The End of an Age (IC/Signups Required/FanT)

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The Multiversal Library
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The End of an Age (IC/Signups Required/FanT)

Postby The Multiversal Library » Mon Jun 05, 2023 7:20 am

The Siege of Arkadis
"Nothing like a good siege to start the day." -Apollicos Siegemaster

Outside the Southern Gate of Arkadis
On a small hill south of the tall walls of Arkadis, two soldiers in desert garb pass a strange lensed device between each other.
"They've got about thirty mangonels by my count, and maybe a little over forty-five ballistae. Can't tell what those banners are though, can you, Hakahn?"
The shorter of the two soldiers passed the device with two lenses to his partner, Hakahn, and waits as his friend's eyes study the banners hanging from the massive walls just north of them.
"Well, shit. They've brought in two more Free Companies since yesterday; the Brimstone Company and the Sword Dancers. With the Unbroken, the Bronze Guard, the Stormwraiths, and the civic watch that brings their numbers up to around 750,000. I don't look forward to storming those walls, Nasir."
Nasir simply snorted and took the binoculars back from Hakahn, returning them to a specially made case and then into his pack.
"Well, we still have the numbers. With ten million men I doubt even Arkadis can hold against a determined assault."
Hakahn did not look so sure, but simply said, "Let's inform the generals."

Inside the Command Tent, Par'anjari Siege Camp
While no amount of men and women gathered anywhere can ever truly be quiet, having ten million in one place is much like having an entire city's worth of noise follow you everywhere. Yet in the Command Tent, it is almost impossible to hear the noise of the camp itself over the arguing of the hundred or so commanders, colonels, generals, and nobles who supposedly lead this mass of soldiery.
"We have the numbers! Why don't we just storm the heathens' walls with ladders and rams!? Surely, by the Will of Par'an and out unstoppable armies, Arkadis would fall eventually?"
A noble by the name of Eakim Habaal Sophak of Kartash spoke up, only to earn a withering look from most of the generals that caused him to practically shrink into himself. Another person stepped forward in the sea-green uniform of a member of the navy.
"What good is it laying siege to a city surrounded by water and mountains if we can't completely surround it? Our navy's spread thin as it is patrolling the Suladh Al'eakimat, and the remainder isn't enough to defeat the Syndrian fleets by themselves, not even counting the Galean pirates and the Imperial navy. I say we pull back until our navy's built up enough to make taking this city actually feasible."
Admiral Elaya ahn Qasman il-Haruun finished speaking, and immediately left the tent with the few other naval officers that were with her. Several other generals and lords spoke up, but no agreement seemed to be in reach.
"Gentleman, gentleman, let us not squabble like children. While we all may technically be the same rank, there is one here that I would not be remiss in saying holds far more knowledge of warfare than any of us, and by law has seniority in all matters military."
General Daryiz Akamaen was young, only recently promoted following the death of General Uthman of the Fifth Army after the Kaladeans sallied out of their city and devasted a portion of the camp, but he displayed a natural charisma and talent for politicking that let him easily ingratiate himself with several powerful nobles among the command staff. And the one he spoke of was obvious to everyone in the tent, as she was the de facto leader of the campaign. All eyes turned to the center of the table which the generals surrounded as General Daryiz finished his theatrics.
"What say you, General Kahlim?"

The Invasion of Carrinia
"Carrinia has been invaded five times by the Empire, and five times it has thrown the Empire back. However, each invasion typically cost Carrinia most of its adult population and more than a few kings before the Imperials pulled back." -Excerpt from From Farmers to Emperors by Indio del San Joao

The Royal Palace, Ciudad del Carrin
"What news from Count Domingo? Has he repelled the invaders?"
King Agustin IV of Carrinia was the spitting image of a Carrinian bravo; slick black hair, a muscled physique, and an easy grin. Yet now his hair was messy and his mouth turned from a smile into a grimace. The messenger he was speaking to gulped, and continued to relay his message.
"No, Your Majesty. Count Domingo fell at Villadio, and command passed to Count Rodrigo. He reports that they have managed to halt the Imperial advance at the fortress of Alba Mara, but that unless he is immediately reinforced he will likely be burned out of the fortress once its anti-magic shields are broken. I also come with an offer from the Company of the Kingsblood, who offer their services for the promise of assistance in restoring their members to the thrones of the kingdoms that once made up the Empire. And large amounts of gold, of course."
King Agustin thought for just a moment, and then quickly had his court scribe write up a contract to present to the Free Company.
"Return to the Kingsblood and present them with this contract, and then tell them to march to Alba Mara and reinforce Count Rodrigo."
The messenger left quickly, and King Agustin returned to his worried pacing.
Last edited by The Multiversal Library on Wed Jun 07, 2023 10:39 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Postby Novovaritsya » Mon Jun 05, 2023 8:14 am

Several miles away from Arkadis...

