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Legendary Exploits of Three Not Viking Brothers

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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-26, 22:44

"Is there any reason why we would? They seem no more than simple shepherds. We must hurry to reach the village before they would have returned. Other barbarians may have been headed here to meet them with food or drink; we must be wary."
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-06-26, 23:07

Not to waste too much time, Gwain instructs that the shephards be buried under whatever stray foliage (leaves, branches, etc) can be mustered in a few minutes. After all, Gwain hardly knows the burial customs of these people. Hopefully the grave is not too obvious and removed from the game trail.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2016-06-26, 23:15

Leewan rests his hand on Gwain's shoulder. "Excellent work and good judgement are with you Gwain. I have no knowledge of corpses. To that end, have them dragged under the foliage. Any group of barbarians will spy our forces before they spy two lonely corpses laying in the brush."

He lifts his hand and continues the soldier's march.
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-06-26, 23:55

With the war band in motion again, Gwain address his merry men as they march. "About our little contest. Gluttony and Heaven both got the flock to the army first, however I can only give the prize to one person. Gluttony, I'll be your wingman the next chance we get. No offense, but you need it more than Heaven." Gwain pauses for chuckles.

"However! I also said that if any of the shephards were to die, there'd be no dinner for any of you. Sure, I might have slain them, but you doomed them to their fate through your carelessness. So everyone, you have Gluttony and Heaven to thank for your grumbling stomachs tonight."

With that, Gwain turns towards the front of the army, ready to face whatever comes next.
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-27, 00:46

The men of Gwain's Guard give much complaining about the lack of dinner tonight after all the work they did but nevertheless the march continues after the brothers finish talking. The rest of the journey goes by without any more issues and after four days travel the army comes within sight of the village as darkness descends upon the lands. Thanks to Gwain and Robillards earlier scouting the army was able to maneuver itself on approach such that a hill and woods would mask the 400 some odd fighting men from immediate observation. As far as anyone can tell the village is completely unaware of the armies presence as scouts found nobody else along the armies path who would have spotted it.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2016-06-27, 09:36

Leewan orders the two squads of infantry to form a barrier halfway down the hill. The archer squad is set further up along the hill, shielded by the soldiers below.

Before letting the battle begin Leewan addresses his brothers.

"Make your preparations, sons of Griswald, battle is soon to begin."
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-06-27, 10:25

Gwain's guard sets up an advanced position, ready to spy enemy reinforcements, should they arrive. Gwain and his men will stay out of the impending massacre, but will report new information as it arrises.
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-27, 15:37

[And Robillard will be doing what?]
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-27, 15:49

Robillard will be in one of the infantry divisions in front, riding his courser. He has his shield and long sword drawn. The Rising Dawn remains sheathed on his back. He doesn't expect any trouble from the villagers, but he is prepared to crush any opposition if necessary.
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-27, 17:55

With all of the brothers set on where they will be during the attack the army forms up in formation among the trees before Leewan gives the orders. Robillard stands tall above the men (already would have been even without the horse) and he can hear the familiar that always occurs right before a battle. Gwain and his men find a location to hide themselves from the battle and among their ranks many mutters about "killing innocents" can be heard and it dawns on Gwain that killing the shepherds likely spelled doom for the people of this town. Once the army is in position Leewan gives out the order to march on the village and a bellow from a ram horn goes out to tell the men to march.

The scene that follows is one of utter carnage. As the army marches into the village the main infantry collumn maneuvers straight into the center of the town while the other two follow suit and some men break off to the sides of the village. As the screams of the townspeople go out at the realization of what's happening men, women and children come bursting out of homes only to be run through with spears and swords. Some individuals put up a token resistance but it is quickly and hastily squashed under the sheer numbers of the men of House Griswald. Squads of soldiers go into each and every house in the town and begin pillaging any valuables inside. Robillard himself leads the charge and finds himself outpacing the men on foot so much so that he as he reaches the opposite end of the town and catches a group of seventeen villagers trying to flee with their lives. Several of the individuals are cut down by Robillards sword before they even make it out of the towns perimeter and as they begin to break away and split up an order is heard from the archer units sergeant and a hail of arrows kills them to the last.

