Garrek nodded. Some of his troops had been left behind. As the High Inquisitor's force rode through past his, he sent a runner with a message asking riders to go tell those regiments to return to him and join.
"We're behind schedule on crossing that river", he grumbled, but there was no point in him rushing east yet. He would escort this half of the cannons at the very end.
"Keep firing at those troops visible up north!" He ordered loudly at the cannoneers.
True glory consists in in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read; and in so living as to make the world happier for our living in it.
~ Plinius Maior
OOC: Eastern Unit block crosses the river, Marines leading and making sure its safe. Then cannons setup to cover the far side of the river if any enemies try to follow us across.
Having recovered from a mild case of daydreaming that cost them some time, Taniel started firing orders to his men. "Nice and orderly, across the bridge! I want those guns across and setup to fire in twenty minutes! Marines, on point and make sure we have a secure perimeter!" He ordered as he rode his horse near the head of the unit.
He looked out over the horizon and hopped that the detachment of cannons and marines to the west would be okay.
Republic general Afternoon arrives, hot and heavy. After several hours of maneuvering, the men clutch their weapons close with sweaty hands, squinting at the vast, empty sky. More and more the sounds of artillery and shouting men fill the landscape.
High Inquisitor Pietro Gori The High Inquisitor arrives at the detached force and orders their retreat. However, barely have the words been spoken when the alarm is raised: from beyond the hills to the west a great horde of humanity spills, four or five thousand wailing and howling men. Zealots, peasants and farmers driven mad by devotion to their demon overlords! No doubt useless as a fighting force, but by their sheer numbers alone worth reckoning with. As the Republican forces brace for contact, word arrives from the southern flank: a second force is sighted on the hills there. While the High Inquisitor ponders his next move, the horde tastes its first volley of Republican gunpowder.
General Garrek (Renal Sistorian) The artillery fires, but through his looking-glass General Garrek can tell most of the bombardment falls short of the intended target or else the distance is too great for any accuracy. From the southwest, drifting faintly on the wind, comes an insane, thousand-throated yelling: Gori must be engaged in combat.
First Citizen Avus Gula Has chilled wine served while surveying the enemy centre lines, far to the north.
Commodore "Black Jack" Taniel Corso While the Pioneers and the Inquisitors continue to strengthen the crossings, thousands of Republican soldiers cross the already existing ones and establish themselves firmly on the other side. Sending scouts out over the gently hilled island, the Commodore soon learns of an enemy regiment ensconced in a great Mansion at the island's northern edge. A few early, inaccurate volleys of artillery are fired in that direction to no great effect. Parties of Dominion scouts have also been sighted on the island - it can only be a question of time before the Dominion high command is made aware of the Republican crossing.
It was an incarnation of what he wanted to extirpate from the world, a senseless horde of peasants and demon zealots charging against him. He could flee the glee in his veins ran through, but he then saw in the distance the cavalry. It was probably the archonic cavalry. Neither him, nor the horde, and of course the cavalry wasn’t in the range of the artillery.
But he would not fall today, not like this, not butchered by a mob of animals.
His hand went towards his belt, and grabbed the gun, he then took one of the red cartridges and shoot towards the position of the army. A thin, red line of smoke formed in the sky.
Sistorian would get the message, and send reinforcements his way. He was sure of it.
Meanwhile he would tell the regiments to slowly organize a organized retreat.
They had to cross the bridge, the water though shallow would offer them an advantage against this kind of hordes.
Garrek saw the flare rise above the hills. He could hear the distant tumult of approaching soldiers, the firing of guns.
"Send word to send our westward-facing pike regiments to support the High Inquisitor. And aim these veteran artilleries that way, to provide support if they can be relatively sure they won't hit friendlies."
"What about the rookie artilleries?" Jallan asked.
Garrek pointed east. "Send them toward the bridge with two or three regiments of escort. We need to evacuate past the river before we get trapped and surrounded."
True glory consists in in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read; and in so living as to make the world happier for our living in it.
~ Plinius Maior
Republic general Chaos comes swirling down, and the hills and the fields ring with the undulating cries of Dominii zealots!
