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Thread: The Guilded Lily and Kenku Allied Forces v.s. The Army of War

  1. #1
    Some Filthy Casual

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    Lye's Avatar

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    Lichensith Ulroke
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    The Guilded Lily and Kenku Allied Forces v.s. The Army of War

    Match begins tomorrow morning 2/6/2018 @ 4:00 A.M. CST and ends 2/27/18 @ 4:00 A.M CST.

    Please read the rules in regards to setting:

    Gisela Open Rules & Regulations

  2. #2
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    Philomel's Avatar

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    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
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    Stars were as spilt sugar, scattered over sable marble. They glistened as minature suns, beating hearts of hope and fire - the hope of the sun coming once again anew over the horizon, to shatter the tranquil darkness. Overall there was a calm, still quiet, that had not been broken. They sky herself was only interrupted in her fathomless beauty by the fine clouds slowly pushing their way across her face. The constellations, in their myriad of complexities, stayed as firm eternal guardians, as they had been beyond time had begun to be counted. Gazing down upon the vast tundra below, they held their forms steady, waiting for the silence of the night to shatter when the drums of war would, inevitably, begin.

    When the blood of enemies and the screams of the dying would rise up to the heavens, threatening to tear the perfect peace there asunder.

    Towards the east, set upon this large plain, was a tented, temporary camp. It was on a rise above the flatness of the larger expanse of the plain, tucked upon the gentle slope that some would never deign to give the title of 'hill.' A forest lay to the border, with strong coniferous trees creating a mass of everlasting greeery. Pines, firs, cypresses and cedars made a firm wood, wherein the boughs grew close together, hugging against the bitter winter cold. Not even the rudimentary wolf could creep beneath their shadows, and their needles were so fine and sharp, that they bade anyone who was faint at heart to stay well away. Thus it was that the camp had been formed with this wood to their back, with the rise then descending on the other side so that they had a fair view of the landscape.

    Warm, tough tents where they, to strive against this long, autumn night. Despite it not being in snows, and the depths of winter not fully having come yet, there was still need to pull wool and furs around ones forms. Few guards stood gazing out in readiness, stalking around the general circumference of the camp, for it was favourable to wait inside. Still, those that did watch were eager eyed, and ones on horses roamed far in sets of twos and threes. And in the sky a number of winged warriors circled, all of them bearing horns to sound if an attack was to come.

    The tents were arranged neatly and practically, with smaller, low lying ones to the edge, and the larger pavillions to the centre, closer to the impassable trees. The largest was a visage of suitably and command, with four mighty poles holding aloft the heavy canvas. One side was lifted up, and the more intrigued of guards meandering past, trussed up in their winter garb, sometimes dared a peak within. Sometimes dark eyes would turn and stare back at them, and this would cause that inquisitive mind to gasp and run off - or they would pause long enough to hear voices ...

    "We have been here already for ten hours," a stern voice growled. It came from the mouth of a curvaceous, tall faun, whose eyes were like steel sword bared for battle. She was fully dressed in a dark crimson bodice and chainmail, with two mighty swords strapped to her back. Hands placed on a rough table before her she stared darkly at the other companions within the tent.

    Four gazed back - namely a kenku, a fox and two male humans. One human seemed a decent age above the other, and was rather nonchantly leaning against one of the large tent poles, arms folded. The younger was reaching for the table also, his fingers dancing above the large map of the area there. The kenku, with her long, solid beak, feathery body and dark, dark eyes had her hands clasped before her, whilst the fox perched wildly on her shoulder. Each of them, with a rainbow of hues in their irises, looked back to the faun and collectively grunted, shrugged and muttered a response.

    "We don't know."

    "Ten hours!" the faun, Philomel van der Aart, seethed, irritation dripping from her voice, "We set up this camp just at midday and now what - it is the middle of the night. How long do they expect us to wait? Have you -" she threw narrowed eyes to the kenku, "Have your fliers seen anything?"

    The kenku twisted her eyes slightly to the right, where the fox on her shoulder glanced back at her, and gave a shrug. She - for she was a she-bird, and her name was Stare Tsukaka - grumbled before shaking her head once. "No, and you would hear them if they did. Everyone is patrolling in collections of at least three on my last order, faun, and so if there was a sudden attack -"

    "We would know."

