Old March 31, 2013, 05:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The Clarion's Call [Mod Please]

Spring Era XX PF

Building trenches, look-out towers and other structures to contribute to the city's defenses might be a plan worth investing it but without an army to actually man these fortifications the city would be overrun in a candlemark. And so it was, with her bag full of scrolls bearing official reports gathered from across the kingdom about the lethal power the Xet possessed when engaged in melee combat she was going to go to a meeting of the Western Wardens officers as an outsider... she was going to have to see if they would hear her out. The plan was sound, to keep the soldiers from engaging the enemy at close range... to maximize the value of the crossbows that the late governor had purchased from the coffers of the province. She doubted little that the veterans forming the bulk of the army were inexperienced with forms or archery but if there were fresh recruits among them the focus of their training would have to be changed.

A new curriculum designed to polish the skills of the veterans and train newcomers from the ground up would be presented. Formations, foot drills, honing their skill with the bow or crossbow would encompass the majority of the exercises... even Charlotte had limited experience and would participate in the training with the newcomers - she had to, the manner in which she entered service prevented her from enjoying the luxury of a relaxed training pace. She would have to learn when she could and wherever she could/

Upon reaching the entrance to the headquarters of the Western Wardens within Nexus Prime the half-elf was quick to salute and humbly ask any officer of sufficient rank who would entertain her request. "I am Cencoris Charlotte Bourbauge Al'lende of the 26th Legion. I am working under direct orders of the Minister of War, the Governor of the Province and the Thane of the City. I am hoping that I could be permitted to participate in the meeting of officers of the Provincial Army. I bear important information..."
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Old April 4, 2013, 07:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The West Warden's headquarters was a large stone building on the outskirts of town. Walking through the front door, Charlotte fond herself in a large foyer. A two corridors led away from it, and soliders came and went down it. A soldier sat at a desk doing some paperwork. He was a young man and it looked like he had never shaved before. He considered Charlottes request with obvious puzzlement, not sure what to do.

"Um," he said, "If you're from the Minister of War you can do whatever you want as far as I know. Perhaps you should talk to the captain. Her office is down at the end of the hall."

Charlotte soon found herself in front of the captain's office. The name plaque on the door read "Captain Ironguard." A large dagger had been shoved through the middle of the door, with the handle protruding.
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Old April 6, 2013, 06:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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He was young, too young she thought, but the best soldiers were trained from early in their lives. That they could afford to put able bodied men into such positions suggested that they had either an abundance of men - or he has special merits or the petticoats of his relatives to keep him from traditional soldiering duties.

But it was not her place to comment.

"I understand." a brief salute, the smallest of smiles and she raised a hand to her brow in a salute of the local fashion. "Your assistance is appreciated soldier."

Following his advice Charlotte briskly walked down the hall and with some confusion looked at the novel name tag upon the door. A dagger seemed a trifle theatrical, but there might have been purpose that the half-elf could not divine. She cleared her throat, knocked upon the door a few time before speaking loudly and clearly. "Cencoris Charlotte Al'lende of the Legion, I am here to consult the commanding officers regarding the army training curriculum. May I enter?"
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Old April 8, 2013, 12:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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A voice spoke from behind the door.

"Yeah, come in."

Captain Obetti Ironguard was an Amaran; tall at 6'3" and mean looking. Her hair was long and black shot with gray, and face bore a scar that started just below her eyebrow, running down across the middle of her eye socket and ending at the middle of her cheek. Her eye had been replaced by a ball of crimson crystal which never blinked, though the scarred eyelid was still there. The office was impeccably neat, and an iron Tetsubo hung on begs behind her on the wall.

Obetti gave Charlotte an appraising once-over, as if deciding whether the two of them would fight to the death or not. After a pause she said "Well, Cencoris Al'lende of the Legion, why don't you have a seat and tell me what's on your mind."