When all is said and done the vast majority of the villages population lies slaughtered and the corpses currently resting where they died. Several of the houses have come alight for various reasons and the towers of smoke billow up into the sky pronouncing to all around that house Griswald has arrived. The only survivors from the village are a few women who have been taken by many of the more savage of men as "spoils of war" and are subjected to what that entails. No casualties are taken by the soldiers of house Griswald as the worst wound among them all was a cut from a sword to one mans arm as he was jumped by a kid when entering a home. Once all is accounted for and the treasures collected it is determined that there wasn't much in the way of valuables in the village (essentially half a wealth points worth, raiding a second village like this would net you a whole one but nothing gained right now other than satisfaction).
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Post by InteroVegas on 2016-06-27, 19:17

Leewan basks in the show of force from the market square. Soldiers moving through the area can see Leewan Von Griswald laughing at the sight of gore and carnage (in case the issue comes up, Leewan has 4 will, significantly higher than most). He marches through the town with ax in hand collecting two survivors for his own purposes. Those and any other survivors the soldiers aren't entertaining themselves with are tossed into a food cart and cleaved apart personally by Leewan. He issues a command to one of the support unit to use the cart of dismembered limbs to demonstrate to the remaining prisoners the dominance of the Griswalds here.

By the time his gruesome act is complete he is dismayed to see the village has already been razed in it's entirety. His scale armor is dingy and smoky from the flames and the white trim of his lordly cape stained with flecks of blood. Leewan meets with his captains at the far side of town and hears the report of spoils and no casualties. After several minutes of contemplation he directs the soldiers to make camp on the far side of town and to enjoy the first raid of the season. He sets off from his meeting with the captains to find Robillard and Gwain.
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-27, 21:39

Robillard has been directing the men to burn the barbarians' temple, so as to destroy their pagan god. As the flames rise higher he chants a prayer to Themis, offering up their slaughter as proof of his devotion.

When he sees Leewan approaching, he drops his arms and turns to his brother. "Leewan!" He booms, his face covered in soot and dried blood, "A most successful battle. I pray the lord of these lands sends a response soon. We should set up our ambush, and send out scouts to detect his approach."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2016-06-28, 02:23

Leewan smiles at the sight of his brother painted with the colors of battle.

"The crusades have educated you with a knowledge of battle Robillard. You speak wisely, Gwain's elite comrades are tasked with the spying. The ambush must wait till 'morrow's dawn. Soldiers require rest and recreation after a quarter day of pillaging."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-28, 14:03

Robillard nods, both to accept Leewan's praise and to acknowledge his fine orders. He then turns back to the men, leading them in a song of praise. His eyes hungrily watch the flames, hoping that their purifying best can quiet the screams of the peasants, still ringing in his ears.
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-28, 16:51

[Who will be determining the ambush location and how are you proposing to bait the enemy army that may or may not exist at this moment?]
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-28, 18:59

I assume that Leewan, as commanding officer and senior brother and lord of our house will make this sort of military decision. As for bait, could we use the captured villagers?
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-28, 19:37

[The main concern is getting an army to come to face you at all. Nobody escaped to the best of your knowledge so it could be some time before one comes this way]
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-28, 19:45

[thats why we send the women we captured out. Hell, we could even tell them to tell their lord of our conquests and that we're challenging him to open battle. He'll expect a trap, but he won't know where the trap is.]
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Post by InteroVegas on 2016-06-29, 03:38

Leewan orders the soldiers to release two or three prisoners with a days worth of scraps. In the morning Leewan approaches Gwain during the morning meal:

"Are your men ready to scout ahead?"
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-06-29, 09:36

Gwain has been uncharacteristically quite after the "battle". Seeing Leewan approach, he takes a deep breath and starts, "Brother... I thi-" but after one glance at Leewan's eyes, Gwain thinks better of exposing his conflicting thoughts.

"I... welcome the challenge of men who can defend themselves in battle. I think Gwain's Guard should tail the women you sent out. There's no telling they'll actually make it to an army. I would hate to have our men waiting for a fight that won't happen. Once I see that the women have made contact and that a force is on its way, I'll report back. You and Robillard might come along to get the lay of the land. You could spot an area good for ambushes."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-29, 09:48

When Robillard meets Gwain, he notices Gwain discomfort. Quietly pulling him to the side, he offers him a flask of cheap, strong liquor.

"Battles never are like the songs little brother. Was this your first? Have a nip of this; it will settle your nerves like nothing else."
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-06-29, 09:56

Gwain happily takes the flask and takes a long, greedy drought. "My first? Hardly! Though I don't think I've ever seen one quite so... mismatched."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-29, 10:00

Robillard laughs and takes the flask back, slugging down a drink of his own. "Well we'll make a man of you yet, Gwain. I'm sure there will be plenty more of this in our future. Besides, they're only barbarians."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-07-01, 20:27

Clearing his throat, Robillard slays the awkward silence and gathers his brothers together. He proposes a plan in which the army follows a day or so behind the women, so as to able to meet the barbarian army as soon as possible.
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-07-02, 13:07

[Sorry everyone, I've been busy preparing to move and forgot to post but here it is!]