    This came from the younger human male, now tracing the line of the forest on the map with a finger. Crimson hair fell just beyond his face as he did so. There was a pause, which he calculated correctly meant all were now paying attention to him and he slowly raised his head. Equally vivid red eyes to his hair flickered across them, one to one. "They are all carrying horns. We would know if there was a sneak attack."

    "You know we could go to sleep," muttered Stare, mostly directing it to the red hed, who was also known as Nevin, "But I don't think bossy boots there would-"

    "I am not bossy!" hissed Philomel, folding her arms firmly over her chest. "I am, rather, the commander of this army, and you will pay me respect!"

    A sharp draw in of breath. An uneasy frigid moment settled as awkwardness filled the tent and became the primary element of the atmosphere. Seconds passed as the technical truth stood abruptly in the air - yet just the technical only. Really, they knew that they, collectively, had mutual direction over what the army would do, and what the plan would be when their foe eventually came to the battlefield.

    The silence extended for some time.

    Finally the fifth individual shoved his way off the pole and stepped forwards, rubbing his jaw. "Princess ..." he grumbled to the faun, and he received a horrific glare. Yet, he kept his blue eyes focused on her, as he lifted his chin. "Princess. You asked us all here to help you lead it. And we are here to assist. But not to be shouted at. We are an alliance, and that is what we will show our enemy that we are of nature and nature is powerful. That was what you wanted. An alliance."

    He gazed at the others. "Of the Gilded Lily armies , the kenku race ... and redhead's weird church."
    Last edited by Philomel; 02-06-2018 at 03:19 PM.
    Matriarch of the Gilded Lily and of its brothels, associated establishments and the army.

    --
    Characters:
    The family triplet: Philomel, Vaeron and Celandine.
    The god and kenku triplet: Stare, Avin and Vixen.

  3. #3
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    Revenant's Avatar

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    William Arcus
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    William walked among his followers, noting that there was no uniformity to the so-called Army of War. To even call the fanatics and madmen that made up the force an army was an insult to a properly regimented military force. This made a certain amount of sense considering that Jeremiah Gustav, the lunatic who'd gathered the army and self-titled High Hierophant, had based his army's recruitment upon cult tactics instead of military doctrine.

    Gustav had been a minor noble in Corone but had lost his position during the height of the Coronian Civil War. Along with his inherited title, Gustav had lost his mind. But though he was more than a little insane, the High Hierophant had been a masterfully charismatic individual. He'd also possessed intimate knowledge of a variety of occult rituals, including several rituals for the summoning of demons. Gustav preached his message of tearing down society to the cast-offs of the civil war, reaping his reward in followers from those that Corone's new government left. He fed and clothed them, and they devoted themselves fully to him and his promise that one day an infernal savior would rise up to lead them against society.

    Unfortunately for the High Hierophant, his charisma and occultism amounted to little when an infernal savior actually arrived.

    The cult immediately bowed to accept William as their messiah upon Gustav's death at the revenant's hand. Those who remained loyal to the High Hierophant found themselves either fleeing or being fed to the forge demons. William accepted their fealty, even though he'd never really considered himself a leader of men.

    "Domnus!" a rider called out at the edge of camp, using the title Gustav gave to the cult's prophet. William grimaced. He hated the title but couldn't reject it without rejecting his place in the eyes of the cult. Despite all his power, he was still bound by the cult's religious fervor.

    "Here," William called back to the rider, startling a nearby group or men who'd apparently dismissed him as just another drifter. William gestured the cult's blessing at them and turned his attention elsewhere, letting the fanatics fall all over themselves in their rush to make obeisance.

    "Domnus," the rider called out again in respect as he approached. William rolled his eyes and waved for the man to continue. William didn't know the man's name but he was clearly one of the hound masters that William had set to patrol the perimeter.

    "Numerous sentries have spotted the enemy's outriders and have followed them back to their main camp. It's set up atop a small rise to the east of here, across an open tundra."

    "Were you spotted?"

    "Undoubtedly, Domnus. There were several small skirmishes between our scouts but no real casualties to speak of. They've likely reported us to their leaders."

