Chapter 16 - Side Stories

I decided to move ya over here :smiley:

Here is fine. I shall presume you are speaking Latin unless you specifically say otherwise.
Also, your prose is most excellent I must say. However, you are unused to the way things are around here, so I am going to drop in some corrections in the responses to your words and actions.

Adrianna was awoken by her husband. [color=blue]The watch commander has sent a messenger. Mysterious strangers ride through the village, up to see the magi no doubt, yet they do not yield to identify themselves.
She knew the protocol, inform the guards up at the keep, the keep watch on the visitors. She kissed her husband and two children, and prepared herself. She put on a cloak of raven feathers, raised her arms, and was transformed…

You will notice that it seems the guards were expecting you, and the Night Bailiff has you wait outside the gate until one of the magi. However, it is mere moments before Inigo of Flambeau arrives to greet you.

[color=red]Salve sodale! Please, do enter!

At this the doors to the castle swing open, allowing the men entrance. A short moment later they stand in the courtyard, surrounded by the Guards of Andorra.

Inigo leads the visitors into the courtyard [color=red]“Magi Titus, if you would please accompany me? Your men will have to remain here.”

[color=red]Not a problem. Maria, Ximena; take these men to the hall and find them some food and drink.

The issue settled, Titus is escorted into the meeting hall to wait while the Inigo went to inform Antonio the guest had arrived in the chamber. A new guard, still green, is assigned to stand with Titus.

At that moment, Antonio enters the hall. The guard stands down and takes his position by the door, keeping a watchful eye on the strange man and his giant dog.

[color=red]Better late than never. We are fighting a two front battle here. I have already sent a contingent to rescue Carmen and defeat the efreet that has long plagued us. I have stayed behind with a reserve force to defend the covenant, and already we were attacked by a small band of rogue spirits that our Ludovicio of Tytalus had to put down. Now, our scouts report a band of giants and ogres are on the march against us, perhaps to attack the keep, but more likely the intend to attack the village below us. I would go to wipe them out, but I think it is a trick to lure me away from the covenant so the real enemy can strike in full force.
If you are here to help, I want to send you to assist Inigo in intercepting this war march. And as I had told Eustace in the letter I sent him, those who come to our assistance shall be greatly rewarded.

OOC: Yup yup, figured ya would boss. I'll figure things out soon enough! And thanks!

"Giants and Ogres eh? They sound like a fine hunt!" Titus booms good-naturedly. He quickly becomes serious upon realizing the gravity of the situation “My men and I can be ready to leave within the hour, send us where you will.”

[color=red]Excellent. Inigo shall likewise be assigned a number of our own men. The two of you are to leave within the hour.

"Of course Archmagus. Now if you both will please excuse me, I'll go see to my men." Titus says, bowing before leaving.

A short time later Titus and his men stand again at the gates of the castle. There is a casual conversation being held about the upcoming battle and the wenches that no doubt will eagerly await their return. This quickly dies out when Inigo and his men approach.

“Master Inigo, shall we begin the hunt? Vicious beasts need slaying and fair maidens saving!” Adding almost as an afterthought “Or something like that...” Titus' wide grin disappears quickly “Do we know where these creatures are to be found? If not, Cadoc can assist us greatly.” he says motioning towards the dog at his side. "I'd prefer to catch the bastards unaware, why fight fair when you can fight smart? Unless of course you have an objection?”

[color=green]Inigo: [color=red]If you are fighting fair, then you are doing things all wrong. Think less like Sir Galahad, and more like El Cid.
Vortigern shall be joining us as well. There is also the matter of a Hag that associates with the giants. We are going to need as much muscle as we can spare on this.

And it's Archmagus. Archmagi is plural.

Ludovico arrives, approaching quietly from within the fortress to stand beside
Inigo with some familiarity to his demeanor. His approach betrays something of
the man himself. He is comfortable in the half-light of twilight, or indeed the
shadows of the keep itself. He is dressed in leather reinforced with a thin
layer of metal rings and strips, strategically placed, and largely non-descript
dark close fitting clothing. The shortsword and collection of dirks on his belt
and the fitted leather half-mask that for now hangs at his neck, all enshrouded
by the ‘drabness’ of his cloak, complete an ensemble that ‘highwayman’ through
and through.

The man inclines his head slightly first to Inigo and then to Titus as he
adjusts the leather bracers on his forearms. [color=red] “Good Evening
Gentlemen.” he says, his expression turning wry for a moment. He turns
his gaze and the obvious focus of his attention when he speaks next is Inigo.
[color=red] “This ‘raid’. It is… haphazard seeming. Foolish. Ogres are
stupid, yet… not suicidal enough to attack a Covenant lightly. I suspect
something else is happening. The Hag encountered on our Drake Hunting
Expedition with Archmagus Perez is the first thing that comes to mind. She was
guarded by exactly such ‘soldiery’ previously, and has every reason to resent
our unsuccessful hunt at that time. I thus advise caution. Recall that she
transformed a Maga whom had accompanied us at that time.”

Then Ludovico turns towards Titus. Finishing his adjustment of his bracers he
offers to shake hands with the new Magus. His expression is at once
considering, in the eyes, and warm in the smile and countenance. [color=red]
“Welcome. I am Ludovico, of Tytalus. A pleasure. We shall have to take some
time and introduce ourselves properly once this little problem is resolved.”
he says. After shaking hands he begins fastening his mask up over his
face, affixing the straps to secure it in place.

