This is the thread for the Eclipse battle for the Republic side. Some pointers:
Keep discussion in other threads: this thread should be kept to the progression of the game itself (orders and updates)
In-character posts are much appreciated! It makes for fun reading
But it isn't necessary to write in-character posts - in fact, if you do, it can be a good idea to include an OOC segment that lists the orders clear and unambiguously
Either way, feel free to - in your posts - describe (somewhat limited) events and interactions with other characters. Generally speaking, you should never make choices for anyone else, or describe the effects of major actions - just be sensible is all.
When ordering things around, you can only give orders to units in the general vicinity of your (or an inactive co-player's) character. Within the limits of a turn, your hero can travel ~5 km and pass orders around as he goes.
Each turn is a minimum of 2 full days from the day of the last update. (Might change, but for now.) If you haven't posted anything here by the time of the next update... the turn goes on without you!
Two days until the Eclipse, and not a fraction of the Dominion’s might have mustered to defend Radiance.
It is the morning which all have been waiting for for the past two weeks, ever since the battle of Marialla. The outriders and skirmishers have been pulled back. The Republic vanguard was sighted climbing the Ediren hills at first light - not five leagues from the Home City! Their entire army could be camped outside the city walls by noon. Hysteria reigns within Falor, the winding streets and canal bridges choked with refugees - and zealots streaming in from the countryside.
The Curia is all but disintegrated with infighting. Black Sun only arrived to the city two days ago, and promptly had a falling-out with Dawn Lantern. She has taken up residence in one of her mansions in the countryside west of the city. Meanwhile, accusations of treachery and subversion shake the Curia floor. The Magistrate of Perchium has refused to send reinforcements, fearing Nalbin will take the opportunity to strike if he does so. A dozen other minor and major Families have not been heard from, and rumours of unrest - not mere peasant riots, but among the ruling class as well - abound.
The battle has not even begun, and already the Dominion’s forces are greatly decimated.
Yet the faithful are gathering. Twin Star, Stormlight, Summit and more of the great Spirits of the realm have answered the call. Processions circle the city walls day and night, singing psalms of devotion. The Common Law transcends all pettiness, all doubt. Now is the age of wolves and men. Let Man weather this storm - together with Spirit!
The Republic forces will be piling in on the southern road. For this first turn, you can arrange your units as you like over the (non-fog of war) portions of the battlefield. Keep in mind you need to have a player character with a unit to order it around!
Maurielle of Jahimis and her gathering of warrior-spirits made for an equally fearsome sight as they branched off to cover the approaches to the city of Falor. Though only the second daughter of her House, Manlia Suren Issander was glad that it was Maurielle who had been sent to lead the armies of her family. In the face of extermination, there was no room for pettiness. Only excellence could be allowed. There was too much to lose. And so it was that the second daughter had come to pay her respects, had come to annihilate the heresy. Had come to win the last argument.
House Suren had sent its own, of course. Manlia's eldest sister and his cousins led the spearmen, magi and infantry south towards the Ediren Hills, beside the sorcerers of House Kata. Varantium had not seen such unity in the face of adversity since the civil war. And even then, so few had come...
A vast shape cast Manlia in temporary shadow. One of the spirit eagles screeched before landing on the western ridge, watching as tens of thousands marched along the river. Behind them still howled the fanatics. Manlia Suren Issander owed much to Gideon - once a drug-addicted fisherman, now a self-proclaimed prophet. Gideon was a threat, yes, but he had also proved a blessing. Gideon saw in Manlia a promise, and through Gideon that promise had yielded maddened hosts, ready to be crushed in Radiance's name.
The cry of an elephant tore Manlia's attention eastwards. Runed and marked with the beauty of their purpose - the Thunder Inevitable. In their hearts if not in their minds, the Republican vermin knew that these would be their most terrible obstacle. And their doom.
And so it was that the true sons and daughters of Varantium marched to war.
Additionally, since we've had time to prepare, we've hopefully got a new stretch of magical traps more or less encircling the Ediren Hills and the village, and most bridges should be magically trapped in a fashion that the Wardens or Bridge Burners should be able to activate upon their choosing [within reasonable limitation, of course].