    William frowned but nodded. "Alert Kharas and have him report to my tent."

    ***

    William glanced up, surprised to find Kharas standing at attention inside his tent. The revenant had been so lost in his study of terrain maps that he hadn't heard the vampiric warlord's approach. Despite being clad in heavy plate the Raieran made little sound when he wasn't howling his bloodthirsty, frenzied war cry. William recovered quickly and nodded his respect to the man.

    "We have found the enemy, Arcus?" Kharas asked as he approached, his surprisingly light voice echoing from within the depths of his bladed helm.

    William nodded and gestured to a few new notations he'd made on the map. He'd complied several more reports from returning scouts in the time it had taken Kharas to make his way across camp. Still, what he had to go on wasn't much.

    "They've made camp on a hilltop in this area," William said, pointing to a small rise on the other end of the plain. "We've seen both ground and air scouts but little in the way of defensive fortifications. I'm inclined to belive that they've only recently arrived."

    The warlord's burning gaze swept to the scratches on the parchment in front of him. "Give me command of your army and I will bathe in the blood of your enemies this night."

    William arched an eyebrow. "And likely lose half the army in the process. We've little night-fighting capability aside from the demons and the hounds. The rest of those howling fanatics would be little more than bumbling fools out there. Not to mention that when they get all worked up there'd be little difference between friend or foe in the dark. Half of our casualties will be from our own people."

    Kharas was unmoved. "It matters not, Arcus," he swept a clawed gauntlet in a sharp slashing motion. "There are casualties in war and the more blood shed the better."

    William snorted. "Tell me that it doesn't matter when you have no one left for your blood sport."

    "Irrelevant," Kharas said. "I will kill all of your enemies. That is all that matters."

    William made to reply but cut himself off. As mindlessly bloodthirsty as Kharas was, there was a certain pleasurable bluntness to his approach. He ran through several scenarios of how Kharas' plan would work but ultimately couldn't see a way through without too many unacceptable losses.

    "No, Kharas. They know we're here now and will be preparing for us. A charge uphill into a ready enemy will be costly enough without the charge being done in the middle of the night."

    Kharas nodded acceptance. He'd made his case and been rejected. Despite the breach of formalities that William allowed, Kharas knew that William was still his superior. "How do you wish to proceed?"
    "The enemy's camp is an hour march from here. They'll doubtless be preparing for an assault and we can't give them the luxury of deciding what to do at their own pace. We have the initiative and we need to keep it. Summon a hundred forge demons and call out a hundred spring mortars. I'll take them to the plain opposite the enemy's camp and use them to rain fire down as the enemy puts together their defenses."

    "And the rest of us?"

    "We'll move at a slow march to give their scouts plenty of warning. I want them up all night in their defensive positions. You'll have the rest of the army stay ready to move out at a moment's notice but get a couple of hours of sleep. Then you wake and march to join the forward position just before dawn. We will attack an exhausted enemy at dawn."

    "And if they choose to sally forth against you instead of hunkering down?"

    William nodded and gestured to the newest marks that'd been made on the map. "I'll take a thousand men, the hundred censors to support them, and half the hounds to this location. In the dark it should be hard to estimate numbers and enough men will make the enemy hesitate to charge directly out into what could potentially be a vastly outnumbering force."

    "And you'll be a small and fast-moving enough force that you can fall back to join the advancing army should they come out," Kharas noted.

    "Where they'll be just as blind as us," William agreed. "Just be ready to rouse everyone to march at a moment's notice."

    William called for runners to spread the word while he and Kharas finished the details of the upcoming engagement. By the time he emerged, armed and armored for war, the camp was buzzing with excited energy. Finally, they would see battle and drown their enemies in blood.

    The battle-group departed to the sounds of chanting and the roars of eager demons.
    "I have looked upon all that the universe has to hold of horror, and even the skies of spring and the flowers of summer must ever afterward be poison to me." - Call of Cthulhu

    David vs. Goliath: History's first recorded critical hit.

  4. #4
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    Philomel's Avatar

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    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
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    Faun (+ Fox/Earth Spirit)
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    Murmurs could be heard throughout the camp as the news swiftly came from the west. Whispers became mutters, became rumours, became gasps and then cries as the understanding swiftly developed. Every ear that the words came across comprehended just what they implied; that the enemy was now here, and was swiftly approaching. That those who dared to stand in the path of nature's power had deemed themselves now worthy to stride upon the tundra, summoning their forces to herald the battle of a glorious century.