She reached under the table with her foot and pushed a chair out for her to sit in. When she spoke, her voice did not sound inordinately hostile, but the glaring red eye made her passive face seem quite malevolent.
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Old April 9, 2013, 01:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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"Good brightening Captain Obetti." Charlotte's salute was stern but quick. The woman was not a person the half-elf was inclined to upset. "I was sent here to lend my services in the ordering of the city's defenses. The orders come from the interim governor and both he and the thane have granted me some authority to equip me so that I can see it through. But I would not impose upon your own plans and I seek your guidance in the matter for I do not wish to assume."

With the captain's permission Charlotte would deposit on her desk documents... ones containing information about the Xet - their lethal power and how the fought. The reports were many, drawn from across the empire... but one unifying factor was the unbelievable killing potential of a xet caught in melee.

"It has recently come to my attention - though I have no paperwork to support it - that Nexus Prime has in its custody an enormous supply of crossbows purchased by the late Governor Conrad. My superiors recommend using them - modifying the training regime of the Western Wardens into focusing upon the use of the crossbows above all other weapons since melee engagement with the Xet is suicide."

"Is such a program already underway? Could I recommend something in the event there is none?"


oocIf there is something wrong I shall rectify it immediately, kind of out of it right now.
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Old April 9, 2013, 08:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Captain Ironguard inhaled slowly through her nostrils and then blew the air out, inflating her cheeks. She pulled the reports towards her with her index finger and flipped the top one open.

"It's a good job that you've come," she said at last. The Xet are beasts, there's no doubt about that, and I haven't been given the resources to prepare for them. The last wad of governors were useless, and to do anything new we need new fund or at least personnel. Maybe you can shake some of that loose for us."

"You're almost right about the crossbows. Governor Conrad ordered that each man of age buy one, so they're here but not property of the West Wardens. With the proper orders we can work with the militia and get them trained- a crossbow is about as easy a weapon as you can find. Non-professional troops are usually useless but if we can put fifty thousand crossbowmen in the field that'd give the Xet something to think about. Might be good to dig them into trenches so they can fire from cover."
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Old April 11, 2013, 05:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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"I can try to speak to Viceroy Alexis Sapentia about that... though he is only an interim governor... but I cannot guarantee men or coin." she was no one special after all, she expected her words to fall on deaf ears... but by the gods would she try. "A majority of the legions for better or for worse report directly to the Supreme Commander of the West... I believe she will come here with her men in time, she seems to be a fair woman and it would not be in her character to come to our aid when the time comes... but when... I know not. The coin on the other hand... it depends on how they perceive the threat that looms over us. If they feel unconcerned for these lands are far from their own we're looking at grim times ahead."

"Fifty thousand...?"
that was impressive... though she'd heard poorly of Conrad's performance as governor it might be that he was far more foresighted than many gave him credit. The crossbows could just save the province and the empire by extension. "I pray you speak in tongues of angels my comrade, that could turn the tide in our favor."

"I'll speak with the militia or whomever heads them... the thane was well, perhaps it is time we conscript... not fully, but have the citizens train a few candlemarks a brightening and still have time to ply their trades and be with their families."
better they be given two choices and force them into choosing the lesser evil - or how they would surely paint it in their minds -of their own volition. "They may be averse to joining us for an extended period of time, but they would be far easier convinced to donate a few candlemarks. We would give them two choices, to join the militia on a more permanent basis or that... many will prefer the easier option but better they know how to load, aim and shoot properly than not at all."

"Can I count on you to have wardens proficient with projectile weapons assist in training these men? It pains me to say this but do not have enough experienced officers, we will need them to disseminate their knowledge through the people."
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Old April 14, 2013, 11:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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"The guy you want in the militia is Captain Samseer. And yeah, we'll be glad to train them in crossbows if they can bring their own weapons. Like I say, a crossbow is easy to learn, you just point and pull. The main trick is in cocking it right. If we're going to use a ton of civilians though I'd like to arrange the defenses in a way that they can run if things get dangerous; they'll probably run in any event and we might as well not get them all killed. That's gonna be the best strategy with the Xet I think- shoot those buggers and withdraw, shoot and withdraw."