By the time the men have had their fill only three women remain with others being lost to "accidents" or simply having run off. The remaining three are released with a modest amount of rassions and are meanwhile trailed by Gwain (and his men? Also, make a roll to track them). The army begins to move in the direction the women go but have a difficult time keeping up and will be forced to slowly but surely become more and more behind the women's trail. Despite this, the men's spirits are high with the promise of wealth in the near future. It may become impossible to keep the army on the women's heels and eventually lose any sense of where the women will have gone.
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-07-02, 23:33

[Are Gwain's men incapable of leaving marks/messages for us, or even sending men back to the main force? I mean it would be super hard for us to follow three women as the entire army, which is why Gwain will do it and then tell us where to go.]
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-07-03, 19:41

Gwain's Guard, along with whichever commanders wish to get a lay of the land, go stalking after the freed women. The army stays behind, awaiting news from this small scouting force's return. Gwain stays a safe distance from the women, but makes sure to keep them within earshot, if not within sight. Every 100 yards, the group marks a tree along the path to leave behind a trail. [Reolls 15 on 4k3 stealth]
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-07-03, 20:52

The men of Gwains Guard help stage an "escape" for the women by having Leewan instruct the men to leave them at the edge of camp. As the three run off into the woods as quietly as they can Gwains Guard begins the process of tailing the women. The women make quick pace for the entirety of the night as they are clearly trying to put as much distance between themselves and the army as possible. It is difficult initially to keep up but even when you lose sight and sound the trail they leave is obvious enough that you manage to track them and regain sight nonetheless. Upon daybreak the women all stop running and not long after locate a pond where they stop to drink and rest for a bit. While they rest they talk to each other and one yells at the other two in whatever language is native to hear. One word you do actually understand that they speak however and its in an angry tone: "Themis". After an hour the women begin moving inland in the direction of the enourmous mountain. It takes five days for anything of significance to happen as they continue to move. Throughout this time Geains Guard maintains an easy watch on the women who take time everyday to footage for purple berries that they find deep inside distinctive red tip leaves shrubbery. After the five days Gwains Guard finds themselves nearing the base of the great mountain. As the women (and Gwains Guard) approach they soon find a large dirt path that has been formed through the woods by cutting down trees. The women begin talking to each other in excited tones when they find it and begin walking further towards the mountain. After another day of trailing the women Gwain soon finds what the women were looking for. At the base of the mountain is a large town (like that in the book) with wooden walls at a more central point of it indicating they were built when the town was smaller and it has since grown. Many of the homes rose up along the slopes of the mountain a ways. At the highest point along the slopes Gwain can see an enourmous hall which has steps leading up to it from the lowest point in the town. Many guards can be seen atop the wooden walls and the townspeople can be seen using many horses for moving objects. You lose sight of the women as they enter the town.
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-07-03, 21:03

Quite happy with this find, Gwain now decides to split his cadre in half. Five of the men will return to army camp as quickly as possible and relay everything important to Leewan. Gwain and the other five will wait in hiding, outside the town for up to three days, or as long as provisions allow. If he sees any sign of an army leaving the city, he will leave immediately and report to the others the size, speed, and direction of the enemy. Otherwise, if there is no sign of an army in the time Gwain's Guard hides near the city, they will return to Leewan and report.
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-07-03, 21:21

[You likely only brought four days worth of rations. You could make a stealth role to try and sneak some berries from bushes around you or you could attempt to steal food from the village.]

The men leave while five others stay with you. Four days pass and though you see a fair amount of hustle and bustle about the town the only people you see leave are some traders and farmers who sold their crops. If you wish to stay longer you will need to find food or start suffering hunger but leaving back for the army will leave you plenty of opportunities to forage for food
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-07-03, 21:23

So as not to worry the other half of Gwian's Guard, who is expecting Gwain to be returning in the next few days, Gwain decides to play it safe and return to the army.
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-07-03, 22:09

five days later Gwain returns. Leewan and Robillard will have already heard the news though game in the area is starting to become more and more scarce by the day. The army will likely be able to stay where it is for another four days before soldiers start having to go without food
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-07-04, 01:19

Entering the camp, Gwain approaches his brothers and relates the news. After catching them up on the details, Gwain continues, "I didn't see any war preparations from outside the city. Most of the city lies on a mountain and it has quite the fortress at the top. However, many people live outside the walls towards the base. I don't know much about waging war, so I'll leave the hard thinking to you two."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-07-04, 21:49

Robillard, also unskilled at the large scale machinations of battle, is willing to follow the lead of his Eldar brother. He decides to take Gwain off in search of a drink to celebrate his successful expedition.
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-07-04, 22:47

[heh, Eldar brother]
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Post by InteroVegas on 2016-07-05, 02:21