    It had been a certain young faun, travelling with her loyal companions as they strode over the plains as a company of three. Armed with steel maces and a crossbow that hung from belts and thumped against their haunches, they had been striding around the circumference of the camp, around a quarter of a mile. They were prime examples of the Brawlers of the Gilded Lily Army - fine, strong women who relied on strength above all else. Quietly they had been speaking and determinedly they had been ranging, eyes keen and eager for any signs of the incoming army. Even ten hours of no news had not dulled these ladies spirits.

    Gasping, Celandine, daughter of the great commander herself, froze in her hoofstep, her eyes wide and staring. Within half a second her two comrades had halted, alert as she and hefting their maces into the air.

    "What is it, Lady Dine?" one asked, her tone rich and deep with passion. "What do you see?"

    Celandine's eyes widened as she raised a hand and shoved it into the air. It pointed out towards the vast plain that was the tundra, dim in the dark light. Her bright green eyes piercing she gestured madly and began to blabber quickly.

    "I saw - I was sure I saw, it was ..."

    The one who had spoken nodded her head once, knowing exactly what was being said. Looking to their third companion, a bulky elf-maid, she exchanged a single nod with her before she twisted on her foot. Then, with pounding steps that shook the earth around her she began to run, hand gripping around her heavy weapon that was brutal and sharp. With her other fingers she grappled with the horn that hung by her crossbow, and it took three attempts to fully be able to grapple it properly. Then, with a trembling hold she raised the sounding implement to her lips and blew long and powerful.

    Whispers began. Whispers that became mutters, rumours, gasps and then cries.

    "Where do we stand?" Philomel van der Aart said in a low voice as she threw back the flaps to the command tent. Following swiftly the four other captains of the army bustled out after, on paw, claw and foot. The fox was now off the kenku's shoulder, his golden eyes gleaming as he pattered at the hooves of the mighty faun.

    "Reports are coming in of the enemy splittering in various places. What we have approaching us directly is a small but powerful force that we consider to be demons," Stare said in a low voice, the eyes of the kenku dark and bitter. "Else, Aron and his fliers report that there are some larger forces collecting. Those reports are still coming in but -"

    "But what?" Philomel shrieked, whirling around and glaring at the kenku, "Just what?"

    Stare straightened, eyes narrowing. "But, Philomel, it will take time. We know where their camp is, but we do not know how many forces they have nor the type. Hells knows, if we have one set of demons the whole army could be thus."

    The faun's jaw tightened, locking into place as she swiftly turned her eyes away. Glancing only briefly to the one who could say as he willed to her, Vaeron, she let her eyes wander back around the camp. Fast and furious now the words flew on wings of heavy preperation. Humans, elves, dwarves and halflings ran in their leather armour and myriad of weapons amongst the small gatherings of kenkus preparing bows. From one direction came the whinny of horses, and elsewhere chatterings of the bird mounts known as kenkus. Fires lit the camp well and brightly, but partly they were a danger in this large camp that could become their grave. An unknown enemy, an unknown amount of warriors ... and Philomel could be responsible for all of their ends. Today, she had to be the warrior that her goddess had made her.

    Slowly the faun drew to a halt, and her four companions did also. Chewing her lip with agitation Philomel finished inspecting the warriors scattering to and fro, finding their arms and mounts to prepare, and turned to the captains. Sucking in her breath she raised her chin, then began to nod.

    "Fine. Fine. We have warriors coming swiftly in, and it would be best to keep them off our lands for as long as possible. Stare," she looked to the kenku, who nodded. "The infantry should be able to hold a shield wall for some time, yes?"

    Stare slowly blinked, noticing the slight change in Philomel's tone, but nodded. "For some time. Support could be useful ..."

    "Take half the brawlers," Philomel grunted, "Celandine should be back. Hold them off for as long as you can."

    "I will take them to the field myself," the kenku rolled back her shoulders and slipped her clawed hand down to cover the hilt of her dagger. "And we will-"

    "Not sacrifice yourselves," the faun said abruptly, in a full, firm tone.

