1221.1 A Turbulent Matter

"And after he has polished some armor, I'll run him around Mont Beuvray two or three times this evening, before prayers." OOC: both characters have Sta +3, but I just gave Mufarjja a specialty of Distance running in athletics, so it is an effective 4.

As Alexei surveys the turb of misfits and hooligans he mutters. "We'll likely have the cleanest armour in France from this lot and some of the best runners, I doubt Dominic will run alone with Mufarrj. Gunnar! I believe you're up."

"Yes m'lord!" Gunnar stands up with the help of Helmut and walks towards the line.

"You sorry lot! Get off those horses! Probably stole them anyway! Before you can ride one of those let's see if ye can stand a straight line and march!"

Michelle and Brione stand to either side of Gunnar. "Set those steeds in the pasture with the farmhands and then return to the line, then we'll see how well ye can can count!" he holds up a weatherbeaten baton and gestures towards the pasture and farmhand and waits for the men to comply.

((Gunnar is an excellent teacher, but he can only teach so many, so I figure he'll be teching the maximum amount allowed this season and then work on the next group. His first goal is to get them to fight as a cohesive unit as the group combat rules as well as teching Single Weapon, since the bandits seem a bit lacking in that. The rest will be drilled by Brione and Michelle, which basically amounts to Practice Xp for the season with Alexei, Jacques and Mufarrj ovrseeing them all I'm sure. We should pick the maxmimum amount of Grogs Gunnar can teach this season and give them his teaching xp, while others get the practice xp

We can maybe move to the dinner conversation soon?))

((The example Brabanter has crossbow of 5+2, ride 4 and single weapon 6 so they may not be as bad as you think. figure that the example is a "sergeant"))

((Wow, is that the average of each man in the turb? My impression was that they were little more than brawlers.))

Baudouin, from the book, he's the most senior of the turb, nominally Jacques second in command. I would expect most of the men to be in the 2-3 range for their bow and weapon skills, both. Of course, affinities and puissance would change that a bit. And of course they wouldn't all have that.

((Ok so, the plan is still solid. At 2-3 they can learn a bunch and get a profitable amount of XP, better than mere practice. That sergeant mentioned should help in training them. Gunnar can also teach Leadership to a high degree, so Companions and Magi might be interested in taking lessons from him also.))

((They will not be bad with weapons but their equipment is sub standard. I see them becoming a unit like the Genoese crossbowmen. Use the horses for mobility and fight on foot. Unless Alexei chases them all away :astonished: ))

"Why you bunch of hooligans! You egged my sanctum!"

"Cheese it! It's old magus Alexei!"

((Should we move on to an officer's dinner perhaps with Alexei, Jacques, Mufarrj and perhaps an acting Sergeant from the Turb?))

I can't see much else for you to do.
Such a dinner should include equal numbers from Atsingani and Mons Electi. Probably captains and seargants, so 6-8 people.

As this involves the turb and its future deployment and structure, definitely we'd need some additional input. When we only had a handful of grogs at most there was no need, now we have a small army.

Go ahead and set this up as you'd like it, it would be wise for it to be a dinner of captains and sergeants.

Initially Alexei was going to host the dinner in his sanctum but then decided better of it and chose one of the dining rooms on the mundane side of the manor to make it easier for the sergeants to attend. He made sure to clear things with Reynault and dealt with a several minute long cursing in French from the chef, presumably he was still going to provide some kind of dinner tonight, with his repeated yelling of 'couchon' Alexei assumed it would be pork.

From here he brought in Gunnar and Helmut but was keeping Michelle and Brione separated from the new turb for now. Both were a bit eager to get some payback for Brione's treatment in winter. He gave Reynault an invitation to send to the rest of the magi, should they be interested in attending this dinner, but as Alexei was nominally in charge of security and the current princeps, their attendance was not mandatory.

In the invitations he included several issues to be discussed regarding the turb, some of which was contingent upon Mons Electi and Atsingani coming to an accord on whether the Covenants would merge or not.

I. It shall be decided who is in charge of the Turb. If the Turb is considered a mundane resource of Mons Electi, then it must be managed with prudence and effectiveness during times of war and peace. Shall the Princeps be in charge and subject the Turb to the confusion of rotating leadership or shall it have a consistent leader who is then advised upon by the Princeps, the Council of Magi, and individual Magi's needs?