General Garrek (Renal Sistorian) Sending away a good portion of his force east and west, General Garrek remained alone in the centre to watch as events unfolded, first with confidence, then with alarm. Distant, confused and seemingly meaningless, enemy movements suddenly coalesced in understanding of horrible intent, as thousands of swarming fanatics issued forth from the hills to the north and crossed the river to the far east. The enemy was attacking in force!
Shortly after this realization, his men cry out in alarm and throw themselves on the ground. Looking up, confused, he spies black silhouettes against the lowering sun - which reveal themselves to be huge avian beasts, eagles, laden with heavy rocks being dropped at his artillery! The nearby Inquisitors rush forward to fend off this new menace, but the eagles circle in and out of range. Several cannon have been disabled.
High Inquisitor Pietro Gori The charge of the Dominion cavalry seemed all but unstoppable. Even after sending in his own milling cavalry to plug the breach, the Dominii fought as if possessed! The High Inquisitor cranes his neck, this way and that, seeking some overview of the pandemonium surrounding him. Sistorian's reinforcements are tearing the peasant rabble to pieces - but the southern flank is disintegrating. Surrounded by the elite 1st Equestrian Inquisition, Gori sees the banner of the Dominion princeling, the brother of General Sistorian, leading the cavalry charge not far from his position. If the High Inquisitor cut off the snake's head, the rest of the Dominion charge would surely fall apart...
First Citizen Avus Gula Gulping down his wine, the First Citizen ordered his troops to brace for impact, and commandeered the artillery moving behind his lines to open fire on the plains. The fools thought they could attack him?
Commodore "Black Jack" Taniel Corso Fires! The enemy has torched the fields to the north and northeast, plumes of black smoke attempting to obscure his vision. Even so, his artillery opens withering fire into the flank of the enemy charge across the river.
"Blackened Sun and Shattered Moon!" Garrek swore loudly, turning to look at the enemy air cavalry. The High Inquisitor's force was firing plentiful flares in demand of more troops.
"GET THOSE EAGLES OUT OF THE SKY!" He ordered at no one in particular, and turned to Jellard. "You! Take control of one of our regiments and go bolster Gori. It's all I can afford. And Oshett! Prepare our defences at the road! I want ten men dead for every one we lose! The templars will join you!"
The battle was turning into chaos. It reminded him of the first battle he'd fought under Torval. He rode to Corso's artillery captains. "Remember! If there's any risk of the artillery falling into enemy hands, set them to explode! Now keep firing at the mass infantry!"
The captain looked at the eagles swooping in the air. "But the..."
Garrek drew his sword. "KEEP FIRING! I will have order in this battlefield!"
The captain hesitantly confirmed his orders. Garrek turned his horse back around and yelled: "LET BATTLE BE JOINED!"
(Orders for Spooky: Send yellow regiments 9 and 10 to bolster my batallion. Hold ground.)
General Late afternoon lowers itself over Varantium. Faintly claw the cries of dying men at the heavenly vaults as gods and generals play their games...
First Citizen Avus Gula Like waves breaking on the rocky shore, the zealots washed up against the Republican positions. Only slowly and from behind did their movement shift, like a vast entity blindly running its hands over a wall, looking for weaknesses - and it did. Pouring into the opening between the Republican forces, they charged - and crashed into a second line of defences, hastily drawn up by hard-eyed Faloran men ordering merciless volleys with clipped, desperate breath.
The peasant charge stalled, confused, recoiling at the sides from the press of gunpowder ruckus. Hot boiling blood calmed and eyes widening with sudden fright looked left, right, ahead and saw nothing but a miasma of dust and smoke and death-
Then came a sound as from a hundred trumpets, and from the midst of the fanatic horde there rose a cheer, wild and challenging. They surged forward...
Jacopo de Campati, colonel of the 4th Pike Regiment, Republican Army “Fire!” he howled, throat hoarse, and the snap and clatter of projectiles punched into the soft flesh of another wave of heretics. Still they came on, less than men, growling and spitting as they launched themselves to their oblivion.
“Second line, reload! Third line, fire!”
Another concerted crack, the flash of light and the plumes of smoke, and the reply: screaming, wailing, for a moment loud enough to pierce the din.
His men cheered, and Jacopo felt a grin spread over his grimy, soot-stained face. Stumbling and hopping and crawling, the backs of the enemy were receding into the ochre-hued dust rising like a mist. Behind them they left hundreds of their comrades wetting the ground, blood pooling, churning dry earth into slippery pulp, pathetically mewling.