    It made the world quieten for a moment. Eyes - red, blue, gold, black and silver - glanced to one another. Then there were silent nods, but sighs as each one accepted, truly, that they could at one moment be meeting their deaths. It was entirely a possibility, but it had been the doubtless sacrifice that they had made in order to uphold their most base beliefs.

    "Vaeron, take half the riders," Philomel said in a calmer, stiller voice. "Scout out, do what damage you can and find out where they approach from. Meanwhile Nevin and I," she gestured at the other human who had still not said a thing since exiting the tent, "Will organise the defence of this camp. Pikewomen, Speakers, Lancers ... we will need them all for this war."

    Slowly she pushed a hand through the sweat-stained hair of her brow, stiff from moisture born of anxiety she had been hiding. Gently, but awkwardly, her mood less chaotic but more sorrowful since the realisation of just what they could be about to face came to her. But she had to be strong, had to be resolute. It was her who had summoned this army, her who had been determined to make this stand.

    All hail the glory of mother nature. Raising a hand she waved it - a simple but direct command. Slowly, Stare inclined her head before twisting around on her clawed foot. Then, with hand still on the hilt of her small but sure weapon the kenku began to run, calling out to summon the two sections of the army she had been given temporary control over. First, the Kenku Infantry with shields of tough metal who where highly trained to hold a firm chield wall. Second, half the forces of the Brawlers, whose strength could never be denied, armed with their maces and crossbows. Calling out as she can she hailed them to her side, heading out to the north west where the incoming army was apparently to arrive. Steadily the thousand-strong Infantry would advance, creating a firm, and supposedly impassable wall as the Brawlers shot between their shields.

    Vaeron remained for a single moment before grunting and straightening. Hand extending over his shoulder he dragged out his huge eklan bow. With no words he turned and left himself, heading away towards the war-whinnies of the horses. Soon, just over a hundred horses would break through the ranks of the closely knit tents and rage towards the west where they knew the camp was. Armed with bows that could be shot as skillfully from the back of a charging horse as if standing they would range in a wide scouting circle, but one full of speed and aiming to survive over dying.

    Lastly, now with two captains gone, Philomel looked to the red-haired messiah of the Crimson Church. Alone with only the fox Veridian who was currently mesmerised by a brazier of flame, they awkwardly gazed at one another.

    Silence extended.

    "Well ..."

    "You get the healers prepared and I prepare defence of the camp?" Philomel suggested.

    "Fine with me," Nevin the alchemist agreed quickly. Then he too spun on heel and rushed away. Leaving the fine commander to do as she could.

    The battle had only just begun.
    Last edited by Philomel; 02-16-2018 at 03:13 AM.
    Matriarch of the Gilded Lily and of its brothels, associated establishments and the army.

    --
    Characters:
    The family triplet: Philomel, Vaeron and Celandine.
    The god and kenku triplet: Stare, Avin and Vixen.

  5. #5
    Senior Member

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    Revenant's Avatar

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    William Arcus
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    Revenant
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    William drew his formation to a halt with a single barked command. He eyed the enemy’s camp across the frozen space before him. His men were cold from the hour long march they’d taken, but the heat emanating from the lumbering forge demons had thus far prevented any major frostbite casualties. Not that the cultists were the type to be put out by such things. A sleepless night and a march across an icy waste was nothing compared to the prospect of spilling blood for their master. Gustav had done a good job preparing them.

    “Is this close enough?” William asked nodding at the encampment. Thrace, the senior most spring mortar gunner squinted at the shadows. His dishwater eyes scanned across the hilltop and the forest behind it, then lifted to the starts in thought.

    “It’s a distance for sure, Domnus,” the man said with a shrug. “There’s only a light wind on tonight but it’s hitting that forest and driving towards us.”

    William nodded. He could smell the smoke from the enemy’s campfires all the way across the plain. “I’d prefer to keep our distance for the moment, Thrace. We’re only here as a harrying force to keep the enemy tired and chasing shadows all night until Kharas gets here in three hours or so. If your teams can’t get the range here I need to know now.”