II. The Turb's reputation and disposition shall be changed. Regarded as bandits by their deeds and reputation, their conduct reflects upon our own and represents an intolerable distraction upon the covenant and will likely attract unwanted (but not unwarranted) attention from mundane authorities, if in fact they have not already. A commensurate wage shall be paid to the turb, with garnishments for loss of discipline, immoral acts, breaking of law, and acts which reflect badly upon the character of the turb and the Covenant. Additional methods of discouraging such behavior as well as encouraging its opposite shall be put into place effective immediately, including expulsion or extreme sanction of those truculent grogs who refuse to change, that their correction or reward will benefit the other grogs. We will need ideas for this reward and correction as well as volunteers to implement them, and consistency in their implementation.

III. The training of the Grogs. Their current status shows that they are effective as a mounted mob with dangerous weapons that can be used only a few times in battle. Their armaments and mounts are expensive to maintain, and their use is questionable. We should ascertain the price of their mounts and armaments' maintenance and see whether or not it is cost effective to keep. Training in martial drilling and small group tactics is a must as is increasing their skills in hand to hand combat. We will rarely need to mobilize the entire turb, but will often require small groups of them. Training should focus on that as well as assessing their capabilities and strengthening what they lack and refining what they have.

IV. The Turb's use in times of peace. Training and drilling is essential, but they can also be put to great use during this time of rebuilding. Some of the turb can be put to use rebuilding the terribly lacking defenses of Mons Electi. Paid a good wage they can rebuild the walls and clear back forest from the battlements. Trained mercenaries can also be put to profitable use without implying any association with the covenant and especially the Order. I suggest that while some train, others rebuild and then rotate through the seasons. When rebuilding is well in hand we might put some of the excess turb to use as mercenaries in service to this Tribunal and the Order. With proper discretion they can even help in some mundane areas as well, which will go a long way to changing its reputation. Such activities would of course be carefully considered.

V. Additional matters. Please present additional matters with this sudden potential increase in our turb. None of the above points are set in stone, I do not have the authority to do so. They present my own opinions on what we might do with the turb. We shall of course be listening to other ideas as well as consulting the Charter and the Code for guidance.

Some of what you wrote above might benefit from posting in the OCC thread. I'm not sure if everyone is watching this thread, or at least watching it very carefully.
I think having Alexei in charge of the turb is good. However, Alexei will nominally have to take orders from the acting Princeps when he isn't the Princeps, for the times someone asks that the turb do something, Alexei has to make sure it happens. Of course, he can delegate that responsibility down his chain of command. If Alexei's the general, the Princeps is the magical authority. There are times when Alexei holds both offices. The Princeps has ultimate authority, so unless it is stated in the charter that there is a military commander designated by the council at a whole, the Princeps decides what to do with the turb. You can rely on the good graces of the Princeps, or you can put it into the charter.

As I see it, Alexei needs to institute a training program with some immediate goal. If Alexei can persuade all his captains and sergeants on his methods and short-term goals (within a year), I'm inclined to make this a collaborative Leadership roll, similar to Etiquitte rules in HoH:Societas, similar to the Scavenger Hunt. and not even make it stress. If the pay is high, and the women folk can be brought into the fold, all the better. Yes, some of this requires a disposition of Atsingani, whether they are a vassal or the magi merge with Mons Electi. I think either method offers interesting choices, and this is up to the players to decide and then RP in character, it makes little difference to me.

((With what is happening in the Council thread which precedes this thread.))

At the commander's dinner: "...as for training. When they can be spared, I will agree to having 8 men train per season with your turb. We can start this season if you wish."

Dominic whispers back, also loud enough for Mufarrj will hear, "I'd be willing to listen if he realized he be talkin' to men instead of linen-frocked choir boys used to getting on their knees for their good damned Father. A man's pride can only take so much beating, and we won't let yours take much more." Raising his head, he shouts louder so Alexei can hear, "I apologize for mocking you as you mocked us, Imperator! You had the right ta treat men ye've never met like shit and I did not since we placed ourselves under your orders. We did swear to Jacques to accept yer commands, and my bellyachin' is not what I promised him, and I's see to admitting I be making your job and promise to Jacques more difficult to fulfill. I'll be doing my best to stop interfering, and I'm sorry." He pauses for a bit. But as soon as anyone opens their mouth to talk, "But don't expect me to stop complaining! You's ain't never met a man better at following orders and bitching 'bout 'em while doing it than me!"