The C5 Rhinos are to start building a deep and wide ditch to block off the central chokepoint, and R4, as indicated, is to be moving towards the island. C19, C16 and R1 and H1 are not to engage approaching enemies if seriously outnumbered, but are instead to pose as a deterrent. In the face of an approach of artillery they are to pull back into the hills in an orderly fashion.
The plains between the Ediren Hils and the small central river, along which most of the army is to be posted, should have hopefully been doused in the city's oil reserves
Any makeshift siege weapons the Bridge Burners and Wardens may have hashed together should be left alongside any of the city's own defences for later use
Marked bridges should have been destroyed at game start
All entrances to the 'Forbidden City' containing the Palace of Light should have been walled up, all save for the western gate)
Dominion general Dawn Lantern has refused to let any bridges or other infrastructure within the city be destroyed until the very last moment. Wanton destruction of the city's infrastructure will have a long-lasting effect on its citizens - after all, is the High Palatine not intending to meet the enemy on the field anyway? Destroying the bridges would seem an unnecessary precaution. Work is, however, underway to barricade entrances to the Palace of Light. By the latest reports from all units, they should be at - or very near - their assigned positions soon.
High Palatine Manlia Suren Issander As the troops file down the road to take up positions, scouts from ahead report sighting a force of cavalry, some two thousand strong, descending from the Ediren Hills and crossing the plains. They ride swiftly to the east.
Prince Kansar Sistorian The Horde which accompanies you have lodged themselves in the nearby town, and will not come out.
Princess Maurielle Alatol of House Jahimis Your troops are swiftly taking up positions.
The horde can stay for now. Untrained rabble. I would protest against their inclusion, but these are desperate times. I will lead my unit to scout the enemy. Through the valleys, safe from cannonfire. I will be careful to always have a route of retreat available in case the enemy decides to move west.
A part of me hopes to find a scouting party of theirs, and crush it.
Maurielle gestured to the two hills in front of her forces, then walked down the line, getting her troops into position.
"Last Argument take position on the rightmost of the two hills in front of you. Attack those scouts if you're able to but otherwise hold your position. Noisemakers, get on the leftmost hill. Upper Fist, stand behind the two hills, midway between them. Noisemakers, enhance their abilities however you can, but make sure the enemy can see your magic like a beacon. Fogmakers, hide them in a blanket of mist, we want attention drawn to their position. I'm not going to lie, you'll be the first target if things start to get hectic. The cloud will come down if artillery start across the trench, near your position. If that is the case, retreat beyond their reach.
Then she walked over to the regiment of the Vigil's Unblinking nearby, to give an order to set up with the Upper First. Those two regiments were to be the Last Argument's cordon once the main force of the Republic came into view.
Spurring his steed onward, holding his ceremonial sword aloft, the High Palatine oversaw as the vanguard approached the southern river. Wheeling his horse around he rode back to survey his forces, only to find the one-thousand elites that were the Palaienid Aegis emerging from the Gideon's horde of fanatics. He found one of their captains, one of the bastard sons of House Jahamis, leading them. The Aegis, after all, is composed entirely of the bastard sons of the noble houses of Varantium, both high and low, intentionally sired and unintentionally. Such is their tradition. Manlia himself counted four siblings amongst them, though he barely knew them.
"Hold!" the High Palatine roared, his horse smashing to a halt before the captain. "You abandon your watch?"
The captain smashed a fist against his breastplate and bowed as low as his station commanded. "Your Grace! Our duty to Radiance demands we aid you in combat. We are needed here. If you fall, one-thousand of us shall mean nothing alone. We rise or fall together."
"Your orders, captain." the High Palatine nudged his mount closer towards the man, till he stared down directly into his eyes. "Return to the city at once or I shall mete out all the punishment that my authority commands."
As if realising the gravity of his daring, the captain averted his eyes and fell to one knee. "Your Grace- I meant only- I wished to-"
A messenger quickly arrived, bringing word that enemy scouts have been sighted riding east.
Then Manlia wheeled around. He found the Lady Maurielle at the front of the army, standing with the Vigil Unblinking in all their grim splendour. She wished to take command of them, and reposition them. "Take them, my lady. Do what you must. My own duty takes me east. If the scouts attempt to wrest control of the bridge, they will fail, but cause our plans much harm."
