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Legendary Exploits of Three Not Viking Brothers

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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-07-24, 22:57

Robillard chimes in. "Not all Lyches claim hold over a thousand souls. Just as the lords of men, there are those more wretched and powerless than others. Perhaps this twisted snake is simply a weak leader in these lands. He clearly can no longer maintain his fortifications."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-07-24, 22:58

Gisgo shrugs and says "I haven't any idea. I caught three of them talking about something they called the Dread Wolf. The way they talked about it seemed related to the torrential downpours. The mud there seemed like if you weren't careful you'd sink all the way below the surface it was so deep."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-26, 03:21

"How far is the gate from this weak point beneath the castle walls?"
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-07-26, 11:49

Before anyone can respond to Leewan's question a shout from the bustling (and obviously lagging crowds as many try to catch what is being said) "I find out the best brawl to ever grace an Acren army was going on and I end missing it?! This is your fault, Holzer."

All present turn to whoever is is shouting and see Lord Frey walking alongside Lord Holzer. Both of whom are walking through the crowd of soldiers towards the gathered Griswalds. Holzer doesn't deign to respond to his counterparts accusation and instead says "I heard there was a monster in the camp. If it wasn't for it being led by a noble I'm sure the guards would have shot it on sight."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-07-26, 20:27

Robillard shouts in response, "this monster is no friend of mine. Please, Lord Holzer, shoot it if you wish. Or rather, allow me. I would be pleased to grant the beast as a trophy to your son."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-07-27, 01:56

Holzer stops walking for a moment and looks at Robillard bewildered but then resumes walking without a response. Perhaps dumbfounded by Robillard's apparent obsession with his son. The duo of Lords eventually comes to stop their walk forward some distance from Leewan and subsequently Gisgo and Yenin forming an awkward triangle between the three groups.

Frey breaks the silence Robillard created by clearing his throat and saying "Haven't seen one of these in years! Heard a couple of your kind worked as mercenaries. How did you get so lucky to find one Leewan? Surprised you even hired it if it is a mercenary."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-27, 11:36

Leewan suffers insolence no longer.

"Guards, remove Robillard from this premises. Bloodthirst and rabble rousing in direct opposition of my orders yields punishment for any member or servant of Griswald. He will not be spoken to or heard until our business is settled."

Leewan turns around to face the lords.

"Weeks ago I employed a singular guide to share information with our forces to make navigating this wasteland simpler. He recently returned from a simple scouting mission and brought with him this giant that calls himself 'Yenin'. When all are busy organizing their forces have the two lords come only with witnessing a brawl as their intent?"

Leewan's question is genuine, but the subtext is clear.
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-07-27, 11:48

A pair of guards seizes Robillard and gesture for him to follow. Frey gives a grin to Leewan and says "As entertaining as I'm sure it would have been we came on a more pressing matter regarding the giant. The King is still young and has never seen such a creature. Lord Holzer and I were curious how you intend to handle the Kings unavoidable curiosity."

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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-27, 13:44

"If the King desires to dissect one of this giant's kinsmen he will have ample opportunity to do so with a prisoner following our battles. In centuries past all our forefathers would interrogate and employ guides and 'heathens' of foreign lands to provide them with actionable information as pertaining to logistics and battle. This is no different. If his majesty only wants to lay eyes upon this giant I humbly recommend he come with a retinue to this camp. Marching Yenin through the Scar's camps would incite chaos."

Leewan motions for the lords to follow him into his tent. He gives a quick gesture to his personal guard to stand at the ready outside his tent.

"Still, your minds are preoccupied with these plans of battle. It is not coincidence that Noske is not gracing us here. Arriving as a pair indicates a growing disfavor towards the death charge Noske proposes. I have thoughts on the matter, but as guests on the barren soil we call 'camp' I will act in accordance with simple etiquette. What proposal have you and whoever else conjured up?"
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-07-27, 17:55

Leewan leaves his brothers with one now under guard and being escorted away. Gwain notices Gisgo watching Robillard being taken away. Yenin leans down and whispers something in his ear which causes Gisgo to smile.

After Leewan speaks to the two Frey responds "For the entire army to attack a single fortified position would take months, even if we are victorious. We need to lure the Lich's from their hovels and have another force attack their heart. These Lich's are bound by their debts to one another, how willing to uphold them is unknown. Attack one and we force a reaction from the others. The only problem ensuring they know what we're doing."