“We got the bastards,” he shouted into the ear of his lieutenant, Borromeo. “We got them!”
Exhausted, men along the entire line fell to their knees, thanking the stars, while officers barked at them to get back in order. Never had any of them seen such mindless, careless rage - to see human beings charge to their deaths with so reckless abandon, to with the sheer press of humanity come close enough to force a melee between starved peasants and strong soldiers - it was enough to shake a man to his core. What were these devils? What had happened to them - what cruel masters had so contorted the forms and bodies of men, and supplanted their free souls with beastly relentlessness?
Then a new sound rumbled from beyond the mists.
Jacopo frowned. “Is that our artillery? About time they got a good aim at this!”
The answering roar of Dominii maniacs drowned out Borromeo’s reply. Shapes were now moving, dark shadows weaving through skeins of dust, and officers had no need to order their men back into formation now, no, nobody needed to be told to be ready-
Crashing into existence they came, first a handful, then a dozen, then a score or more covering the horizon - mastodons, huge and diabolical, curved horns carved with blazing runes, like scythes cutting down men where they stood, screaming and disbelieving-
General Garrek (Renal Sistorian) The enemy peasant charge cut obliquely across General Garrek’s position, finding a weak spot between his and the First Citizen’s forces. Gula did send reinforcements there in time to plug the gap - and for the longest while, the line held! When charging directly into Republican lines, the zealots were no match, no match at all to good strong soldiers.
His captains tried to draw his attention to the west and an enemy force on the move there, but there was little he could do about that now. The Inquisitor cadre had camped itself about the artillery, and were holding off those damned eagles.
It was getting time to take things into his own hands, when the worst happened. The enemy broke through the lines. Within minutes, hundreds if not thousands of screaming fanatics made it behind the Republican defences. While this opened them up for shrapnel from his cannon, it was only a question of time before this got out of control...
High Inquisitor Pietro Gori Chaos, dust and magic swirled around them, two drunk brawlers staggering, stumbling, shoving against one another. All order was disintegrated, but slowly the enemy cavalry was pushing Gori’s men back, step by step, into the valley behind.
Grandmaster Kanrel Valtorian of the Archonic Knights, Dominion forces Through the cleansing fires of war, they rode: the Archonic Knights, their fervour unmatched, throats booming with psalms of glory. The air reverberated with their holiness, the yapping fools of the heretic lines falling back, eyes whitening with terror, as their blackpowder foulness evaporated uselessly against their God-given bulwarks.
“Forward!” wafted the cries of Prince Kansar, far behind. “Forward!”
Kanrel Valtorian felt tears of passion sting his cheek, as another heathen fell to the jarring impact of his hammer, a beacon blazing with light for his comrades to follow. Flesh cracked, exploded, mounts buckled, men winced, folding in on themselves. An expanding circle of fear and death rolled out from the Knights and their holy song. Their sure-footed mounts descended into the valley, scuffed ground littered with castaway fire-sticks, jumbled into the gravel, pounded by triumphant hooves.
A banner resolved from the haze ahead, marked with wicked malevolence, infused with evil - a spirit, bound and tortured, held aloft to the sky. Inquisitors!
“To me!” roared the Grandmaster, and his faithful felt his rage and answered in kind. His hammer, held aloft, shone the way as they set forth - the elite of the elite, formation tight, galloping over the open spaces, geysers of earth bursting where enemy projectiles ricocheted harmlessly from their magics, calling oaths to the darkling sky, gathering speed and their lances lowering-
Red-cloaked, scornful, Pietro Gori appeared in the midst of his companions. The High Inquisitor raised a hand, and oily black ribbons unspooled from his fingers.
Hurtling through the grasses, the Archonic Knights felt the sting of surprise, their divine protection flaking off in filaments of burning incandescence - and a scatter of gunshot rapping their armament. Crying out their fury, their hatred, they crouched low and charged-
Coals for eyes. The High Inquisitor made a fist, and his men fanned past him, meeting charge with charge, long-barrelled wheel-locked pistols firing cascades of unearthly cinders, Daimon-bound. Amid the shrieks and wails, the rumble of hooves, the thunder of men howling “The Gods will it!” and the crash of jarring impact.