    Though William’s words didn’t waver from the same conversational tone that he’d been using, Thrace flinched. The thought of failure was repugnant.

    “We’ll make the shots, Domnus. Though me might need a volley or two at this range to get our arcs right.”

    William grunted. “You’ll have one volley, and only with half of your mortars.” He turned to another man opposite Thrace. “Bel, call up the forge demons and stagger them with the mortar teams at the front. Make sure the demons stay at the fore. We want their iron hide taking any of the shots that get sent our way.” Bel and Thrace nodded and moved to carry out his orders, their bellowing voices cutting through the crisp midnight air.

    Across from them a mass of writhing black bodies was forming up on the downslope of the enemy’s camp. It moved slowly together as it advanced, a necessity in the moonlight. Another force of horses poured down another slope, looking to either get around to the flank of William’s smaller band or either to get behind them. William sneered at them.

    “I should have roused the Siegebreaker,” he mused as he watched the cavalry make their way down the slopes. A single horse running at night was folly. Especially across the uneven tundra surrounding them. It was too easy for a rider to miss a thin pocket of frost and to lose a horse to a snapped leg. But a while mass of riders pouring across the dark at once seemed suicidal. Either the enemy commander was green or else their scouts had some other trick up their sleeve. He sincerely hoped that it was the former and that his midnight advance had spooked them. That was, after all, his intent.

    “Hound masters,” he roared as he gestured to the flank that the riders would be coming from. “Form the hounds up on that edge but keep them in tight. Bearers, light your censers. But stay behind the demons. I don’t want their scouts getting a good count of how few we are.”

    “The mortars have paired off, Domnus,” Thrace called. “How should we proceed?”

    “Count off half your teams in alternating groups,” William answered. “I want group one to fire into the advancing line. Tighten their formation up and slow their advance. I want the second group to prepare their load for firing but to hold off until after the first rank has loosed.”

    “Demon master,” he called out. “Have your demons focus on the mortar javelins and light them up. Once they have fully lit up I want them arced over the enemy and into their tents. Let’s see how these fools fight while their camp is on fire.”

    William drew his massive dragon bone cleaver and watched as his orders were relayed down the line. Behind him the scent of the censer bearer’s drugged incense started to flow and the cultists began their apocalyptic chanting.

    “It begins,” he thought at the first fifty mortars cracked, sending their massive javelin bolts hurtling across the field.
    "I have looked upon all that the universe has to hold of horror, and even the skies of spring and the flowers of summer must ever afterward be poison to me." - Call of Cthulhu

    David vs. Goliath: History's first recorded critical hit.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator

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    Philomel's Avatar

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    Name
    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
    Age
    30 (+10)
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    Faun (+ Fox/Earth Spirit)
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    Female (+ Male)
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    Corone

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    It is said that warriors have a hard time not falling into the pits of despair when their horses are dying around them. This is because of the ear-piercing screams that utter from the maws of the mighty beasts - they say it is like hell itseld. Dreadful shrieks pour across the fields where the mounts are dying, hammering through the air for many, many metres and chilling the ear drums. They say that cavalrymen fear the time that their horse is felled, because of this sheer outburst of protest.

    Vaeron took his mounted archers as fast and furious as they could. One hundred and twenty five emboldened archers, armed with the best that their lady could provide in the time. Down the wide slope they galloped, the manes of their many-coloured horses streaming in the wind as they flew from the safety of the camp. With hearts beating wildly of both being and beast the troupe raged towards the oncoming storm. Their mission was simple - to ride out and scout as a collective, powerful and, above all, swift force - but it was not without its dangers. At least twenty riders were knocked from their steeds in that tremendous, glorious ride, as heavy javelins assaulted them. It was clear their was power within them, and Vaeron held his breath as he saw their first, horrendous shadowy sight in the sky. His eyes spread over the army before he raised his hand and the horses began to turn but - but it had always been too late.

    Those dire screams of horses spread as the ugly and terrible spikes plunged into their flesh and impaled them into the ground. Riders flew, slamming into each other, and some even shared their beloved's mounts fate. It was all that the great captain could do to save the rest of the mounted archers, to deny even one moment of fire before returning to the safety of the camp.

