Ulthuan, Home of the Asur
It is currently Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:54 pm

All times are UTC

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:01 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:27 am
Posts: 111
Hello everyone - I only recently started checking out this forum. Mostly I’ve been lurking in the battle reports, tactics and list building forums, but I’ve been really impressed by the quality of the posts here. In fact, it inspired me to do some writing for my own army too.

I’m getting ready to play some semi-regular games in; my first games looking like they’ll be in a few weeks. In the meantime, I thought I’d write some fiction to frame the army, and to build on as I play.

The thing is… I tinker with army lists a lot, more than I play in fact, so I can’t really go with building the fiction around one or two central characters. It took a bit of pondering, but I think I came up with a device that works.

Here’s my first foray into what I might call “list building fiction”, hopefully laying the foundation for some battle report fiction in due time. Hope you like it ^_^

The actual army list, as it stands right now and reflected in the fiction, can be seen here: viewtopic.php?f=67&t=60649


The Chronicles of Tor Modessa - Part 1: A Disparate Host

"What a complete and utter disaster" thought Narinizil as he surveyed the assembled dignitaries. Nobles and mages and merchant prince, all seated according to precedence, with notable company captains standing behind - "with the right to speak," he thought suppressing a grimace, "we are far from Ulthuan."

Tor Modessa was not the jewel in the crown of the Asur's far flung trade network, but it was a prize nonetheless. A gleaming tower rising out if the sea, well positioned amidst winds and currents on the routes to Ind, Cathay, and Nippon from the homeland and the Old World; the nearby islands produced enough to provision practically all merchant ships that plied these routes to the Far East. It was immensely profitable for the merchant and noble houses, and even royal courts, who held a stake in the venture.

Correction; it had been immensely profitable, past tense, until the fool of a warden had gotten himself and all of his forces slaughtered; in Lustria of all places! What had they been doing there, half way across the world from anywhere including here? The mind boggled.

The warden, naturally, had been a compromise candidate centuries ago when he was first appointed. Since then political conditions had changed, as they do, and the stakeholders were unable to agree on a new one (or on how to fund the required replacement forces). Over the years pirates and raiders had infested the islands and ultimately profits plummeted to the point that something had to be done.

That something, it turned out, was for everyone involved to send a small force commanded by a less than indispensable individual to Tor Modessa; mostly they were annoying upstarts, has-beens, inconvenient relatives, or incompetent but connected relatives. Only a few, like himself, were of any real consequence. Dispatching this motley disorganized crew was something and thus, it was hoped, better than nothing.

Narinizil was not so sure.

There was no established line of command, no clear goal other than “improve the situation”, and nothing to do to pass the time except intrigue and scheme, either to gain command or access to someone’s bedroom.

Two months in and the army had not moved; Narinizil, however, had slept with, had designs on, or been propositioned by fully three quarters of the people presently in the council chamber (in about equal proportion), leaving only a quarter of the Elven leadership to be dealt with on purely professional terms.

"... I fear the Shore Rider companies will not arrive in time. I strongly urge, nay implore you all, that we avoid battle until they return.”

The speaker was one Luvariel, captain of the sole regiment of archers left at Tor Modessa when the (former) warden set out. She was insufferably dull and cautious, Narinizil had quickly realized, but her banner bearer Dinwen was a morsel he’d like to taste one day.

Not now.

He sighed heavily to indicate his intention to speak. The room hushed, eyes turned to him expectantly; one pays attention to the words of an arch mage.

“I counsel that we move on the appointed date, reavers or not.” He smiled dismissively at Luvariel. “It is past time that we make our presence felt again in these islands. Magic will compensate for any shortcoming in our force composition. Enough prevarication! Enough excuses!”

Kir-Thalion spoke first and loudest,“the Princes of Caledor are with you!”

Of course they were. Flattery had won the Caledorian over easily enough, aided by his desire to see action, kill some enemies and return home.

It was the next voice that mattered, and though they had made the deal this morning while lying in his bed Narinizil had not been completely certain it would hold, not until she spoke.

“I agree, magic will carry the day,” said Lady Sifnae, the other Arch Mage amongst their number, “and when mages agree, only fools contest their judgement.”

They had disagreed at every preceding meeting these last two months, each and every futile assembly, and he was pleased to see surprised looks being exchanged now. Maeglin, representing a minor Eatanian family from some mountain backwater, looked particularly sour.

“That’s for keeping Maybright from my bed,” Narinizil thought, pleased with himself.

He had taken a disliking to the eagle rider almost immediately, and being shown up in front of the Avelornian beauty during the first feast had not made Narinizil feel more amicable.

It was rumoured that Maeglin represented the interests of someone at the Phoenix Court (which made sense, minor Eatanic nobles would not normally have the resources to be involved in a place like this), but Narinizil just couldn’t care. Maeglin simply rubbed him the wrong way. The two had quickly formed opposing poles at the council meetings.

