might also be possible to find a scroll in the right markets but that largely comes down to luck. There are likely other ways of learning such a spell as well.

    Let's see...

    Yes, you find what look to be a large number of lists composed of names and numbers. You think a few of them are casualty reports and some of them seem to be the usual mage 'Enemy Lists'. You will never understand why some people feel the need to write down who they hate, are they really going to forget? You push away the lists and find what looks to be a diary or a spellbook buried underneath. However, everything is written in a language you are unfamiliar with, if you want to study the papers you can but it might help to locate a linguist to help you translate them first.

    Added.
     
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  16. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
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    I'm pretty sure the rings are instant spells only and the bestial tongue spell will only last for one word Jester.

    I vote G Ai Aii
     
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  17. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    If true scratch that part of plan.
     
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  18. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Yeah, the rings are limited to instant spells so I will remove that part.
     
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  19. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Wait, do I read it correctly? She was flying to the fort several days ago with the letter from Albrecht?

    The same letter that said his forces would be with us in a day or two? When Argus said there were problems with sending us reinforcements three days ago?

    It does not add up. Unless the army was sent our way right after we sent out our representatives, but never reached us for some reason. Or unless it was never sent to us in the first place. Or unless Calaeno's perception of time is majorly screwed. Or unless there is a mistake somewhere. ;)

    Hey, I don't disagree with the results, and I think we were very successful, all things considered. Still, I'd like to better understand this bit. It might affect some of our future plans.

    I though of the aphids as a sort of a homing missile that locks on its target after being released. Why would they need to be dropped? Why couldn't they just fly straight down to their targets? It makes no difference if they have to travel the distance horizontally (if we were on the ground) or vertically (as was the case here), right? Unless I am misunderstanding some basic principle they work on. :)

    Let's keep both the enemy lists and the casualty reports, too. The first ones might provide us with a list of potential allies (though it is likely to consist mostly of the other Shades :lol:), and the second might come in handy to determine the overall composition of the Watcher's forces prior to the attack. This information can be extrapolated if we come upon his other armies.


    Why not ask Albrecht directly, too, then? At the very least you would be able to see if he is lying to you or not.

    Also, guys, if we end up sending away all three of our eagles, I suggest establishing shifts and having a pair of our men on patrol in the air balloon with a spyglass. We don't want to be caught unaware if anything interesting happens.
     
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  20. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    9,493
    E X
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
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  21. Absinthe Prophet

    Absinthe
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    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    3,169
    G

    Aii Aiv Av


    We need to inform Albrecht and the army. That army will not be happy to arrive on a battlefield where they're no longer needed.

    Also:
    That does not sound like Mazzarin. That sounds like The White Mage.

    Aii is the only option right now since our eagles are getting intercepted, and I don't want The White Mage to learn our condition (Ai) or have an eagle fly right into his hands (Aiii).
     
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  22. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Well by a few days she means three so she left on the same day that your representatives arrived. Other than that possible misunderstanding there is no mistake. :smug:

    The problem with using them came mostly from Lyssa's own Strong Wind spell which was necessary to ensure the enemy could not hit you with their spells (now they did not really have anything they could hit you with anyway even if Lyssa had not used the spell but there was no way for her to know that), however there were also more mundane factors as well and the height she was operating at did alter things a fair bit.

    My understanding is that aphids are more likely to glide on strong winds than try to fly against them and Lyssa was operating at a decent height in a high wind (wind gradient and ridge lines play a role here alongside more magical factors). To get those aphids anywhere close to where they needed to be they would need to be shielded somehow until they neared the surface and could properly try to fly toward their target. Now anything that could get them to their target was also likely to be blown off course by the enemy caster's Strong Wind spell. So she decided against using them.

    Sure, you can keep all of the documents if you want unless there are any objections (for example if someone just wants to burn them all).


    Current Tally:

    Show Spoiler
    asxetos 1.F 2.Ai,Aiii
    Nevill 1.G 2. Ai,Aii,Aiv
    Kz3r0 1.G 2.Aii,Aiv,Av
    Grimgravy 1.F 2.Ai
    Jester 1.H 2.Ai
    archaen 1.G 2.Ai,Aii,Aiv
    Baltika9 1.E 2.x
    Absinthe 1.G 2.Aii,Aiv,Av

    1.
    A)
    B)
    C)
    D)
    E) 1 vote
    F) 2 votes
    G) 4 votes
    H) 1 vote

    2. 1 abstain
    A) 7 votes
    i. 5/7 votes
    ii. 4/7 votes
    iii. 1/7 votes
    iv. 4/7 votes
    v. 2/7 votes
    B)
     
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  23. Absinthe Prophet

    Absinthe
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    Fangshi, I'd like to add Av so we send two eagles to Albrecht by different paths.

    Paging Nevill, Kz3r0, Grimgravy, Jester, archaen: This letter seems to have been written by The White Mage. (Seriously, we pissed off Mazzarin pretty big last time we met. There is no way he would be so fond of us.) If TWM is intercepting our mail, the only eagle(s) we should send is Aii/Aiv/Av (ie. make sure they know about our situation). Everything else risks the eagles and the information they carry.
     
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  24. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Sure, I will add the option.
     
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  25. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I suspected the White Mage, too, until I read this line.

    He would have to know Mazzarin quite intimately if he can nail down that little detail. :lol:

    I mean, who would even have an imagination to assume someone's manners can be that gaudy?

    Though there is an implication that we should go there because of the mystery, a sense of adventure, and a promise of a surprise. No thank you.

    Still, I don't think it makes sense for us to send an eagle there. Even if it really is Mazzarin, if he wants to tell us something, he evidently has the means to contact us. If he wants to meet us in person, which is what is written in the letter - well, we aren't going, so it's useless. If he wants to keep whatever happens there a secret, he can mindwipe the eagle without much problem like he already did.

    I understand the curiosity, but I can see no reason to indulge it. If the mage thinks we need to be told certain things, he can tell us (though I don't think he would if we continue to ignore his advice). If he doesn't, he can hide them. I don't see us having a say in the matter.

    If it isn't Mazzarin, then it is the White Mage, and I don't want our eagles near that.

    Still, I'd like to know what happened to the army if they are more than a day late.

    I suppose I'll add
    Aiv. Send an eagle to search for the army supposedly heading our way, and if they find it, contact Lords Welf and Hesse to inform them that the undead threat is dealt with. Request an update from them, too. The more people we receive information from, the easier it is for us to get an objective picture.
     
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