She paused for a moment, lost in thought.

"What are we gonna do if they have airships? Have you thought about that?"
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Old April 15, 2013, 06:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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"We'll keep them behind the walls... or determine how they can use their weapons from where they'll be asked to evacuate to, would it be too much to ask you to ask your fellow officers who've experience in sieges to draft plans for the formation the militia will use? I could do it myself, but lets face it, I'm a fighter and a secretary, I'm not qualified to play at being a general or tactician yet." confessing her shortcomings was not a bad thing, an officer who was aware of her limits was a far more effective one than someone who had illusions of grandeur about their abilities. "I'd rather have the soldiers doing the soldiering but... the circumstances are dire. We can't protect the people, or survive if they don't pitch in and they die if we do. It should be possible to convince them, if a little difficult."

"I need to know how many people we can count on before I petition the Thane to order bolts... for that I'll have to ask Captain Samseer, he might have an idea of the maximum number of militia the city can conscript in a pinch. If we'll have that many people we should have enough bolts to take advantage of them."

The comment about the airships made Charlotte smirk.

"We pray to the gods or ask our city's mages for help."
she said, a cynical edge of resignation colouring her voice. She knew this woman, if anyone understood the hopelessness of things. "I don't know if siege weapons have the power to send projectiles flying at such at high angles to such an altitude with any reliable accuracy. I doubt it."

"I appreciate your opinion and I'll visit the Captain."
Charlotte made a firm salute and stepped back. "By your leave Captain Ironguard."

Once she was out of the West Warden's headquarters she would hasten to the the office of the Militia to speak with this Samseer. At the entrance she would greet the men politely and clear her throat. "I am Cencoris Charlotte Al'lende. I wish to speak with the Captain Samseer on business authorized by the Thane."
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Old April 17, 2013, 12:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Captain Ironguard made a wry expression, or at least the best she could with that red eye of hers.

