We began by plan to travel to Phodius then New Jerusalem, if necessary, to recruit the troops necessary to attack the town during the winter, when it was unexpected.
While we were making the plans, a sad side effect of the removal of the demonic Halflings happened. All of their kids, with their parents missing – were in need of food, shelter and love. In all their are 18 children 16 aged 1 – 7 and two 13 year old girls who are caring for the other little ones as best they can.
We sought out the Halfling ruler of the area, one Sheriff Goodbody (the human leader, Mayor Bark Matley was rumored to be very cozy with Lord we were trying to depose.)
After asking around we learned that he was based out of the town hole, we went there, but no one was present, it turns out everyone was helping to save the Center Tree (that had been damaged in the mudslide.) There are humans present so we decided to help out with the tree digging. One of the more gruesome aspects of the mission is the body retrieval, as there is no way to pull out most of the bodies. We salvage 2 or 3, but they are in poor repair.
During the third shift of tree duty we meet Pete Hornblower, we chatted with him for awhile and learn that aside from the children’s conditions, the loss of the Western Halflings isn’t all that bad, as they were rabble-rousers.
Thanks to helpful Pete, we were introduced to the Sheriff (who is a very fancy dresser), the Sheriff is busy so we return to talking with Pete. I ask him if the Halflings are close to their human leadership? Pete says, the Lord doesn’t like halflings. Pete says the Lord’s father was a very nice man, Lord Harren. Sadly, he recounts, Sir Harrow, died in the Magallen invasion and when Lord Harren died, the Lording was given to his nephew Brance. Pete seemed to be getting a little put off by my line of questioning so I switched to a much easier one and asked what he does for a living. It turns out Pete makes pastries, he’s a local pastry chef. Sadly, Aziz the Diplomatic immediately begins to make him ridiculously uncomfortable with open talk of rebellion. Pete quickly breaks off the conversation and invites us to come have one of his pastries sometime.
We prepare to go talk to the Sheriff, but I must mention that throughout this entire time period, Aziz the Loving, keeps trying to get me to agree to enslave the children of the diabolists. Sometimes I fear that Aziz belongs more with people like the Inquisition, rather than people like me. Enslaving children because their parents are evil? It is the same as the Inquisitors who took us.
Nevertheless, we go back to the town hole and wait for Sheriff Goodbody. For quite some time he talks with human guards. After about 45 minutes the Sheriff returns to the hole and, very kindly, invites us for dinner, where we promptly lie about our involvement with Mr. Illwind, letting the Sheriff know that we were business partners with the Illwinds.
Our talk eventually Lord Brance, and the Sheriff tells us that the Lord dumped all the Halflings in together with the Western Halflings.
Additionally, the Sheriff lets us know that he reports to Reeve where he lets him know of the weeks goings on. I can see this is beginning to go the way of the Pete interview, so I try to tell him stories, and, just like the Pete interview, Aziz presses him for information. After a bit of this I ask about a stable, one outside of the Keep where Aziz I could purchase or rent horses. He gives me the location of one.
Aziz the Subtle then, asks numerous and specific questions about police force, number of deputies, their loyalties, etc. Eventually the Sheriff let’s us know that he has 4 deputies. continues to ask about their loyalties to the crown. The Sheriff lets us know that it’s nice to have visitors who are not scared of the Law in a strange town. I am able to switch gears and I ask the Halflings if they would like to hear an elven song, the Sheriff and his GoodWife agree.
To set the song up I talk about the Great Forest and all times I have had there, the different Elven tribes, the creatures of the forest and their freedom. I also mention M’tan’s Woods as a place that is open for settling for Halflings. When the Sheriff heard of it he initially scoffed because he heard that the burrows were under trees. But I tell him, the tale that I heard was that it was made by a powerful Magus and that the leaves part for the sunlight to allow the Halflings the warmth of the Sun and the Protection of the Woods. He says he will pass the word, but that Halflings do not like to move. After that we laugh and then I sing my song. A song about Freedom, in its pure sense, not a a revolutionary jingle.
At the end of the song, Aziz the Influencer openly asks what if everyone got angry at the Lord, might they might revolt. The Sheriff reiterates that he is please to meet visitors who are not afraid of the Law. The Sheriff agrees that we can stay at the Illwind’s place, as we were business partners and it is Winter. He arranges for a local party to search for the money (which I already had safely hidden, it is to be our War Purse) but they find nothing. We begin to spend our time in isolated work.
We first build the tunnels (Rolls: 6 /6/ 9 / 3) and we are able to get tunnels done in 3 weeks, making it January.
During the month which goes by we each spend our free time on our own studies. For me, it is Area Knowledge, the study of Leadership and the Spell which I constantly use!
I also pack the money, hidden as food stuffs. For purchases in town I make sure to buy things with only local money. There is no reason to draw further attention to ourselves.
