1221.1 A Turbulent Matter

"Dominic! pick on someone your own size for once. " Gestures to Mufarrj. "You can not kill the commander."

Alexei looks down at the little man and smiles and nods. "If insolence won battles the Crusades could have surely used you. To the front of the line monsieur." he then steps aside and points with his spear allowing him to pass and walk up to the front and then Alexei falls in behind him.

"Yes, come pick on me." Although he is of a small stature, his physique should still be impressive. And his manner is just as noble and regal as Alexei's.

"Your crossbows are impressive. But they cannot sustain you past the first engagement with the enemy. And battle plans seldom last beyond the first engagement. It is a worthy goal, to meet your opponents with overwhelming force."
Awareness check: Die roll of 5+Per 1+awareness 4 =10.

"I can see that the skills you have beyond that are with knives and brawling, and very few of you can use a sword or spear, or at least use them well."

[OOC: this is on the operating theory that they are brigands, and thieves, and while they are armed, they are not military men, though they were descended from them. They intimidate, and the crossbow is a tool of intimidation or first strike, and if they fail to meet their objective if they resort to using it, they'd likely disengage and run away.]

"I can also see, that your methods have been failing you, for your equipment is ragged from over-mending or ill fitting and much finer than belies your station, suggesting less than reputable methods of acquisition."

Dominic wiggles a finger in one of his ears and pops it out. "Whatcher talkin' about? Battle plans, strategery, formations, blah blah blah. Sounds like you learned that from a book. Bah! Like you said, everything changes after the first punch, ya freak tanned albino ((OOC: little man/boy? white hair? dark skin? weird albino!!). My weapon's out - where's yours?"
I know we'll need to roll for an init, but here's his "plan" - and he's not hiding his intentions.

A) If Mufarrj goes to pull his sword before Dominic has gotten to him, he'll rush him to Grapple.
B) If Mufarrj waits for Dominic to "line up" with him and then reachs for his sword, Dominic will try to punch him in the face before he can pull it.
C) If Mufarrj just waits for Dominic to pull a weapon, he'll lightly nod at him and hold up his fists but points to his daggers at belt and gestures to let Mufarrj pull his sword if he wants. "Real fight, real death, real steel. Fake fight, fake honor, I'll wait on you, mate."

OOC: Mufarjj never moved, so he's not all that close to you, like Alexei is.

Mufarjj pulls out is sword. It's nearly as big as he is and appears quite heavy. He wields it effortlessly and beautifully. Dominc can tell Mufarjj is at least as good with his sword as he is with his daggers in a bar fight. Unfortunately, this is not a bar fight.

"I like you." He gives Dominic a toothy grin as he closes the gap, and he seems most sincere, or at least he would seem sincere if he weren't holding a sword.

Roll initiative, attack and defense, and/or any other appropriate actions.

As Fieltarn intents to draft a couple of custos for his spring foraging trip, he's an onlooker at this first training; and while he's not here to poke into the other's business, he's also interested to see how Alexei and Jacques will "learn from each other"...

((ooc : if memory serves me well, some of Atsingani's grogs also speak latin rather well, I'm just saying.))

Dominic blows Mufarrj a snide kiss as he tries to rush into a Grapple and get within the sword's swing range.

Punch - Init 2, Att 13, Def 12, Dmg 1,
1d10.extra(10)=7, 1d10.extra(10)=8, 1d10.extra(10)=7


Init 2 +7 = 9
Att 13 + 8 = 21
Def 12 + 7 - 19
Dmg = Grapple Strength

Alexei seemed about to speak to Jacques when the 'little' Mufarrj engaged the insolent Dominic. He sighs and then stands beside Jacques to watch the battle and leans over to speak with him quietly in Latin. "Your men speak another language and are quite fluent at it. Unfortunately speaking it leads to this. They need the language of discipline. This is a failure on your part Jacques. Had your man..." he points to Dominic who seems to be foolishly trying to wrestle Mufarrj who carries an enormous sword. "spoken thus in front of our Primus Garus or other members of the Milites, to preserve my honour he and any that laughed would die so that I might save face. As it is, he needs to be disciplined. You shall provide this Jacques. Once Mufarrj is done with him I want a display of discipline done that the men and you may profit. My Pater had a saying; 'Iron sharpens iron'. Your men are like lumps of iron, only your iron can sharpen them and straighten them into real soldiers. They crave this Jacques, they cry out for it. That they have not received it from you is your failing. But it will not be my failing." He then returns to watching the fight.

Die rolls of 2, 4, and 9 for iniative, attack, and defense, respectively

Initative is 2+1=3
Attack is 14+4 -3 =15
Defense is 10+9=19

However, he spends a confidence point and increases his defense to 22. This round is a push. Dominic gets the sense that he's pulling his punches, as it were, even though he almost grappled him. Continuing to engage Mufarjj may be unwise, in that he may decide to not pull his swings. If he swings that thing any closer, Dominic could lose a hand, or his head. (Note: if Mufarjj had gone full force, with the confidence point on the attack, your grapple would've been successful, but then he would've struck you with the pomel of his sword on your head, busting your skull open and taking you out, moving your wounds to incpacaitated. To wit: 14+4+3=21-19 Defense of Dominic's. 2 AA to Mufarjj +12 damage=14 damage.) Dominic realizes that grapping Mufarjj is probably a bad idea, if he would want to change the scope of the "contest" the result would be bad for Dominic.

"Jacques...call off your man, and show him and the others the cost of insolence." Alexei says quietly. "Mufarrj will kill him if he tries again."

"I believe I have made my point, my lord Alexei." Mufarjj puts up his sword. Note: Dominic has a free shot here, but taking it is likely to be very costly.