Lords Frey's eyes turn to Holzer who says nothing for a few moments. Holzer finally gives in and pulls a small pendant from his pocket that Leewan sees is exactly like that the prisoner before had in his possession. Leaving the pendant on the table, Holzer speaks in a hushed tone "This was found by one of my men among our food stores. I'm not sure if it was left there by accident or if it was meant as a signal to someone else but there are spies among our men. We can leak the information we want to the Lich's through them."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-07-27, 19:00

Robillard shakes the men's hands off him, but sheathes The Rising Dawn and goes with them, quietly seething.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-29, 05:39

"Are there horse riders among your armies? If we are still committed to the death charge of the slave pits perhaps we can arrange a feint. Meager showings of light or skirmisher cavalry at locations separate from our core would confuse their knowledge of our simplistic plan. I would confer with the guide first though I suspect he will suggest groups no smaller than twenty or thirty of cavalry travelling by day can safely maneuver between raiders and enemy scouting forces. If the lyches hold any riches or lands of their own as more important than the oncoming battle they may divert elite soldiers from their ranks to safeguard their keeps.

Or the opposite tactic could be applied. A small force taking the time and pace of a larger force to cover for a quick separation of forces. the larger clusters of soldiers would commence blitzkreig on the most vulnerable of nearby enemy strongholds. The others would stay on the defensive and continue to hinder the progress of the lych forces once they rally under the revelation of our tactics."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-07-30, 12:40

Holzer ponders for a moment before responding "Neither of us have any cavalry to speak of. Ettlinger would be the man here to speak to of such a tactic. I'm not sure if I'd be willing to take the advice of a Farasian. You say he's a mercenary, how do you know he'll not betray you to the highest bidder? If he knows these lands I doubt his previous employers were the kind anyone would approve of."
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-07-30, 22:31

Uncontent to let this discussion of strategy pass him by, Gwain attempts to catch Leewan's eye. While his social graces are more tuned to the dashing commoner than the noble lord, Gwain at least knows to speak only when spoken to.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-31, 01:29

Leewan turns enough to face the lords and his brother.

"My kin Gwain briefly set out upon the wastes. A brutal conflict with gibbering maws injured part of his party and forced their early return. Although even prior to his excursions here Gwain has at many times demonstrated a certain set of skills and understanding for irregular operations and skirmish battles. The vaguely rogue-ish ways of him and his men combined with his education and Griswald upbringing lend him an unusual perspective on matters such as these. Speak courteously before these lords Gwain but speak freely when you evaluate tactics and make suggestions."
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-07-31, 10:56

"Thank you lord Griswald. If I may, blind conjecture over battle strategy leaves the fate of our men and country in the fickle hands of fate. Without someone on the inside of the Liches' forces how are we to know which maneuvers they will be prepared for and which they will not? Surely the king has spies in such positions, or are you to tell me we blundered onto these wastes without so much as a whisper of intelligence?" This Gwain says in a measured, almost agitated tone. The chance that all these men's lives might be forfeited on the back of foolhardy leadership has robbed him of his usual composure.
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-07-31, 11:20

Lord Frey turns to Gwain and says "Whether there are spies or not we have not been told. Noske and the King keep their plans a secret; perhaps out of paranoia of those in our own camp. For all we know Themis herself could stride across the battlefield through some priests machinations."

Holzer continues to speak towards Leewan "If it is out of paranoia then it is clearly well founded."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-08-01, 04:19

"If not the presence of spies, at least details relating to the terrain and layout of their proposed battle at the slave pens. They could not know of the existence of such a place without some knowledge of the infrastructure and geography. If our forces here are decimated by ill conceived plans then all the rebellious lords that remained in the fatherland will take opportunity and dethrone the new king."

Leewan notices his words are taken harshly by those around him.

"It is plainly obvious that the faction of lords that did not support the new king have remained with their supposed sparse forces to shore up their resources and change the balance of power in their favor. Even Noske must be aware of these simple facts. Noske cares too much for the lives of soldiers to sacrifice them in vain. He who would command us to spare enemy villagers from the hardships of defeat must hold the lives of his own kinsmen in even higher regard."