"It is a simple a matter then. We move for the mountain. If their castle fort is beyond the means of our assault we will terrorize the town until the lord comes down from his sad home and surrenders."
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-07-05, 12:24

[Will the army be moving in the typical manner with Gwain and company scouting ahead? If so I'll need the appropriate rolls of stealth and awareness from Gwain]
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-07-05, 13:34

[15 on Notice and 14 on Sneak]
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-07-05, 14:42

With the next target for raiding identified the army begins to move out while Gwains Guard maintains a days worth of scouting ahead of the main force. For a week the men move through thick woods towards the great mountain and for three of those days straight it rains in a downpour. The men begin complaining of soggy boots and the rain ruining perfectly good meals but nevertheless they move on at the behest of the Eldar brother (heh).

With the army almost nearing the town Gwain and three of his men currently with him hear the snapping of branches in front of them during the misty morning. Deciding it best to investigate they manage to creep up through some brush and see a group of five leather armored men and women (3 and 2 respectively) creeping along the forest floor with short bows out and iron swords at their sides. The individuals have a raven emblazoned upon their shoulders as they move along through the woods.
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-07-05, 15:13

"Finally, a challenge!" Gwain thinks to himself. His mind races through several possibilities. He could ignore the group, but then they might find the main army, or worse, find Gwain later with the element of surprise in different hands. He could go for a direct assault, but being outnumbered by well-equipped barbarians, this seems like a risky move. Alternatively, he could go by elimination with a subtler approach, using deception and the shroud of the mist and forest to split the group's force. Lastly, the best, but certainly the hardest option would be to mislead the scouts entirely. If the scouts were to return to the city with no information, having followed a false trail, the impending raid would certainly be devastating.

At that last though, Gwain remembers the shepards from earlier, and how his quick action had lead to the massacre of an entire village. "If the scouts don't return, at least the city will be suspicious. Maybe the citizens will have time to make it to the walls and we'll be able to raid without so much unnecessary slaughter."

His mind made up, Gwain carefully bends down and picks up a stick from the ground. As silently as possible, he throws it into the forest so that it strikes against a tree, creating an odd sound of shaking leaves and knocking wood. [If Gwain is at 6 o'clock and the scouts are at the center of the clock, Gwain throws the stick towards 3 o'clock.] As Gwain waits for a reaction, he draws and knocks his bow.
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-07-05, 15:31

The stick flies through the air with and knocks against the trees trunk with a reverberating thud. Three of the scouts turn straight at the source of the noise arrows pulled back ready to fire while the other two begin bolting towards the cover of trees (9 o'clock relatively by your previous description of everyone's positioning a relative to each other).
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Post by InteroVegas on 2016-07-05, 15:51

[things are happening so fast]
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-07-05, 19:01

With the prey separated, Gwain and his pack stalk after the frightend scouts, using the mist and foliage to hide their steps. They carefully follow the noise of the two runners as they crash through the forest. Hopefully they can be eliminated before the other three finish investigating the noise.
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-07-05, 19:08

As you begin to creep after the running scouts you see the two scouts stop at a pair of trees immediately turn around and aim their pulled back bows straight in your direction. They do not fire and do not appear to have seen you or your compatriots. Meanwhile two of the three that had stayed put begin moving slowly and quietly towards the location you'd thrown the branch while the third one stalks towards the 12 o'clock appearing to be seeking cover.
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-07-05, 19:19

Gwain freezes. Countless wagon raids from the time of Baron Bradford have taught him the value of patience as a weapon. He waits, watching for the slightest hint of a dropped guard or sigh of relief.
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-07-05, 20:29

After twenty more seconds a word that you don't know comes from the location where you threw the stick. The two behind the trees let down their guard and they begin skulking off ahead of the trio in the direction of the army. The remaining three also begin moving off in the same direction and the chirping of a bird is heard straight above you.
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-07-05, 21:47

A grin stretches across Gwains face as the two scouts relax. He points two fingers at one, two fingers at the other, then pulls his thumb across his throat. Without further ado, Gwain draws back his arrow and looses it through the mist toward the enemy.
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-07-05, 21:53

[roll initiative, also which two are you shooting at? the two that just went further into the woods (you can't see them right now) or the three in front of you?]
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-07-05, 22:03

[10 on initiative. I didn't realize I couldn't see the two anymore. In any case, I'll shoot at the three. I want to do the equivalent of a standard action to shoot and a move action to hide deeper in the woods, but I don't see where it says you can hide in the middle of combat.]
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-07-06, 08:24

[You can't really do that I believe as once you attack from stealth the surprise is lost. You'll need to roll your attack obviously]
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