"This is just two packs of dogs coming together. They need to see that there ways will not carry the day. And they need to know who is the big dog, the leader. Dominic has beaten most of the men in this turb with his fists. Unless I'm mistaken, your man will easily best him. Hard on Dominic but a lesson for the rest. They will be more willing to listen now."

"That is enough Dominic! I'll not have you killed before we get started. Perhaps you can best him at dice later."

Alexei turns to Jacques and continues in Latin. "It is not enough. You should be even more outraged than I. That man insulted your senior, in your presence. His words might as well have come from your mouth. Your men listen to you, respect you...or do they? I want that man disciplined by you that his correction may serve the others. Their ways must change, now show Dominic and the others who is in charge and the price for insolence." he turns back to look at the little man. "It is better that you perform this than I. You might still be able to correct him with a gentler hand. I would have to spill blood...you would have that avoided yes? Then be a leader of men...and instill some discipline. Iron sharpens Iron Jacques. Where is your iron?"

Jacques looks at Alexei for a moment with a "Are you kidding?" look. Then shrugs and casts Trap of entangling vines

Exploding die 1d10=2 4 + 18 = 22
Targeting 1d10+7=8
Exploding dice1d10=5 10 + 8 = 18

Jacques wants to be as exact as possible to miss Mufarjj and hit Dominic.

Dominic needs a Qik-1 roll of +9 to avoid being entangled.

"Wait, what?" Dominic looks up, a bit confused. "We're just sparring, he's not trying to actually cut me.... are you?" He gives Mufarrq a strange look.

Since I'm assuming Jacques has to use verbals and gestures, Dominic can see who's trying to cast the spell and won't move. He'll be a little surprised when he finds out he's the target though, then laughs it off and waits.

"I gave it some thought. Consider, that when I do combat with my weapon of choice the results are likely lethal, I cuold've easily killed you, or at least cracked your skull wide open. If I'd let you close you might've been able to grapple me, but then I could have brought the pommel of my sword on top of your head. I would've traded a cut or scrape for a crippling blow, which would leave you nearly dead at best.

"You need to consider missions where the foes you face will be willing to put up a fight. That they will consider whether to let you close. That they might feint and get you to fire your crossbows prematurely. Once your crossbow has fired, you then have to fall back to swords, knives and axes, and I see many of you holding your close quarter weapons with obvious discomfort.

"Your situation has changed. Whereas, before as a bandit, brigand or thief you relied upon overwhelming force and suprise, now those are elements of a battle plan that may not survive the first engagement. They are indeed valuable tactics. But against soldiers they cannot be trusted against any degree of certain success. Against creatures of mystic might, such as djinn of my homeland they will be nearly useless.

"I apologize, my lord Alexei, if I have overstepped my bounds, but my service to the djinn and then men I had in my employ when we first met have given me a keen insight into men like this. You cannot win their hearts and minds with orders and talk of honor. Theirs is the language of skill, merit, and most importantly coin."

Jacques walks over to Dominic and Mufarrj .(in Latin) "Listen to your man's words Imperator. You can not teach them honor before they learn to to be soldiers."

He leans in close to Dominic, still trapped in the vines and says in a low voice ( that Mufarrj would be able to hear).(in french)" We talked of this last night Dominic. The Imperator is our new liege now. He will see to our payments. He will see to our food. And he and others will provide a place for the a families to come. But you must listen." Jacques gentle bonks Dominic on the head. "Now apologize to the Imperator and tell him you meant no harm. If it is not nice, I shall have to leave you in here for a bit."

Alexei looks at both Mufarrj and Jacques shaking his head. "I'm not trying to turn these men into knights dammit! Soldiers will do! But look at them! They can't even get into a line without insulting me! And by insulting me they've insulted their own captain, Jacques! We are starting with the basics. Getting in formation, wheeling on command. Maintaining order and discipline. So far...they can't do any of that, including following the most basic of protocols during inspecion. If they can't keep thei mouths shut while getting some criticism from their betters then there's going to be no end of trouble when we go into the field! Have you thought about their reputation? Should the local nobles come looking for bandits...well they'll find them won't they? But if they are transfomed into soldiers they can hide in plain sight!" Alexei sighs and runs a hand through his hair.

"Jacques, my man Gunnar there is going to run them through their paces while we watch. Believe me, he is one of the best sergeants in Europe. He can straighten them out if they're inclined to. But they have...to...listen! Please come with me for dinner tonight, Mufarrj as well, we shall devise a strategy for them." he waves to the group of bandits.

"As for this one..." he points to Dominic switching from Latin to French. "polishing armour should suit him. And if he doesn't like that, we can always use one of his size to clean the gong chute." he steps closer and leans down. "And if he addresses me common again he'll be buried 'neath the gong chute where he belongs."

((for reference, a popular method for polishing armour was to put it into a sack with some sand and throw it and shake it, it was good for strength building. And the gong chute was the chute built in castls that chamber pots were poured down, the task of cleaning it was the gong farmer's))

"A word, my lords," indicating Jacques and Alexei. He indicates that they should follow him out of earshot of everyone else.

"I have perhaps more military command than either of you, no offense. I am not asking to take command. However, I suggest breaking the turb down into units, integrating the turbs between the units, and assign commanders to each unit. And then based on my lord Alexei's guidance we institute a training regimen suitable to build an esprit de corps. Four units would be preferrable, but three could do. I would be honored to take a command." OOC: Mufarjj has a Leadership of 4, without specialization, I could throw a spec soldier in, and it would give him a 5.

Alexei seems to be calming down. "A decent idea Mufarrj, let us use that as a starting point this evening. We can see how they perform now and come to some decisions over our meal."