“Will the hunters of Chrace take the field,” asked Sifnae.

“Lions do not shy from battle,” replied Farithiel their captain.

This was good, the Chracian warriors would be invaluable, he was sure. However Sifnae had brought them around, the momentum of the council was undeniable. The army would march!

Sifnae caught Narinizil’s eye; her lips moved ever so slightly, suggesting the hint of a kiss and conjuring memories of last night - the non-negotiating parts, that is.

“I’ve got you wrapped around my… finger,” he thought as he acknowledged the gesture with a subtle nod. At first he had been displeased at finding her at Tor Modessa - arch mages were rarely known to agree - but she had ultimately proven pliable to his charms. The way she used Life magic in the service of their mutual pleasure had been a pleasant novelty too.

“I too support this sally,” said Maeglin, his arms folded across his chest. “One eagle will join the expedition; the grey one.”

One eagle? That was it? A deliberate insult, but it was no matter. Narinizil would lead the army, and with a few quick victories he would soon be the undisputed leader of Tor Modessa.

“If Luvariel frets about a lack of riders, the cavalry of Saphery gladly offer their lances.” Their captain, Caranor Firehair cast a glance at his archer counterpart as he addressed the council.

“All of their lances for her? At the same time?” Narinizil smiled at this private bawdiness. It was curious that the Sapherian cavalry would take the field, but that the Swordmasters did not. It mattered less now; he had enough soldiers.

“Who shall carry the banner?”

It was Maybright, unable to completely hide her desire to be the bearer of the battle standard.

“The honour goes to Morlinwen, I should think, to carry it with the cavalry.” He was the general, few would question his decision now. This one had a delicious dual purpose.

Maybright’s eagerness would be disappointed, a rebuke for preferring Maeglin’s conversation to Narinizil’s bed that night. At the same time, Morlinwen of Nagarythe would be forced to take the field; she could not very well turn down the honour. She was a curious creature, that one; apparently she had been a captive in Naggaroth for most of her youth. Some, cruelly, whispered she was more Druchii than Asur; he had not made up his mind yet whether to join them. Much would depend on how she fought.

Narinizil had heard that amongst humans and dwarves, they would have formal votes on important decisions if there was no clear leader. Not so amongst the Asur; simple small gestures would indicate approval or opposition, and each opinion was weighed according to rank and influence. Everyone knew where they stood without vulgarly braying “aye” or “nay” like a pack of donkeys.

The Avelornian maid cast down her eyes in disappointment; no one of importance was supporting her at this juncture. Perhaps she’d be more receptive next time he approached her. It had almost been too easy to engineer the whole thing.

“Only one question remains.” It was Maeglin. “Who will lead the army?”

What did he mean?

“It is agreed that we are employing a magic heavy strategy, so naturally…” naturally he, Narinizil, was going to be the general. That was the whole point!

“Indeed,” Maeglin agreed. “Thus I suggest Lady Sifnae takes command. She has the trust of the Tower of Hoeth. I understand she has a book of power from the library. Who better suited?”

Maeglin’s pale smile was as good as a punch to the face. What a preposterous thing to say! Who better suited indeed!

“Well, Lady Sifnae can…”, Narinizil started, but her languid voice cut him off.

“I am honoured by your trust. I would be pleased to lead our army should the council agree.”

Surprised whispers rippled through the crowd; he saw several nods and even a smile from Morlinwen (he didn't know her capable of such). There was no doubt, the council agreed; Sifnae would lead. And he would still have to take the field; too many others had committed based on his support for him to withdraw without a major loss of face.

He, no novice at intrigue, had been thoroughly played by a woman who less than three hours ago had been lying naked in his bed. He, an arch mage, was to play secondary mage to another on the battle field!

“So be it!” He had been defeated in this one battle of wits, but there would be others.

Narinizil smiled with genuine pleasure. This Tor Modessa venture was proving much more interesting than he had thought at first.


[Note: the question about the reavers making it back in time is genuine. I have ordered some on ebay and they’re en route, but I don’t know if they’ll be delivered in time. I’ll play regardless however.]

Image Image <-- a couple of short stories I wrote

Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:40 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:06 pm
Posts: 143
Location: Victoria, Australia
I like it and also like the way you added in the real life aspect of you not having any Reavers but that they're on the way.

Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:37 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:27 am
Posts: 111
deecee wrote:
I like it and also like the way you added in the real life aspect of you not having any Reavers but that they're on the way.

Thank you for your kind words, deecee. I finally had a game today, and I'm going over my notes to turn it into a battle report and fiction. It might take a while though as I figure out exactly how to go about it :)

Image Image <-- a couple of short stories I wrote

Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] 

All times are UTC

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group