Dominic fumes for a bit about polishing armor, but stays silent. However, when Alexei leans down and verbally spits in his face, Dominic seems to involuntarily open his mouth and crack back. "And if you speak to Jacques like that one more time likes you be speaking to me I'l make sure my smelly ass shit ghost haunts you so you can never sleep again! I don't care what all that latin heebee jeebie shite you spouted at him a moment ago, you can talk down to me all you want BUT STOP TEARING DOWN JACQUES! Everytime you put down his men, you're insulting him. Everytime you complain about their choice of weapon, you're saying what he did wasn't good enough. Everytime you call them thugs, and brigands, and whatever jacked up names you want to say you're besmirching Jacques' honor and what he's accomplished. You don't know what we've been through, you don't know what we've lived, you don't know how many brothers and cousins have died to keep our sisters and wives and children alive! You can promise us a better life but we ain't dogs to accept your abuse! You don't get handed respect on a platter, you frikkin' EARN it! Jacques earned ours, you've apparently earned his otherwise we wouldn't be here. Give us a flippin' chance to earn respect and we'll realize yours! Damnit! Sorry, Jacques, I couldn't take his insults to you ennymore."
Again, after a brief pause, Dominic hesitently speaks up again with head bowed. "And... umm... if that Latin bit with Jacques earlier wasn't you insulting us again, I... umm.. well dammit if I don't deserve to clean that damn gong chute and getting kicked out o' the group. Sorry, Imperator." But he looks up again. "IF."

((OOC: Please note, I realize you have the Gentle Gift, but if you guys have been jabbering in a different language in front of him, like most people he's going to assume the worst until shown otherwise.))

Alexei regards Dominic and his tirade much like a lady looks on at a noisome bug; with disinterest and slight disgust. He turns to Jacques and speaks in Latin.

"The lout does know something of what I speak; respect. I have no interest in earning his respect, I believe it would only come from vulgar displays of magic and power which I'm loathe to show before common chaf like this, especially when they are to be listening to me. Have him get to polishing the armour, afterwards Mufarrj will set him a fearsome pace round the mountain. But what he says is true somewhat Jacques, insults travel throughout the ranks. You have perhaps heard the phrase; shit runs downhill? Make sure he understands where on the hill he and the others stand. If they don't want to be treated like bandits, they'd best stop acting like them. We shall discuss over dinner. I do not wish to demean you Jacques, not in front of your men. That is is why I address you in Latin. If the men feel I have not earned your respect, I leave that to you resolve, please let me know what feel would be best." he raises his spear and points to Gunnar.

"Master Gunnar!" he calls in French. "See if they can manage to keep up with your commands. Jacques, please have your sergeants assist Gunnar. There may need to be some changes among them depending on their skill. Gunnar has a keen eye." He looks down again at Dominic. "Your skill at polishing had better be half as good as your skill at insolence little man."

Over the next few days/weeks, Dominic probably leads the way in complaining about using a pickaxe to nail in a hammer, or a hammer to cut cloth, but follows through on learning to parade like a pansy ass and learn useless "formations." I'm guessing he's not the only one doing the complaining, just the loudest so he gets most/all of the punishment.

On the brighter side, like any good drill sergeant, I'm sure Gunnar is uniting us in our hatred of his pointless ways that teach the turbs more than they thought - I did have one question though. I'm sure a lot of this is being shaped by the dinner/OOC thread, but are there any other grogs or turbs that join the Atsingani boys in training? Or is every single grog/person Alexei brings in being put in a position of authority/power/responsibility OVER the grogs? Basically, even if some of the "turb sergeants" of Atsingani are being elevated to NCO command, I need to know if the majority of the turb is being kept as the "lowest of the low" alone. This act would make a big difference in morale, and whether or not Dominic starts bugging Jacques or not about a "bum" deal.

Or, if Jacques is sending in men to be trained eight at a time, and Dominic is saved for near the end, then he'll be the lone grumbling wolf that everyone who's gone through the training can flick their noses at.

Some details as to the disposition of the turb need to be ironed out. Because Atsingani is a vassal they have a right to request some autonomy. The turb is not integrated unless Atsingani says so. So exercises that highlight some of the differences between the turbs are probably on tap. Convincing the turb to appreciate an integrated command unit would be advised.

Just pushing this along, if Alexei is going to do a dinner, and issue orders for training and all that, I'd like to get that moving.