Leewan lazily points his finger at Holzer, Frey, Gwain, himself and the camp at large.

"We have time to discuss the greater details of the plan with Noske before any divergence from their decree is decided upon. Are there any other lords who share our concerns?"
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-08-01, 09:53

Holzer huffs and says "Try all of them. No Lord easily accepts orders from another yet alone when they have no idea why the orders are being given."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-08-01, 19:45

"Then I implore you to gather the others. I shall visit some of them myself. We have already demonstrated a loyalty to the nation by marshaling our forces to this blasted waste. There is no case where we throw ourselves and our men willingly onto the altar of heathens."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-08-01, 22:49

Frey responds to Leewan "The King will undoubtedly call a war council by tomorrow's end. We'll speak with the others though calling them together before then will likely be unnecessary."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-08-02, 00:38

"It is concluded then. I will escort you from camp on route to speak with the others."

Leewan does as he says, escorting Holzer and Frey to edge of his camp and gives a curt nod as a sign of farewell. He goes with his personal guard to the nearest camp belonging neither to Holzer, Frey, Noske or the King.
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-08-02, 11:30

The guard take Robillard to a tent and leave him there in solitary confinement. No bonds are used to restrain him though Robillard knows fully well that the pair are likely outside the entrance and that to leave before Leewan says he can only lead to worse punishment. This leaves Robillard with likely plenty of time to contemplate, rest, or sift through the possessions of whoever's tent this is.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Leewan shows Lord Frey and Holzer out of the camp and makes his way to speak with Lord Ettlinger. Moving through the Lords camp, with Gwain maybe or maybe not in tow, Leewan notices the large difference in styling between his own camp and that of the Beastmaster. Next to every tent and corraled into larger areas horses stand munching on grains and filling the air with noise as men do their best to comfort the animals in cramped spaces. Among these war mounts, Leewan can see occasional groupings of more mystical creatures likely forming heavy shock cavalry groups. Leewan cannot help but wonder to himself about how much wealth Ettlinger must have at his disposal to have such a large force of cavalry at his disposal.

Sure enough, after probing some of the men about the location of their Lord, Leewan finds Lord Ettlinger among a group of what is likely trusted advisors and captains. Ettlinger spots Leewan approaching with his guard and sends his men away so that the two Lords can speak. Turning to Leewan Ettlinger does not smile or show any joy at seeing his counterpart but says "Lord Griswald, I did not know you had come to my camp. I've never known your family to be one for pleasant conversations so what is it that you want?"
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-08-02, 14:10

"This battle plan is foolish. If we follow through on Noske's plan our forces will be reduced to bloody pulp and mixed with the endless filth of these lands. We are gathering to force the Noske and by proxy the King to reveal to us any secrets they may be relying upon in the execution of this strategy. If no such secret exists we shall force them to alter our plan to one that may actually see us to victory. Is the idiotic nicety of asking your opinion on the matter necessary Lord Ettlinger?"
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-08-02, 17:51

Robillard will idly pick through some of the possessions. He will not break open chests or search thoroughly, merely glance at things left in the open, as a way to pass the time.
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-08-02, 17:55

Ettlinger furrows his brow and says "Secrets? I did not realize that the other lords were already going for the Kings throat. I find the lack of faith disturbing, Lord Griswald."

Ettlinger looks away for a moment at some noise from some nearby horses. Looking back at Leewan he says "I recognize you are not your father, Griswald, but do your best to remember where your family stands in this army. Leave worry of plans to those who will win the upcoming battles."

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Robillard begins looking through some of the soldiers possessions finding basic things such as religious charms, weapon maintenance items, and basic foodstuff like some bread. Looking through one of the bags Robillard finds an interesting item. Hidden underneath several articles of cloth Robillard pulls out an ornate box that is obviously only able to be opened with a key. The box is about the size of Robillards hand and jiggling the box a little dies not produce any sound within.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-08-02, 18:34

Leewan raises his eyebrows in shock.

"I did not take you for slave to hubris Ettlinger. You believe your beasts and horses can overcome the poxes and maledictions of lych armies, so be it."