"Can't count on the gods, and the Xet are mostly magic proof. I guess we'll find out."

~~~

Charlotte found Captain Samseer at the rear of the miitia's buidling, drilling men in the field. He was a dark man, with black hair and the well tanned skin and features of a native of the Arakmat desert. He looked to be in his early thirties, and wore an ankle length coat of leather, and he was watching a squadron of men march with long spears.

A page went and spoke into his ear, and he turned and came over to where Charlotte was standing, another man taking over the calling of orders.

"What can I do for you?" he asked.
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Old April 19, 2013, 09:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
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"Greetings Captain, I hope I am not causing you any significant inconvenience." she struck her breast with a closed fist and released the salute before settling into a firm and straight pose with which her arms were behind her waist. "Upon the counsel of the thane and more detailed information of the xet activity during their simultaneous siege of the empire months past it has been determined that we should - as you probably already know - avoid melee combat with the xet and use any practicable means to harass them from afar. Both the government and provincial army has confirmed that each able soul of the province has purchased crossbows upon the orders of the late governor... can the militia be asked to use them as their primary means of fighting the xet? I have consulted the provincial army and it would be possible to have them divert their own officers if we lack instructors to teach the militia."

"The other more important question I have is how many people can we... conscript from the citizenry if we have to so we can increase the militia's ranks? I may be able to obtain full authority to give the militia the means to conscript and be able to give the thane a solid number on the amount of bolts we could amass for the coming battle - though I pray it never does..."

But then, what if a thousand was all they could afford to spare from the work-force. A city needed soldiers, but it needed craftsmen to run its economy just as much. "If we cannot conscript that many do you believe it is possible to merely educate every able bodied citizen of the city to use their crossbows with a minimum level of competency?"
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Old April 25, 2013, 12:14 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Samseer listened with one eyebrow arched quizzically. He did not respond right away, mulling over what Charlotte had said.

"I doubt that the entire male population of Nexus has been able to aquire a crossbow yet." he said at last. Some are too poor, and I doubt that so many crossbows have been available in the past era. Still, I know for a fact a good many men have purchased crossbows. They were quite the fashion accessory when that order came out."

"In any case, I am glad that the government is taking the Xet threat seriously. That fog is there for a reason, and that reason isn't because the Xet are afraid of us. If we conscript from Nexus and the smaller towns in the area with luck we might get 50,000 crossbowmen. Not everyone will arrive at the same time, so I think we might do two cycle classes and use 500 instructors, if such can be made available. Shooting a crossbow is fairly straight forward once you know how to cock it, you just sight down the quarrel and pull the trigger. Most of our training will be in safety and in maintaining the weapon, as well as exercises."

He reflected a bit, then added "If you're serious about this, you should see that production of crossbow quarrels begins immediately. We may well need several million of them to service a force so large. As to conscription, that you must take up with the new governor, it will be his order that brings this to be."
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Old April 29, 2013, 01:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Male population? So it hadn't been every able bodied citizen, that narrowed the numbers down to something that was closer to her original assumption. "Be that as it may, they might find making that purchase worth it now."

"Is there a census anywhere of how many have purchased crossbows within this city alone? A solid number will be the baseline of how many bolts will go in production." she'd also require the number of crossbowmen in the Western Wardens as well, but that could wait.

"Fifty thousand... it is possible, surely, but I do not wish to gamble in the hopes that our ranks will swell so much. I'll account for what is readily available... only that until we have some kind of reassurance that we'll receive reinforcements."
mayhap she was being too pessemistic, but that was her talent and Charlotte's prudent predictions were often a sound course of action. "For now I think its best to assume the worst - that no one will come - and make the order so that we can supply this city's citizens and the provincial army it is presently reinforcing it with the crossbow bolts... I do not think the thane would be pleased to supply outsiders with ammunition if they are not bound to help us." there was a difference between swearing an oath and acting upon such. "If they do answer the call then we can simply increase the demand for crossbow bolts."
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Old May 2, 2013, 11:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Samseer gave a small nod of the head in acquiescence.

"I suppose we must think of funding, as you say. I caution only that we will want to be sure of our supply should we need it. If we get fifty thousand men, and each wants 20 bolts, that's a million bolts which I imagine will take some good time to make. To practice they must shoot them, and some will inevitably break or become lost. On the other hand, I imagine most who have bought crossbows already have also bought some bolts, so that should get us started."

"There is no census of crossbow purchases that I know of, but perhaps the various arms dealers could give a more or less accurate count."
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Old May 10, 2013, 03:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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"They should be... the amount of bolts we will be producing should be finalized at the next war council. I think it would be the best if everyone of importance were to understand the threat being posed to the city and the cost of the project." she sighed a little, growing weary of how things were never as simple as she liked. Everything had a procedure and following it would always cause some delay... no matter the good intent.

"I'll consult the merchants guild about this. They ought to know more than the aedile."
she bowed softly, excusing herself from the man's company. "I should take my leave and personally collect the information... for the meantime I hope you can work with whatever meager supplies the militia has remaining and shift the training curriculum towards using crossbows." she made a short salute before breaking off with a proper farewell. "May the gods bless you."

She quickly mounted her plainsbred and navigated Nexus' streets one more towards the building housing the guild which constituted the collective body of merchants operating within the city. There she hastily introduced herself with no ceremony. "I am Cencoris Charlotte Al'lende, I am a legionnaire working for the Thane and Interim Governor on matters concerning the defense of the city. I hope for your indulgence on this matter but I must know how many crossbows were manufactured or imported at the time the late governor Conrad mandated that citizens arm themselves with crossbows."

"I am trying to collect an accurate census, if you have a list who sells them within the city as well it would help towards this goal." it was likely, if what she knew of merchants were correct, given how paranoid merchants were about goods being imported and sold into their territories without their knowledge. "I need the information to determine the amount of crossbow bolts that will go into mass production for the city's safety. The information you can provide me will be used in the transaction of hundreds of thousands of bolts - maybe more. I am certain you understand the potential business and profit your merchants could make from that - if we can save the city from importing these supplies all the better."
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