"Your Grace?" his majordomo, Darien, braved. "You can't risk-"
"You said the same when I rode to rescue the Archonic Knights at Marialla. But Prince Sistorian leads the scouts himself. We are men of action, Darien. That is why we have been chosen to save this city. Have the Sun's Watch and Suren Guards cross the bridge and take up position there with the cover of the Last Argument, while the Passion assumes position at the bend to the east of the bridge. Have my household spearmen and the Sun's Watch in the west join with Maurielle, and send word to Danton that he is to continue trapping and fortifying the river."
Then Manlia Suren Issander was off, riding to try bypass the scouts and reach the Bridge Burners.
(R6 to head back to Falor. R21 and R10 to cross the bridge and stop there, covered by the range of the Last Argument. R18 to hit the eastern bend of the river just right of the bridge to provide more cover for 21 an 10.
R11 and 20 are to stay with R2, following Maurielle's orders. C17 is to trap and fortify. R14 is to march south but not cross the bridge. Manlia Suren Issander rides for the Bridge Burners.)
High Palatine Manlia Suren Issander Accompanied only by his closest guard, the High Palatine rushed southeast. Crossing the thin stream dividing the alley, they whipped their horses into a frothing frenzy - seeing the great column of enemy cavalry heading on a collision course. However, even as the two forces approached one another, the enemy halted, and then turned south. A feint? Some strange maneuver? Now the enemy cavalry is far to the south, next to the river.
Prince Kansar Sistorian Leading the way through the outskirts of the crooked Ediren hills, Kansar Sistorian rounds a final outcropping and spies a line of well-ordered enemy infantry ahead.
Princess Maurielle Alatol of House Jahimis As the Noisemakers and Fogmakers turn the western hill into a mayhem, the eagles of the Siege of Sistorian land by your position. The great avian spirit-beings circle far to the north first, trying to stay far away from spying Republican eyes. Even so, watching the magnificent creatures approach and hearing the thunder of their wings, you realize the enemy must surely have noticed them overhead.
A Pacter-rider, avian-eyed like his companion, leaps off the back of one of the eagles and rushes to make his report. They flew far above the enemy, but could see their front lines forming on the crest of the northern Ediren hills - some ten thousand strung out across their length. Still trundling up the road from the south were a dozen or so batteries of artillery (each battery consisting of three or four cannon), and marching in the fields around them were another ten thousand or so soldiers. Finally, to the east, another large force seemed to be heading towards the river, but the Eagles did not fly close enough to discern their purpose.
The soldiers on the eastern front milled in general anarchy. The Bridge Burners had prepared for a battle that had never come, while the fanatic hordes on the planes danced and sang as if oblivious to the war that was dawning on them. Manlia Suren Issander knew that he would have to organize this front, or lose it.
Infantry of House Jahimis had taken up residence in the abandoned town due north, and the Sappur Guard across the river had not yet joined the battle-lines. Mustering his personal retinue, Manlia Suren Issander had word sent to the magi of the Silvered Fire of House Kata that they were to join the Bridge Burners in their position. He then set off north, to send the Vigil Unblinking towards the same position, and to rally the infantrymen of House Jahimis and the Sappur Guard to do the same.
(R4 to the bridge, R7 to the bridge, green R8 and R9 to the bridge and R14 to the bridge. Manlia Suren Issander will ride however far he has to to make sure these orders are passed along.)
Now that the main force of the enemy had shown themselves, it was time to consolidate the main battle lines. She'd have to push the poor stallion she had to the limits for this one; she didn't relish the stress she was putting him through, but there were other animals, and other ways of traversing the battle if she needed it. First she hurried to the local force Vigil Unblinking and told them to cross the trench and position on the hill across from them, to give a better vantage point and a place to attack any passing units. Then she began her long journey westward. The troops west had to start closing in, now, just northwest of where the Suren guard were. She would go as quickly as she needed to make those orders clear.