Finally we go to buy the horses and, what luck, the merchant doesn’t like me, and he quotes a 2K price. Luckily Aziz the Merchant seems to have improved his haggeling skill and he gets involved and quotes 1K, the merchant responds with 1.2K, which Aziz get to include feed and tackle. The final price ends up being 1.5K for the horse, bit & tackle and saddle.
The horses are assigned as follows:
1) Aziz – Oliver
2) M’tan – Aulae
3) Pack – Stan
The next day we head out, with the money at dawn’s first light. We ride onwards through the winter heading towards Phodius. Although there is the possibility for great trouble (i.e. Ray roll’s a lot.) The ride, while uncomfortable is primarily uneventful, except for riding in the dark! A difficult task, at best.
When we arrive the City Guards let us in and direct us to the 3 Bells Inn. We go there and get room sleep through the day. We wake late, but decide to wait for the nest morning when we head out to find the Mercenary’s Guild.
Aziz has used his hard earned experience to learn the ways of the street. A long way from when he simply lied and pretended to be streetwise! We spend our days in the following ways:
Day 1 – we fail to find a contact.
Day 2 – in the morning, Aziz finds a guy and gets a meet for 6 pm. We go to the place very early, around three PM, we check out exit routs and I rent a room. At around 5PM 2 big guys come in and get set up. At 6:05PM a guy comes in with a big fat human with dark complextion. They come in and Aziz using his merchant skills, determines that the man looks rich. We talk with him, and after I almost blow the deal, M’Tan the Wise, Aziz is able to use his superior merchant skills to talk with him. He trusts him and we agree to the financial terms – 500 in 2 weeks – 1000F paid. He will go recruit who he can and will meet back up with us in a week to report.
We wait in town, one week later he returns with a status report. He has been able to recruit:
50 medium infantry
400 light infantry
The second week of recruitment sees no further recruits.
I will now break down troop movements and the associated War Costs:
Overall a cost of – wk = 6750f (monthly = 27,000f (156,000f)
Second week muster – 375 (-5100f) (50 are command – extra – 5000f)
4 days – weapons – (-900f) he asks – we agree
Oxen (2) – (-280f)
Ox Cart (-200)
Muster area – town open field – (-200f)
Aziz takes 10 guys with him to 2nd muster area
We then travel – (100f bounus after battle)
All troops march there – 4 days
2 enemy scouts are captured
I give my plan and my leadership study has paid off, the men respond appropriately! I lead them into battle.
The troops are dispatched into the 4 tunnels
At the precise time – the attack begins, the fires are lit and the smoke comes up. Our tunnels work, the ground opens up and the walls come tumbling down. An unmitigated success.
Attack won and the raping is mitigated
Fritz – and men (-1200f)
(-500f) for [[:Commander Joshua|Commander Joshua]] award
The Halflings participate in and are happy about the result.
The local Human population is surprised, but seems long used to the Civil War.
Oakwood is won. We have [[:Lord Deneral|Lord Deneral]].
We spend a week in some revelry and helping the locals. (light troops are on the way – 250 more – in 3 weeks )
A crow goes off to Wallace.
Lord Donalas arrives with his troops. We are overjoyed! An Ally at last. He demands to speak with Lord Deneral. He goes and speaks with the prisoner. He’s of a higher social status and an ally so I allow it. He comes back out and let’s us know that he’s no longer with Lord Wallace and that Lord Marsten will have back up troops there in two weeks and that he is seizing the castle. He asks if I will surrender and I tell him exactly what he can do with that surrender. He laughs at us, says he will see me on the field and leaves. He mocks our not fortifying our position (in a week, against an ally? He almost got inside my head and made me doubt myself, but he was already on the road, hoping to get here first. I suspect that word got to him while we were recruiting and that we have aggressively fucked his time table. I am not the child he thinks he faces.)
I do the only thing I can, facing an force of 500 fresh medium troops with armor and support I quickly assess the situation and call Aziz and the Lieutenants and let them know we are affecting an immediate withdraw and retreat. I send a goodly number of the men to accompany the halflings North to M’tan’s Woods (I explained the situation to the Sheriff, but he already well understood the implications for himself and his people.) They immediately departed for the North.
We secure the Lord Prisoner Brance and I go to help the Ravens’ Master, who is gone. Also, the homosexual illusionist has disappeared.
The retreat is going fine, the other Lord’s troops are still moving in, slowly. Far and away I can see a Crow landing on the one remaining, unstable tower, the illusionist is there, sees me, an laughs…
I pay off the remainder of my troops and tell them to disperse, which they do. I take Commander Joshua, an unconscious Aziz, 10 men, the now dead body of the Lord Prisoner and we run during that disbursement of troops.
My purse is in hand. My confidence is not shaken. I am charged with ending this Civil War for my Lord and I shall do that.
I am now their Enemy. And they will learn to Fear Me.