    Meanwhile down from the other side of the hill, the bold kenku infantry were forming a solid shield wall. A thousand of them marched on rapid claws, eyes set upon the devilish monsters before them. Between each locked shield a brawler maiden ran, bearing a crossbow and aiming it at the heads, horns and other body parts of the demons. "Darkness is but darkness," they chanted as they plunged forwards as a mighty bearing, careful to protect their sides as dark beings of fire and shadow leered upon them. But the crossbow bolts kept raining. They kept coming as their shield brethren kept them protected from side, front, and above as the best that they could.

    The fantastic, heavy hooves of Megladon, Vaeron's huge war stallion, charged into the centre of the seemingly chaotic, mad camp. Together the two of them had barely been out of the camp for little longer than a few minutes of prepared galloping, yet the horse's sides heaved with quivering stress and sweat clung as a crown to Vearon's temples. His lank, salt and pepper hair hung like braided cords as he headed directly for the faun who was at the centre of all of the camp's rush of individuals running left to right. Barely did he encourage Megladon to halt, as he threw himself off the stallion's back and march over to Philomel, who was debating with several captains at once.

    "Princess!" he yelled, "This is,"

    Shaking her head furiously, she refused to acknowledge his right to speak. Holding up a hand to him she continued her rant with a tall and pale-feathered kenku who seemed intent on arguing as to why chocobos were not a good idea against hounds. Philomel was trying to explain that they had to use all of their resources currently, however the kenku's point seemed to be that the birds would bolt at the first sight of such beasts -

    "Princess!" Vaeron tried again.

    "Vearon," she did not look at him, "Now is not-"

    Instead, the horseman rounded on the captains before the faun. "The lot of you. We are under severe attack right now. What the general says, goes," he spoke harshly and bitterly. There was a dull pause before he roared, "Get on your fucking WAYS!"

    The pale kenku shook for a moment, before huffing but nodding, gesturing for his comrades to turn. Apparently they could feel the anxiety pouring from the faun's old friend, and were finally beginning to understand the severity of what they were facing. Vaeron tightened his jaw and glared at them as they scurried away like little scared children, before he heard Philomel speak.

    "What - what was that? Why are you back so early?"

    He raised his chin as he switched his gaze back to her. "Princess. They are demons. They have what seems like hell-hounds, and technology we can barely comprehend. Even now, the kenku infantry are making their shield wall, but they look to be against monoliths. Giants of shadow. We need more serious tactics other than dallying about with scouts. I just lost at least twenty of my finest archers to some projectiles that are basically javelins from those Aleraran cannons."

    The faun breathed slow and narrowed her eyes. Yet, she made no comment. Instead, she made him stand there, looking at her in concern and fury as the expression on her face remained stoic. With her grey irises and deep, fathomless pupils, she studied the horseman for a while, and forced him to wait.

    "Princess ..." he murmured after a full two minutes.

    "The pikewomen are currently spread around the camp in sections of two hundred. They will protect us from any direct attack, and have been ordered to remain there, not take part in any form of combat unless the camp itself is threatened."

    "A last line of defence," Vaeron slowly nodded, understanding, "They do have fire."

    "As for what you say ... these machines?"

    "Behind the enemy lines," he grunted, folding his arms. Behind him Megladon began to lap up large lungfuls of water. "They are-"

    As if on cue a huge javelin suddenly spiralled from the sky. It whistled as it went, screaming like the shrieks of the dying horses that still rang in Vaeron's ears and assailed right towards the pair. Vaeron felt his breath catch in his chest, yet the woman who he was with was swift. Quickly she yelled out and jumped - her preparatory crouch only lasting so long. Then she was but a blur as she excelled both strength and speed, launching into the sky. A second and no more passed, before she landed, heavily, two hooves on the ground. Her hands was outstretched, however, and in it was the projectile. Her eyes, now filled with true rage, ranged up the steel rod up and down before she spat.

    "Bah, cruel things," she hissed. "How did they get so far?"

    Vaeron glanced at where they were - rather deep in the belly of the camp. Slowly, he shook his head. "I have little idea. Perhaps a fluke. However, they are likely our greatest enemy."