"So what's the plan, sir?" Captain Anam asked.
Zyan began taking some stones he found underneath the table and began putting them on the map. "These are our forces," Zyan started. "These are the allied forces besieging Arkadis, and these are the enemy forces behind the wall of Arkadis. Now, I don't know whether the allied forces have the available siege equipment, because without it, the siege will be a total mess."
"I knew that they would have archers defending their walls from being attacked. They might have barrels of oil too, which could be used to burn our forces if we attacked them. However, besieging them without launching an assault will have its own consequence." Zyan put another stone on the map.
"Reinforcement," Captain Fahan replied.
"Correct," Zyan said. "We don't know if the enemy forces have called for help yet, but if they have, there is a chance for them to receive reinforcement. So, here is my plan: We are going to attack the southern wall. Attack them hard with as many forces as possible. Sure, we'll waste our manpower there, but that could distract the forces on the western and northern walls."
"And we will launch an attack on both of the walls?" Captain Zahin replied.
"I say we'll attack them from the north, and we took their weapons," Zyan continued. "If we are lucky enough, we might also take their siege equipment too. That if they have any. The estimated casualty of this attack is unknown, but if they have the resources necessary to keep us back, then we are going to lose many soldiers."
Zyan turned to his captains and said, "Now here is the plan. Zahin, you are in charge of the entire mounted force. I want you to scout the western area and, if you find enemy forces, attack them. It will be a hit-and-run attack."
"Understood," Zahin responded.
Zyan then continued, "Anam, Fahan, you two will lead the attack on the Southern Wall. Hit them hard, and if you can, take the southern wall. I will lead the mountaineers and half of the archer forces in the north to take the northern wall. I know that I might enter foreign territories, but I hope the attack will be quick. Now, before we can use this plan, I will have to discuss the plan with the other high-ranked officers we're going to meet outside the wall of Arkadis."
Zyan paused for a moment before he said, "Any question?"

They all walked out of the tent. Outside, there are resting soldiers and some injured soldiers under medical treatment. Zyan knew that he had suffered major losses in the previous battle, and now he had to fight with the men available. Zyan took a short look at his surroundings before he shouted, "Pack your things! We're moving!" The soldiers began to move. They dismantled their tents and began packing them into a wagon. It took them around half an hour to finish dismantling their tents. They began forming a marching formation, ready to finally leave the place. Zahin and the mounted soldiers left the place first, riding through the area to see if there were enemy forces nearby. Zyan also sent a single scout to watch Zahin and his forces, making sure he knew about the enemy reinforcements if Zahin and his forces were defeated.

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Postby Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States » Wed Jun 07, 2023 10:09 am

Kahlim ahn Wadim ir-Lataam

A soft breeze was all that disturbed the cool evening air that had settled upon Arcas hill. The sky had already darkened enough that little of the great citadel at Arkadis remained visible, save for a stark black outline against a bluish-gray sky and the sea of fires that bathed the lower walls in a hearthly, orange hue. Atop the central tower, twice as high as any of the surrounding walls and turrets, burned a flame of pure white, guiding home the ships that had managed to slip the meager blockade in Arkadis Bay. Kahlim ahn Wadim ir-Lataam had her knees pulled up to her shoulders and tugged on the dry, sharp blades of Arkadian grass, counting the number of ships that entered the harbour and guessing at their tonnage. Outside her hiding spot, covered on all sides by the prickly, dry shrubbery of the arid hillocks, she could hear the laughing of her soldiers; coarse, rough, and defiant in the face of an all-consuming fear. She was happy they remained blissfully unaware of her presence, drinking away the terror that might just characterize their last days of their mortal lives.