Leewan turns about and begins to leave the camp.
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-08-02, 18:48

His interest piqued, Robillard will begin looking around for a key. After all, what sort of common ssoldier would have such a well-made box? His searches will also hopefully lead him to a fine bottle
Of wine, or a tasty horn of ale.
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-08-02, 18:55

Ettlinger shouts after Leewan saying "Is it hubris or reminding you of who you put in control? Second guessing ones own decisions is unbecoming of a Lord. Battles are won by soldiers, Lord Griswald, but wars are won by Kings and Marshals. If you think your choice unfitting now then perhaps you should have chosen Holzer."

--------------------------------------------------

Robillard searches for the key and luck (or perhaps Destiny) favors him. Finding both liquor and a key that fits the box. Sitting down to open the bottle and prepare to open the box Robillard takes a long drink from the bottle and inserts the key shortly after. Opening the box reveals the entire thing is heavily cushioned with a silver signit ring with a Griswald fox on it sitting inside. Secured to the top of the box by a crimson strap Robillard sees a letter held tightly though it has clearly been opened before.
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-08-02, 19:49

A Griswald ring?! In a fancy box inside a random soldier's quarters?! How can this be, Robillard wonders. He takes another swig to strengthen his resolve (let's ignore the fact that according to the rules, it takes a ridiculous amount of alcohol to affect him (ty 5 Endurance)) and opens the letter.
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-08-02, 20:37

Robillard opens the letter and pulls out a single piece of parchment. Written in a short but nonetheless stunning address is the following:

Dear Daratra,

I am sorry to hear that your mother is no longer with us. I will miss her greatly. I have sent this with my signit ring so that you may keep yourself safe. Should you ever find yourself in danger, present it to my Steward; he will ensure you are given work in the castle. It pains me to leave you on your own, but I know you'll be strong.

Themis guide you,
Reverold Von Griswald

(Rob's father)


Last edited by Dekaru on 2017-08-03, 08:17; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-08-02, 20:47

Stunned by this letter, Robillard splutters, spewing a whole mouthful of liquor. He runs through his options quickly. Leaving the tent would surely earn him only shame and humiliation, and quite possibly pain. However, he knows that Leewan must know of this secret Griswald immediately.

Realizing his current limitations, Rob pokes his head out of the tent. He speaks to the guards.

"My good man, I ask you to send a message to my brothers. Tell them I must speak with them immediately. Tell them it concerns the old fox. Please, stress the urgency of this message if you will."

The message sent, Rob will then sit down to meditate, one hand on the box and one on the bottle.
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-08-03, 13:40

Leewan leaves Ettlinger and heads back to his camp. As he approaches a soldier approaches him and says Robillard must speak to him about an urgent matter.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-08-03, 16:54

Leewan figures he will listen to his brother before he sets to speak with another lord.

As he enters Robillard's tent he expects to see his brother at the bottom of a bottle. He is surprised to see this is not quite the case.

"What is the urgency Robillard?"
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-08-03, 17:49

Rob simply hands the letter forward. He gives Leewan enough time to read it, then holds out the bottle as well. Perhaps even the heartless Leewan will need a good shot of something bracing.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-08-03, 20:13

Leewan scans the short note and immediately squints his eyes and brings the paper closer to him to study the markings of the letter.

"Was this letter found with the official mark of Griswald?"
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-08-03, 20:15

Robillard hands Leewan the box, complete with the signet ring. Even without the ring, the ornate nature of the box is enough to raise some questions.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-08-03, 20:16

Leewan carefully folds the note and deposits into an inner pocket of his lordly robe. He shakes his head with disappointment.

"I was never aware that our father was weakened by emotion that he would show compassion to a bastard at the expense of the house ..."

Leewan realizes the implication of the box being here.

"Where is this kin of ours? Lurking in our camp?"
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-08-03, 20:19

"I simply found it here in this tent. The box itself raised my suspicions; what common soldier has such fine craftsmanship? I would assume that this Daratra must reside here, or at least trust the occupant."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-08-03, 20:37

"I am preoccupied with discussing the general opinion of the King and Noske's war plan with the other lords before the council. This is no small matter though. I will tell the guards to cease your partial confinement. Speak to Gwain and have him set his guard to the task. When they swear themselves to secrecy on behalf of Gwain they truly obey."