    Philomel nodded once, before her hand tightened around the javelin. Then she began to march, her pace swift and impossible for Vaeron to comprehend once more as she began to disappear into the hubbub of the wild, but apparently organised camp. With practised ease he took the two steps he needed to gain back into Megladon's saddle and canter after her.

    "What now?"

    The faun was turning a corner, her eyes deep with darkness and the idea of revenge. Still, she held that javelin, knuckles growing white, up-lit as they were in the glorious firelight. As a new avenue came to meet her Vaeron was brought face to face with the huge hero of a beast called Delath. Twenty foot long, and mottled brown and green he was the embodiment of earthly goodness but in a reptile. Once a dragon, and now a wingless glory, he was mostly muscle and intelligence, who greeted the faun with a greedy smile as she came up close.

    "Now, we do what we should have done in the first place," Philomel said, her hand reaching out and touching Delath's nose. Gently she smiled. "Delath. Summon the drakes my dear. Vaeron, be so kind as to get the Airborne."

    And a similar grin to Delath's spread over Vaeron's face as he bowed his head. Then he began to laugh. For very soon, two hundred and fifty wild - truly wild - drakes would be rolling down the hills, barely unstoppable. They were huge, vicious and had no leader but their own desires to eat - chomping through steel as if it were butter. They would cause the mighty distraction as a thousand flying kenkus then took to the sky, as black as the night itself. They would fly over the army, disguised by the dark of the shadow, then begin to reign down bolt after bolt, dodging what they knew of the javelins. Casualties would, of course, occur, but now this was their best plan, and their best chance.

    The Army of War would face their own death.
    Matriarch of the Gilded Lily and of its brothels, associated establishments and the army.

    --
    Characters:
    The family triplet: Philomel, Vaeron and Celandine.
    The god and kenku triplet: Stare, Avin and Vixen.

  7. #7
    Supreme Overlord

    EXP: 81,363, Level: 12
    Level completed: 34%, EXP required for next Level: 8,637
    Level completed: 34%,
    EXP required for next Level: 8,637


    Max Dirks's Avatar

    GP
    1
    AP
    71
    Name
    Max Dirks
    Age
    32
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone

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    Thanks for being patient guys. Lye has asked me to jump in and judge round one. I just have a few preliminary things to go over first. Because no threads achieved 10 posts, I'll be using the condensed rubric. I did markdown individual category scores if you want to know them, but I'll only be provided generic commentary here. Per Lye, I also did not factor in activity into scoring. Finally, and most importantly, don't be alarmed by the low scores. A good story requires a beginning, middle and end. Your story barely started. Character scores factor in interaction. There was very little. In other words, be proud of your work, because everyone was trending well had the threads continued.

    Revenant
    Story - 13/35 - You had the best introduction to the round with a solid frame of reference for both William and his army's actions. The nod to setting, particularly the darkness, cold temperatures and fatigue were strong, but obviously this did not go far. The pacing was good. The hour advance was done cleanly.
    Character- 13/35 - William's plan for the army was apparent, but we never got to the point where it would be relevant. Mannerisms were carefully detailed and dialogue was natural and believable.
    Writing - 22/30 - I only noticed two usage errors in your posts. Writing was clear, and you paced the thread well by manipulating sentence structure and length. I caught no extraordinary literary technique within the few posts submitted.

    Total - 48/100

    Philomel
    Story - 11/35 - The way you introduced your supporting characters was somewhat bizarre and unclear. There was nothing overly unique about the setting, but I think in the long run it would favor your army's strengths. Posts were a bit overwhelming, as though you trying to combine a bit too much action into a short period.
    Character - 12/35 - I was impressed that you were the only player to take a loss in round one. While you might have strong armed it into attempted character growth a bit too quickly here, loss can be an excellent way to advance the story. Dialogue was fine and flowed well.
    Writing - 15/30 - I forgave British spelling and noticed only a handful of misspelled words; however, your thread was full of usage errors (e.g. "they" sky in your opening paragraph and "redhed" when referring to Nevin). You're a good writer, but giver her a slow once over in a tournament and these errors will be gone. You overused commas and put them in odd places, which broke up your writing and made it less clear.

    Total - 38/100

    Revenant advances!

    Thanks to Philomel for participating and being active. Lye has not let me know how he plans to handle rewards, but I will add them when I get word.

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