(White R8 to move across the river, go onto the hill across from them. White C17, R9, R3 and Green C4, R11 and R6 are to move to where white R11 is currently)
I see the enemy, but it's just the exterior of their tight formation. I must see more before I can decide when and where to make my charge, but I cannot miss my moment. I shall lead the spear up on the nearby hill to get a better vantage point. Meanwhile I will send the others to alert my troops and gather them on the largest hill. If they can get the regiments the High Palatine left to the west to come along, all the better. Perhaps even the horde will be roused from the village and join us.
(P3 and Kansar moves up on the hill just south. R8 is sent to the huge clump of units on the road to bring all forces up on the big hill on H19, preferably bringing C16, C19, and R1 along as well if possible. See link for visualisation of orders.)
High Palatine Manlia Suren Issander Shoring up the defences of the eastern flank and the port town, the High Palatine dispatched the Silvered Fire magi across the southern bridge to the island of Aemilon. Noting with satisfaction the soldiers' quick obedience, he then rode north along the river and crossed it by the Castle of the Seven Towers. Now he watches as great spirit mastodons cross the slender bridges, joined by a regiment of milling Sappur Guard. Downstream, the river is churning as the Piscan Legion, confused, is waiting. A messenger arrives: they require clarification of their orders.
Prince Kansar Sistorian Sending the bulk of his force west to regroup, Prince Kansar remained with only a small party of outriders. Watching a Republican signal flare over the infantry he was watching, it was not long before that regiment began moving - along with the entire Republican western front, it seemed. Drawing back before their approach, Prince Kansar has retreated to a hill farther west while the enemy infantry's approach has been slowed down by several traps detonating in their midst.
Princess Maurielle Alatol of House Jahimis Riding west to gather the far-flung forces, Princess Maurielle has only begun to return to the centre when her companions shout out in alarm. Standing in her saddle, she sees with widening eyes, far in the distance and beneath the southern of the Three Kings hills, enemy cavalry galloping northwards. As far as she can tell, the plains south, towards the enemy main force, are empty - but plumes of smoke are rising from the southern hills, and the thunder of artillery rolls, inevitable, across the sky.
Cannons. Why did it have to be cannons? And worse, she couldn't be where she was needed most to react to them. But the cavalry approaching the Last Argument's area was worrisome. Could be mounting some sort of attack, with Inquisitors. Or could be probing, looking for range or an opening. Damn the lack of sight! She'd have to ride over there to see what was the problem. She had to work fast, think up contingencies for the various possibilities, react quickly and give the appropriate orders depending on the situations. Now she just had to predict everything; shouldn't be that impossible to do, really. It all hinged on what she'd see going back into the area. She began to ride back, telling the last unit to head to the river bend where the others were located. Then she started moving back to the three hills, and thought up her contingencies. The Fogmakers were to fall back regardless, but the other units could be trouble. If Last Regiment was being put under cannon-fire, she could have them fall back out of range; if direct confrontation with Inquisitors seemed likely, she'd have the regular troops still stationed there take up a perimeter around them and begin defending. If the Noisemakers were being shelled, the Fogmakers were to increase the fog cloud spread in an attempt to redirect damage away from where the main bulk of them were stationed. The Eagles should probably get new orders as well.
(OOC: White to take position along the river bend with rest of deployed units. Maurielle will ride behind the 3 hills to survey area, conduct contingencies if certain conditions met, order Green R3 to move back behind western hill
If Green R7 getting heavily shelled, Green R3 increase density and spread of cloud cover, Green R7 to move to rear of hill
If troops approaching to attack Last Regiment/Last Regiment already under attack, taking White R1, R7, R10 to form perimeter around Last Regiment to repel invading force, pikemen and melee in outer layer, archers in secondary layer
If Last Regiment being shelled, Last Regiment are to pull back, take up position near bridge to the east
If spotted cavalry look like scouts, white R8 not getting shelled, attack and attempt to dislodge with Last Argument, white R8
If order can be given to eagles, tell them to circle around enemy, drop rocks on cavalry when out of gunshot)
Cannonfire. Gunpowder. The ultimate insult. Outlawed for being too dangerous for humankind to handle. Now those who rebelled against that opinion have advanced its lethal use beyond the Archons' fears. The heresy. It pains me. I must focus.