Leewan begins to leave for yet another lord's camp. If uninterrupted by Robillard he proceeds with haste.
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-08-03, 22:37

Robillard quickly heads off to find Gwain. As soon as he does, he pulls Gwain aside and whispers what they have found.

"I suggest we set a watch on the tent and question whoever lives there. They will either be Datara or know where she lives."
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-08-03, 22:48

"Father..." mutters Gwain, stunned. For several seconds, Gwain seems lost in a world of childhood dreams and broken promises. "Whoever this Datara is," he whispers, "she is our family. Are you really suggesting we skulk in the shadows to spy on our own kin?"
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-08-04, 00:28

"She must have some reason for wanting to remain hidden. After all, she hasn't come forth to Leewan, has she? Not that I say I blame her, mind you. Sometimes I look into his eyes and..." Robillard trails off for a moment, imagining looking into Leewan's cold, dead eyes, before giving himself a shake.

"I don't want to scare her off, Gwain. Our family has lost enough as it is. I don't want to lose our sister."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-08-04, 01:25

Leewan heads off to the only remaining Lord that he hasn't spoken to as of yet: Lord Bronstein. The camp belonging to Bronstein reminds Leewan heavily of his own; though this is unsurprising given both lords territories and keeps reside in tall mountains and both families have traditionally been responsible for guarding the passes into Acren. No cavalry to speak of, the tents are densely packed with infantry though uniquely Leewan notices sapping equipment among certain areas of the camp.

Sure enough, Leewan discovers Lord Bronstein is in his tent and is lead there by one of his Captains. Bronsteins tent is larger than one would expect from a Lords tent. More befitting a King than a Lord Leewan enters in to see the inside is well decorated with rugs, chairs, tables, and (most importantly) maps. Lord Bronstein, currently looking down at a map on a centre table, gestures for Leewan to take a seat but does not speak immediately.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-08-04, 01:48

"I do not deal in pleasantries Lord Bronstein. The forces of five lords and the King have gathered to fight in the blasted wastes. No plan of a straight forward assault with our combined forces will end profitably for us. The land is unfamiliar and we aim to fight while they are encamped in uneven terrain. Lest there be a hidden weapon of war that will turn the tide for us this plan is foolish. I am determined to gather the lords and voice protest to such a hasty battle. No war is won in these wastes with three weeks time to prepare. Holzer and Frey say they like minded to me on this matter and Ettlinger stands against us. I ask you, what are your thoughts on this matter?"
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-08-04, 02:50

Bronstein continues to look down at the map before him. Leewan still standing can see that the map is one detailing the coasts of Acren and the Blasted Lands. In particular, Bronstein has drawn a line along the map that leads from off the map to the North and comes to a tiny coastal town far to the East. The ageing man sighs and looks up at Leewan "Lords Frey and Holzer have already both come and spoken to me individually about the matter."

Bronstein leans back in his chair away from the table taking a more reclined posture. Taping one arm of the chair with his knuckles he speaks in an exhausted tone "What would make you think the King has only prepared for this war for three weeks?... It doesn't matter. The fact remains that the Lich's would be on our doorstep in a months time. Best to force them into fighting us away from our lands."

Ceasing his taping of the chair Bronstein continues speaking "No army has ever made it to the slave pit. They'll never let us so close. They'll fight us in the open, where they think they have the advantage."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-08-04, 06:38

"The bulk of their forces are haggard village dwellers fraught with hunger and disease. My kinsmen and their company saw this first hand. Had we brought these lyches to the mouths of the passes their rank and file would crumble under the strain of poverty. Even if we were not to fight at the gateway to our lands there are numerous stratagems superior to a concentrated charge."

Leewan takes a seat.

"And if the King openly admitted he had plans of this war well before the coronation that would have clear and dire ramifications with regards to the fate of his Eldar siblings."

Leewan glances down at the map.

"You have been across these parts before?"
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-08-04, 09:18

"You make a fair point Robillard. Let us watch from a distance and approach the tent when someone enters."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-08-04, 10:28

"Perhaps have your guard begin searching the camp for a woman named Datara as well. I am most anxious to meet her."
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-08-04, 13:25

"I want Gwain's Guard on standby in case anything goes wrong with the ones in the fellow camps. Besides, it's probably best that Datara, whoever she may be, does not know we are looking for her."
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