Kahlim had no trouble finding hiding spots like this one. She was intimately familiar with the terrain surrounding Arkadis. She had lived a lifetime there, helping in the construction of its now-infamous and, as was believed, impregnable fortifications. She remembered that life, albeit in whisps. The smell of a bakery which made perfect custard tarts, the crowded roads with its overhanging buildings, only kept from collapsing through means of magic construction practices. The warmth of summer which was not dispelled by the rain, although they were made bearable. She would sit by the open windows of her home, gazing outside into the downpour, taking in the relief of the cool misting and its cleansing of the city…

Other memories were vague. There was another person there. A woman or a man, she could not remember. They had lived in the same house. For fifty years at least, judging from the memories of birthdays that still remained. They had been close. Lovers, perhaps even. Had they had a child? If they did, it did not survive long. They had loved each other, Kahlim remembered, if only through the decade of mourning she went through after the other had passed, and Kahlim had moved on further south in search of a new life. But for the life of her, she could not remember the name, the shape, or even the face of who that person was, even if she remembered all the long walks through the hillsides.

That was two lifetimes ago and over a hundred years ago, however. The memories even of the grandchildren of the people she had known in Arkadis had long since faded. What remained of the old city was the stones, and nothing else. In her current life, a prize to be taken for the Emperor. Where once she had seen a home, now she saw a river valley; surrounding hills perfect for observing the field, angles of attack, layers of defence. Not the world had changed, but the way her mind was wired, so that the same world appeared so radically different to her. She sighed, dusted off her trousers, and left her hidden observation spot to mount her horse and return to the command tent, where a meeting of the generals was due.

A meeting of Al'eakimat generals resembled a union of a tavern and a senate. Given that a senate, in many places, already resembled a tavern in distinct ways, it was no surprise that a meeting like that was rowdy. Generals sat alongside long tables covered in food, and since there was no chief among them, there was no center to any discussion. Anyone wishing to speak would simply stand up and state their case, the only thing stopping anyone from interrupting anyone else was that such an indiscretion could invite a judicial duel right there and then. To prevent this, an informal agreement among the generals had emerged that speakers would follow the unseen hands of a clock, radiating out from the center of the command tent. Debates like this could last for hours, which was why the food was so welcome.

"We have the numbers! Why don't we just storm the heathens' walls with ladders and rams!? Surely, by the Will of Par'an and out unstoppable armies, Arkadis would fall eventually?" Eakim Habaal Sophak of Kartash spoke. It was no surprise to hear such an opinion voiced from the Easterly Faction. The command tent was divided into factions, and since the tent was always oriented towards the rising sun, and since like-minded generals always clumped together in roughly the same places, their compass orientation actually said something about what opinions they were likely to hold. The Easterly Faction, derisively called the ‘Doormen’ by their opponents, were known for their stark adherence to faith. Among them were mostly nobles, who were more prone to romantic poetics than their Westerly counterparts. These were mostly soldiers who had risen up the ranks, among them many women. Kahlim hardly paid attention during these discussions, as she had heard the same arguments traded more times than some of the younger generals had drawn breath.

Admiral Elaya ahn Qasman il-Haruun was somewhat bound to the Southerly Faction, mainly consisting of naval officers, but the disdain of noblemen for the navy had always ensured that naval officers were ‘tarpaulins’, drawn from the deck hands on merchant ships. Those who now commanded navies had been sailors before, and to be a female admiral meant having endured the hardships of sailing into foreign ports a woman. As such, no-one stood in Elaya’s way as she and a few fellow admirals stormed out of the discussion after having made her point; a point that Kahlim found it hard to disagree with. It was hard arguing with a woman who had earned her noble title through sheer fortitude.

General Daryiz Akamaen, in some ways, was a relief. Kahlim knew the sort; ambitious, eager to share in the light of a well-known commander and none too proud to shovel a boot down his throat every once in a while to do it. She had seen the kind before, and knew that there were just as likely to stab you in the back if pragmatism called for it. But if Akamaen was such a figure, he would be the twelfth general making such an attempt, and he would have to be pretty spry if he meant to dislodge her.

"Gentleman, gentleman, let us not squabble like children. While we all may technically be the same rank, there is one here that I would not be remiss in saying holds far more knowledge of warfare than any of us, and by law has seniority in all matters military."