The encroaching enemies worry me. But they cannot cover such a large area. Not even with cannons. I will find their weak point. I shall ride south to meet my army. I will be careful to remove myself from enemy sight. If they believe I am retreating northwest, all the better. But I must skirt back to the southeast end of this hill as well. I have to be certain the enemy has not taken the hill to the southeast. Once I reunite with the men, I shall bring the archers, magi, and infantry to take the hill. Unless the enemy have taken hold of it. In that case I must charge them with the full might of the Sistorian cavalry.
(Kansar and P3 to G20 along the path detailed in the document here to meet up with his units. If he sees that the hill on H20 is empty he will bring C16, C19, R1, R15, C2, and P3 up on that hill and leave the remaining to await his orders below the hill (on the western side). If he sees that the hill is occupied by enemy troops, he will charge it with C1, C2, P3, R4, R5, R6, R7, R8, and R15.)
The slums of Falor were damning in their emptiness, another sign of the decay of Empire that had lasted hundreds of generations. Like the symptoms of a sickness - like a boil - the slums had grown over a pained history. And like a boil that is burst, the slums now stood as a pockmark upon browning fields - silent and ruinous and ugly to behold. The people had fled, to be replaced only by hard-eyed soldiers, soon to die. Manlia Suren Issander would burn these slums in rebirth - unless the sickness killed the host.
And so he rode, flanked by his personal guard - the cream of the Palaienid Aegis - and signalled to the scattered soldiers of Varantium that they were to gather and march south, to join the Bridge Burners in their defence of the crossing. He could glimpse signs of the Republican army advancing as he went, their destination unknown, but their purpose clear. Danton's magical traps had slowed them, but time was in short supply for the Dominion as much as it was for the Republic. As he drew near to the bridge that would take him to his goal, he heard the distant sound of Republican cannons blaspheming, and knew that time was shorter than he had thought.
Brief despair was straddled by splendour as he beheld the Thunder Inevitable - the twenty-five colossal elephants that bore the sigils and runes of the Great Houses, and which bore the very mark of Radiance upon their foreheads. They were the pets of a God. Milling about the crumbling shrine that had once been the Palaienid Watch, they addressed the High Palatine by touching their trunks to the marks upon their heads. Devilish intelligence glimmered in their eyes, and understanding of what was to come.
Beside them stood the Sappur Guard. These were men who had castrated the odds. Theirs had been the defensive battle-line that was Marialla. Though they had not faced the Republic in open combat, they had learned the meaning of their cannonfire. The weak amongst the Guard had long since been culled on the hard road back to Falor. The strong had taken charge, and had waged guerilla warfare upon their hated enemies, trained in combat by the surviving Archonic Knights who went with House Sistorian. Though ill-equipped, these were no mere men. They were survivors.
Drawing his ceremonial sword, Manlia Suren Issander cast a beam of holy fire into the sky to signal his arrival. As the elephants finished their show of submission, Manlia cantered up to the waiting Captain of the Sappur Guard, Juluc Smilebiter. Like Manlia himself, Juluc had proven a practical man. But the similarities ended there. Manlia had risen through charisma - Juluc had carved his place as captain through blood. The man grinned at him, and Manlia was tempted to flee the killer's hard eyes, even if only for a second. Instead he narrowed them, meeting the madman and breaking him with his office.
"Captain Juluc! You are needed once more."
The captain prostrated himself as custom demanded, though his eyes never left Manlia. He rose and pressed a rusted sickle before his forehead. The sickle he had used to establish his authority as chief captain of one thousand men during the flight from Marialla. "Your Grace. We are ready. Where would the High Palatine send us?"
"To the south-eastern crossing, captain. Take with you the Thunder Inevitable."
Juluc Smilebiter snarled a grin once more. "Aye."
As Manlia wheeled his steed around, ready to return the way he had come, he chanced an inner mantra - a prayer. Though he had lost trust in faith long ago, having turned to deeds in their stead, there would always be room for at least some tradition... lest he join the ranks of Juluc the Smilebiter, or even Renal Sistorian. It would always be a fine line which separated man from beast.
(R14 and P5 are to move down towards the river crossing where the Bridge Burners are. Manlia rides ahead as fast as possible to assess the situation down in the southeast. If artillery is attacking, pull units back.)