OOC: Durp! I knew that... fixed it Boss. But at least I didn't call Ludo, Vort in my post! =P

“Hah! I like you already!” Titus' smile returns as he lets out a good-natured laugh. Watching Ludovico approach, he listens to the assessment of the situation, frowning slightly as the Hag is mentioned. Taking Ludovico's extended hand Titus shakes it. “Titus of Flambeau, a pleasure to meet you as well.”

Introductions done, he turns to Inigo and asks “It would appear that everyone is here then, shall we get moving? These Ogres won't slay themselves you know!”

Make what preparations you need. Inigo will assemble a half dozen soldiers (who all have names), and you guys will set out within the hour (that is, as of tomorrow when I post again).

Ludovico quirks a brow towards Titus, though now that his mask is affixed it is difficult to gauge the man’s expressions. In this instance however his body language betrays the amusement that is concealed in his face. He gestures with some slight admonishment towards the other Magus before splaying his hands deprecatingly as he speaks. [color=red] “Magus Titus, we are still ill-prepared. Though your fighting spirit is not doubted, I should like to engage with more foreknowledge of our enemy. I have already sent my scouts ahead to gain a deeper measure of the enemy. Perchance that we may engage them piecemeal rather than massed against us. I suggest that we all await their return and report, and then proceed better informed.”

[ OOC: My intent is for Ludo to have dispatched ‘Valkian & Co.’ to do the scouting, under orders to scout & report in regards to this attack, and not engage anything. This would have occurred as soon as he was informed that the ‘raid’ was coming. ]


“Your scouts? Well alright then! Discretion being the better part of valor and what have you.” Titus says, shrugging his shoulders and making a gesture of acquiescence. “My men and I are rather accomplished skirmishers in our own right, but I bow before you and your scout's superior knowledge of the local terrain.”

[color=green]Inigo: [color=red]We can get going on the move while we wait for your scouts. We can also use human eyes for scouting. I simply do not trust your ghosts Ludo, nor do our men.
My plan is this. Men on the march, even monstrous men such as ogres and giants, require a baggage train for supplies and equipment. At the very least, some shlock hauling a cart of dead things for foodstuff. Have skirmish units hit the rear, cut off the supplies, and then retreat & regroup. The second part of the plan is to lay traps in the terrain; caltrops, covered pits, and the like. After the hit and run on the baggage, if they still adavnce, force them to do battle on ground of our choosing. If the field is prepped right, then their numbers shall count for nothing.

At the mention of ghosts Titus glances over at Ludo his expression thoughtful. "I volunteer to lead my men in the assault on the baggage train. No offense to your men intended, but when it comes to skirmishing, nothing comes close to a good longbow. Besides, since you are more familiar with the terrain it would be logical that you should set up the defensive measures to take full advantage of that fact."

[color=red]Longbow? You are using a hunting weapon in war? The short bow is better, you can fire it from horseback.

OOC The Spanish didn't use long bows, instead archery was employed from horseback in the Moorish fashion, using a standard sized short bow. It is a character PoV thing, not the SG's comment on the effectivness of weaponry.

OOC: Oh yes, I'm quite aware! I've spent a bit of time studying warfare of the period ( the curse of being a Military Science Major ). The Longbow is purely an English thing for the most part.

"Hah, I could say the same to you! Sure you can fire from horseback, but you get nowhere near the power or the range of a longbow. By the time you could get close enough to fire with your bow, you'd be a pincushion!"

[color=red]I don't use a bow. I use magic. The guards don't use bows either, their prefered missle weapon is the javelin.
Combat is all about getting up close and personal. Ogres don't use bows either. At the most, they throw rocks.
Your experiences may be different, but from my experience, I think archery is besed used for sniper fire. I think you should have them cover you while you personally assault the rear with magic.
But they are your men. Assign them to tactics that you feel are the wisest. I am assigning you to command the assault on the baggage train.

Titus shrugs "It would appear our experiences are vastly different then. However I do not doubt the effectiveness our your strategies, just as you should not doubt mine. I just find it preferable to be out of arms reach of the Giant swinging his club is all." Upon being told of his assignment to deal with the baggage train Titus nods "Well then, unless there is something else we will be on our way..." Not but a few moments later he spins back around "My apologies to both of you, it would appear in my haste that I forgot to ask one key question. Is there a location where you wish to engage the main forces as to best take advantage of the terrain?"

OOC: When they do leave, they will be using Titus' Familiar Cadoc to track down the Beasts. The roll is as follows:

Hunt ( Tracking ) roll: = 1
Second roll due to a 1: = 6
Total: 7 ( Hunt ) + 3 ( Perception ) + 12 = 22

[color=red]That all depends on where they are right now at the moment and whch approach they are taking. If coming around the north side of the mountain, there is a narrow pass we can trap them in. If coming around the south corner, they will be crossing a wide rocky field with a cliff overlooking them.

OOC: I put Cadoc's Hunt roll in the previous post, but I can easily move it if needed.

"Understood." Titus nods to both of them in a salute of sorts "Good hunting Magi." At this he and his men depart the castle, following Cadoc as they attempt to find the baggage train that Inigo had mentioned.

Inigo assigns two men to guide you and provide recon; Juan Carlos Menendez and Jose Thomas Rodruigez. The advancing force is easy to find, just a few lagues west of our mountain. The tricky part is getting around behind them without being noticed. They are a few miles away from the point when they will have to decide to go around the north or south end.

Ludo, something has gone wrong. Your ghostly scouts have not yet returned...