At some point in her career, Kahlim thought, the laws of seniority had ceased to make sense for her. Her Letter of Generality, appointing her to the generalship, had been written in iron ink on the skin of an Azhkazi lion, the last of which had been hunted to extinction forty years before. Her commission was hundred years the senior of any other general present. But she had always denied the creation of any higher rank, even when the titles of ‘Field Marshal’ or ‘Sword of the Emperor’ had been offered to her by well-meaning Emperors. She still wanted to consider all these others her equals, even if it was purely to stave off the loneliness. As Akamaen finished his speech, all eyes went to the middle of the room; the Rose Faction, made up of Kahlim and her closest confidants, sat in the middle of the tent.

“Assaulting any fortified position will lose you ten soldiers for every one enemy” she said. “And assaulting Arkadia will cost us twenty for every enemy. Yes, we could take the city by storm. But then there is Anbonopolis with its river-moat, Pelitas and its five-layered defence, and only then can we march up the Thuronian Vale to threaten the League”

“A bloodbath here will only make the Princely States more bold, and bothersome, in their defiance. I would like to defeat them in the field before we assault any of their cities, to achieve the opposite effect. In fact, the perfect time for that would be now, with the majority of enemy mercenaries now stuck inside the city. That large of a force is probably eating through their own supplies very quickly, and if we managed to close of their harbour, they will starve pretty soon”

“So, my proposal is this: I want detailed plans on how long it would take to assemble a navy that can cut off the city entirely. If that would take too long, I would take eight million out of our force and march north, supplies allowing, and force the Princely States into an open battle. Two million of our troops stay behind to maintain pressure on the city to prevent enemy mercenaries from escaping, and to keep up the pressure to starve the enemy out”

“So, how’s that for a plan?”
The name's James. James Usari. Well, my name is not actually James Usari, so don't bother actually looking it up, but it'll do for now.
Lack of a real name means compensation through a real face. My debt is settled
Part-time Kebab tycoon in Glasgow.

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The Multiversal Library
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Postby The Multiversal Library » Thu Jun 08, 2023 10:33 pm

Inside the Command Tent, Par'anjari Siege Camp
As Kahlim outlined her plan, most of the nobles and generals nodded along, with the members of the Easterly Faction practically cheered at the thought of battle. Eakim Habaal even lifted a glass to begin a toast when he was cut off by General Daryiz. The olive-skinned Mayazdi smiled as he stood to his full height, and turned to Kahlim.
"I cannot speak for the time it would take to assemble the navy we would require to blockade the city, but I can say for certain that if we managed to march north of the city victory would be assured."
At this point Daryiz's smile turned into a frown as he shook his head and shrugged.
"However, I must point out that the only way north besides passing through the gates of Arkadis would be either the Kaladean Pass in the mountains or through the desert wastes. As much as I would love to see the heathens fall beneath our blades, with a forces as large as eight million we'd most certainly lose a majority of them from attrition if went through the desert, and our numbers would work against us if we were attacked in the mountain pass."
Sitting back down in his seat, Daryiz finished his little speech by saying, "With that in mind, I am in favor of waiting for a naval blockade."
A new argument almost broke out before one of the few remaining naval officers stood.
"I know a way to quickly get the ships we need!"
The generals quieted down and looked to who had spoken. He was Captain Jamil ahn Turmen, a minor naval officer who had gained some renown in raiding the Syndrian coastline. He continued speaking.
"Milords, there is a naval power who'd be willing to work with us, for the right price. The pirates of Qurzaid may be convinced to blockade Arkadis, if they were offered generous compensation to do so."
Immediately the tent descended into chaos as generals stood and argued, mostly against working with heretical pirates but some generals used the chaos to bring up old slights, with some of the more intoxicated commanders seemingly about to draw swords.
It was at this point that the earth seemed to shake, though few in the Command Tent noticed until an infantryman rushed in. Heedless of rank or protocol, he shouted to be heard over the noise. After taking an elbow to the face for his troubles, the earth shook again, this time quiting the generals enough to actually hear the soldier's report.
"They're firing on us! Some sort of magic-thing's firing on us from the walls of Arkadis!"