When it was all over, Prince Kansar Sistorian stood weeping over the ruined remains of his kinsman, the destroyed beauty of the Dominion nobility. Brilliance gleaming darkly in his fist, he looked up and faced the dead look of the High Inquisitor.
“You will pay for this,” Prince Kansar said, softly.
The battle still raged, elsewhere: here on this spoiled ground silence reigned.
The pause stretched. The High Inquisitor watched, unmoving, his companions beside him with mocking eyes.
He opened his mouth to speak,
Horns sounded from the ridge to the north. Dominion reinforcements had arrived.
Commodore "Black Jack" Taniel Corso Apparently, his scouts inform him, this island is called “Aemilon” and the town up ahead on the river is “Orian”. The great mansion has been taken without a fight, the enemy evacuating to the north of the bridge well ahead of his advance. The only fighting nearby is the occasional exchange of fire as his Inquisitors test the range of the enemy - and finding themselves outmatched.
The mansion, vast and ancient, towering and beautiful, stands still, serene. The parkland around it is well-tended and ordered, with fountains and statues. His men walk quietly, carefully, through the splendour.
A messenger arrives from the southern force. They have been attacked by strange water-beasts, throwing themselves out of the river and destroying three of the four bridges! The beasts were stopped from the destroying the last bridge, but clearing them out of the water and securing the crossings once more is difficult as gunshot has little efficiency while they are submerged.
The smell of burning flesh and death was refreshing, the look in the face of little Sistorian filled him with glee, he was angry. He guessed it was time to mock him, when he heard the sound of a horn from the north.
He saw the battered horde that had attacked him, and the ranks of cavalry still mashed up in a fight.
If he stayed there, if they stayed there. Everything would be lost.
And no tiny cup of tea would save him.
He had come here to find the troops, and bring the back. And it was due time for him to do so. They would charge their way towards Renal’s position. And from there hope to cut through the hordes, meet with the First Citizen and cross the stream at any costs.
And if it came to it, he and his cavalry would attempt to hold off what remained of the Archonic fools.
[All troops attempt to disengage and charge towards the Position of player red. From there they would circle the artillery and prepare to hold off the line. Also if any birds, or bloody mastodons come to attack, mounted inquisitors would attempt to bind them. Also any bound daemons would be used to distract the foe.]
OOC: Yellow 1, 3 and 5 in the north secure the bridge and discourage attempts to cross. Taniel takes yellow 11, along with green 3 (Terrain mages) back South to secure the crossing we made. When he gets there, bridges get rebuilt and the cannons get into position to cover the retreat. Maintain maximum fire at any available enemy targets in range.
Taniel barked orders to the the musketman he had brought with him. "Cover that bridge and shoot any spirit worshipping bastard who tries to cross it! When I come back here, that bridge better be paved with their bodies!" He ordered sharply.
There was a few sirs and salute, but a lot of nervous gazes were going to the south-west and the sounds of fighting happening there.
"You lot!" Taniel ordered as he rode over to the sappers and terrain mages. "We are going back south to reinforce the men we left there." He said before pointing his horse south. "Now, get marching!"
OOC: Orders of the First Citizen to all forces under his command in the center:
Artillery unit 8, 6, and 10 (blue) is to focus all firepower on dominion forces in the center, to support a break through. Artillery unit 9 and 1 (blue) will move closer to the river bank, to support the bombardment of the center positioned dominion forces - will focus fire on units at their maximum range, so that they do not strike our own valient warriors.
Unit 7, 8, 6, 2, 9 and the First Citizen himself + elite calvery (yellow) and unit 2 and 2 (green) will preform a full scale assult on the dominion forces in front of them, after a devestating cannon attack, while moving west in a slightly southward fasion, with the task of routing everything in front of them on their way to the isolated force on the other side of the center. We will seek to link up with Zula, after linking up with Kerrah, while destroying everything in front of us, by any means nessecary!
Unit 4 and 12 (yellow) at the river will move to the north west to link up with our vanguard, they will join the assult once they catch up if needed - if not then they will atleast guard the crossing indirectly, as they advance, from any would be sneak attacks.
If at all possible to get in touch with the isolated group (kerrah) their orders will be thus: it will stand its ground, while cannon 2 focus on the dominion troops north of them while cannon 3 focus on the dominion troops to its South east