Chapter 4a (Winter 1231): Amazons on the Move

Around the beginning of the year, the covenant starts to hear rumors of Amazon raids moving gradually in what appears to be the Nova Castra. The raids are always small, with the main intent seemingly to take a few prisoners (men and girls), as well as provisions.

Scott

Gregorius listens to the reports of the raids with concern, and arranges for the source to be paid - with the promise of a bonus once the covenant has confirmed the report.

He then calls an irregular Council Meeting, inviting the three Council members (himself, Viola and Fray), as well as the guest magi and Miklos, the Turb Captain.

"Sodales, we have been preparing to seek out the Amazons - it appears they may be coming to us. I have reports of small raids on villages at [OOC: how far away are the raids?] - they appear to be getting progressively closer to us."

"I do not intend to sit waiting for them to attack us in the night. Instead, let us go forth and intercept their raiding parties on our own terms."

He pauses to wait for initial comments.

"I am with you magus Gregorius. Let's take the fight to these enemies of the Order" replies Wishbone

Fray clearly agrees "We need to act. We should try to find the raiders, and at the very least stop them; and consider tracking them back to their encampments.. Also alerting those peoples round us that they are raiding too."

Assuming we know a rough heading and distance of the raids at present? - how far are we talking?

"Thank-you, Sodales," says Gregorius. "Our previous plan will need some modifications, but parts of it can remain the same. I propose that Viola remain here to hold the fort, whilst the rest of us go forth. Miklos, please can you liaise with the village to organise a band of their riders to accompany us."

"Fray will scout in bird form for raiding parties, and if possible identity their leaders and any obvious magical support. We will then form a plan of attack based on the scouting results and local terrain; as a starting point before modifications, though, I would like Asena's wolves sent wide around them to cut off their retreat. Fray will turn their leader and anyone else we want to interrogate into sheep, before Wishbone burns the remainder."

"Timaios and I will then interrogate the captives, and we will plan our next steps from there."

He pauses for comments from the others, then adds:

"I would like to capture at least one of their magic users as part of this expedition - it is important that we find out what their capabilities are. If possible, I would also like a senior commander who knows their long-term plans, and the knowledge of exactly who amongst their people was responsible for the slaughter of the previous covenant."

Fray offers after Gregorius sums up, a quaver in his voice but loudly "I am speaking from direct experience of a covenant being destroyed, when I say that these opponents need to be killed. I'll look at the risk of capturing one at the time, but my default is to kill them to a man. I lost my wife to events like these, and won't see them again." He's not looking at anyone, but to the floor.

then more softly, "I take these memories from my mind almost every day" holding up a small stone curio shaped like a kneeling woman. "when the magic ends the memories flood back. Not again."

Gregorius shakes his head. "Sodalis, if we knew that those we faced were all of their people, I might agree with you. But there is a significant likelihood that they are not, so failing to interrogate one could increase our chance of being attacked later at a time or from an angle we were not expecting. We do not have easily available the necromancy we would need to question them after killing them, so that means capturing if reasonably possible."

Fray looks up to Gregorius, using a respectful tone, "You know my position, so I suggest we move on. How far out from us was the last attack?"

The latest attack you've learned about took place about 50 miles to the southeast of the covenant. The Amazons seem to be following the course of River Lik, which runs southeast to northwest into the Don.

Scott

"50 miles away is the latest I know of, following the course of the River Lik, but that information will have taken time to travel."

[OOC: MTKnife - do we know how old the information is?]

"In theory, they could arrive on our doorstep at any time. We've probably got a bit more time than that, as they seem to be carrying out raids rather than heading straight for us, but I don't want to waste it. It will take us a bit of time to gather our allies and provisions, however; Miklos, can we be ready to set out at first light the day after tomorrow?"

"In the meantime, Fray, would you scout to check that they're not already in our immediate vicinity?"

[OOC: Gregorius is also paying attention to his Premonitions on this - Per 3 + Pre 3 + Aura 6 (?) + die = 12 + die. Imminent mortal peril is EF 3, with mortal peril a week in the future being EF 9, so hopefully he can get at least some idea if we're about to be attacked immediately, assuming he doesn't botch.]

Fray nods his assent.

[once the meeting ends Fray will grab a few things like his raven feather cloak, cast his transformation spells, and take wing. Fray will stay high in the air, so he can see far off and be well outside weapons ranges.]
Cloak of Black Feathers (MuCo(An) 30) vs casting of +46 + aura
Return of the Master's Voice (MuAn 20) same casting]

The latest raid happened only a few days ago.

Gregorius' Premonitions tell him there's a growing danger, but he doesn't think there will be a imminent attack.

While Fray is flying, what's Gregorius doing?

Scott

Gregorius thanks Fray, then turns to Viola:

"Viola, if all goes well then we should be able to deal with this threat before it hits the covenant. However, all may not go well, or there is the possibility that this is a diversion. There are a few measures I think it's worth taking to guard against that."

"Firstly, we should maintain communication with each other. I recommend that you take an arcane connection to someone going with us who will not be protected by magic resistance - probably Miklos, with his permission. I will also take a connection to someone who can get a message to you easily - is there anyone you'd recommend? If not, I will probably take it to the watch tower, and let whoever is on duty take the message."

"Secondly, I recommend you keep the civilian population somewhere defensible. If we have people strung out at the quarry and in the woods, they'll be easy pickings for raiders. If all goes well, it'll only be for a week or so."

[OOC: I assume the wall around the covenant did get built? The Tremere said they'd dispatch the architect before the snows fell, but I don't think we ever got it actually confirmed as built.]

Viola is fine with taking an AC to Miklos, and yes, the walls have been built.

On the subject of the covenfolk, she wrinkles her nose. "They...come...and go. They eat and they work, yes? How we can keep safe?"

Scott

"I'd focus on keeping them within the walls - those should slow down any attackers and give you a chance to respond. Doing that will give us some disruption to our income and building projects, but assuming we can get this wrapped up reasonably quickly it shouldn't be anything we can't absorb. I'd recommend checking the food supplies with Phocus - we should have a reasonable level, but they won't be very exciting. I'll leave it to your discretion whether to try to build up a stock of game or fish with an emergency hunt or purchase now if Fray's survey doesn't turn up an immediate threat."

Once Gregorius and Viola have finished their discussion of that issue, he looks round the rest of the table. "Does anyone have any comments, or other things we need to consider?"

Fray nods his agreement. "I am happy to carry a short term connection which can be used. My thought is that I place the connection on the ground after dusk and after the dawn way from myself, so that messages messages may be sent via it. Perhaps the other is left so I can alert you from far away should I find something. Two pieces of a broken twig perhaps?"

"Otherwise the plan holds very reasonable, thank you Gregorius."

The plans seem sound to me and I have nothing to add, replies Wishbone