A few minutes earlier, atop the Southern Wall of Arkadis
Fourth Protector Rhoynos Polikratios looked on the strange siege engine with a small amount of dread. The engineers of the Brimstone Company had told him that it could easily reach the camp of the besiegers, which while outside the range of the mangonels and ballistae had not accounted for the ancient weapons of the Brimstone Company.
"But what exactly is it?"
Rhoynos' question seemed to irritate Ossram Kaltivir, the captain of the Brimstone Company, a tall man clad head-to-toe in the bronze plates that seemed to be the uniform of the Brimstone Company. The only thing marking him as their captain was the strange, curved device hanging from his sword-belt. He sneered as he turned away from directing the engineers operating the siege engine and faced Rhoynos.
"The snakemen called it a grawzznik, but we call it a hellscream cannon on account of the screaming sound that the rounds make when they fall upon our enemies' heads. Luckily for you, only the artificers of the Brimstone Company know how to manufacture our weaponry, or else that great mass of bodies down there might have known that anywhere within a kilometer is within range of our cannons!"
Ossram let off a fairly nefarious laugh as his engineers finished preparing the cannon, at which point Ossram gave them orders in the strange language of the Brimstone Company before turning to Rhoynos and covering his ears.
"The sound produced by the cannon may cause bleeding from the ears if you do not cover them, Fourth Protector, so I would recommend that you do so."
Rhoynos followed Ossram's advice, and after a thundering boom watched the camp of the besiegers for a moment before seeing tents and soldiers disappear in clouds of dust and blood as the cannon's rounds fell upon them. Rhoynos turned back to Ossram and asked, "How many of these did you say you have?"
"Five, Fourth Protector, but I am confident that one of them would be enough to scare the Southerners back to their desert and their 'god'."

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Novovaritsya » Fri Jun 09, 2023 8:25 pm

Outside the Western Arkadis Wall

Zyan can see the wall of Arkadis from afar. The stronghold of the enemy soldiers and civilians is the place where the so-called "Lord Protectors" are hiding. There's something else, though. Something that disturbed his ear. He heard a loud sound from the southern wall.

"There are 10 million soldiers, yet they haven't tried to breach the wall yet," Zyan said to himself. Their location is too far away for the people in Arkadis to spot them, and they are currently focusing on the southern wall. Zyan took a short look at the sky. The sun is still right above him. He then turned to his forces and shouted, "Stay here! Anam, follow me!"

Zyan left his forces behind and rode his horse towards the Southern Wall with Anam by his side. They are trying to get there as soon as possible, but they are also trying not to get spotted by the defenders of Arkadis. After all, 10 million soldiers are enough to prevent him from getting spotted or recognized as a general. It took him several minutes to almost half an hour to finally reach the Southern Arkadis wall. What a sea of people and weapons! Zyan stopped his horse and jumped off of it. He then handed the rope to one of the soldiers, and then he tried to find the tent.

It took him another 10 minutes to finally reach the tent by foot. The tent is guarded, of course. Zyan asked the guards to let him inside the tent, and they let him in. Inside, the tent is also full of people. All of them are generals and noble people. There is one soldier inside the tent, though. They all turned to Zyan.

Zyan gave them the sign to not ask him a question or say anything to him.

"Hear me out," he started. "From when I arrived here, I've learned that the defenders of Arkadis are focused on the Southern Wall. What do we expect? There are 10 million soldiers here, and I only brought like 37,000 or so, but hear me out. You guys have 10 million soldiers here; why don't you try to attack them? Their siege equipment can't possibly kill all of our men in just one hit. Beside, 10 million soldiers are in the south of Arkadis, and I bet you that these defenders of Arkadis will be focusing on the southern forces if we are to attack them. I don't know how many soldiers they have behind that wall, but I've got a plan. A crazy one. See, I was late. I didn't catch up with all of you because I've been training my soldiers to do some crazy things on my way here."

"Back to the plan, I suggest we use our archers to devastate the enemy soldiers and terrorize them right now. At night, their forces will be too tired to stand straight and will be too afraid to take a look at our forces. If we keep waiting, their reinforcements will arrive. Our position will be threatened once they arrive. So, I'll launch an attack from the north at night. The northern area is mountainous, but hopefully my forces can get to their walls. I know that they have siege equipment on their towers, but I need as many forces as possible to try and assault the southern wall. There will be many casualties during the assault, but there is no victory without sacrifice. If we are lucky enough, we can breach the Southern Wall, but if we don't, my men can still attack them from behind and steal their siege equipment. This plan might sound crazy, but I think I trusted this crazy plan rather than waiting for naval support to arrive. Enemy reinforcement could possibly arrive once the navy is here."

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