Lord Joyde The Madman: Heylo, everybody! How are you all doing?
Well alrighty then.
This isn't something that I intended to write today, but my madness seems to have other plans.
Or Chaos does, anyways.
You people won't mind either way, yeah? XD
Anyways, here comes the next chapter of Destiny: Infernal! I sincerely hope that you all enjoy, let us begin!
Don't mind me guys and girls! I'm just a line break...
A few minutes later... - Castle Pendragon (Regimental Ward) - Alice's Point Of View...
Ah, the ever-so-unpopular Regimental Ward.
A part of any millitant noble's castle where their troops and mercenaries come in order to be documented and receive their orders. Such a useful place, this is. And yet, everyday you hear a story of one such ward being destroyed by a hedonistic noble who dreams of turning it into a garden with fountains spewing out wine.
How incredibly grateful I am that my father was not such a man. Mother might've been such a woman, though. I suppose I should be happy that she died before she could do any real damage.
Anyways, why am I even thinking any of this right now you might be asking?
Well..."Is that... all of them?"
A mass of soldiers, men and orcs and their mounts alike, stood before me in utter silence. Each man and orc stared directly at me as I stood upon a wooden platform in order to better see and adress them should the need for it arrive."Indeed. Together they are a force of around two thousand and five hundred strong, milady." Yvain spoke as the poor merchant mayor stared at the many axes and well-used blades presented before him.
For the first time in ever, it seemed that my mayor was to be of no use whatsoever. Truthfully, I should have expected this from a merchant. I closed my eyes with a deep sigh."Yvain, you're free to go and continue your administrative business. I'll... figure something out by myself."
Much to my surprise, the man nodded without a single retort. Guess he really didn't want to be here.
Then again, perhaps assigning a merchant to gather up a retinue of soldiers that was to escort me to Kilnchapel may have been a mistake on my part. Of course, all he really did was gather up litterally EVERYBODY he could find and push them into one, big, disorganized mob. A wave of Chaos waiting to happen."Men, I apologize to you all for this rather incredible blunder. Please, if those among you who would count as your leaders would come to meet me in private, I would be extremely grateful. For now, please make yourselves as comfortable as possible. I promise to make sense of the situation soon."
The warmachine in front of me seemed to deflate. They were all called here together so they all probably thought a huge battle was coming their way or something...
Damnit, I should have paid more attention. I can't just let Yvain handle everything and hope to Vytar, or the White One that everything is going to be okay.
.... something tells me that I should NEVER pray to Chaos in hopes of everything being *okay*.
Anyways, I walked off the platform and entered a rather quickly erected tent, round and bearing the colors of my dynastic banners, it was perfect for a war council, even if it was extremely rushed. Within moments of my entry, I found myself looking at four distinct men and one woman.
Or well, two men, two orcs and one human woman."Right then, I assume you would be the regimental leaders? Please, introduce yourselves."
"I's Zog. Zog da trakka. I's da war boss o' de trakkars." The newly-named Zog was the first to reply. His entire body was covered in thick hides, just barely exposing bulging muscle beneath. He was an orcish tracker, though that should not be thought as even remotely alike to the human proffesion of the same name. An orc who was a tracker was a beast handler, a scout and a berserker in one.
Well technically, all orcs were berserkers but you get the point. Orcish trackers acted and fought like wild beasts."Nice to meet you, Zog. I'm Alice. Can you tell me how many soldiers you've got here?"
"Me's warband 'round tri-hundrid-fifta stronk, boss-lady." He casually replied as I nodded and turned towards the next person in line, meaning the human woman."Good morning, milady. I am Catherine De La Porrion. I was a mage hired by your father and have decided to become part of this new city that you've begun to construct. I am also very interested in the ley-lines near shapestone deposits!... oh and, I suppose my forces are around a hundred strong."
"Nice to meet you too, Catherine." Was my reply as I began writing down what was told to me in order to better organize my troops."I'm Thomas, of Marrowdorf. I am, or was, one of your deceased fathers millitary commanders. My charge was the ranged portion of our troops, numbering approximately four hundred men in total. Two hundred and fifty pistoliers and one hundred and fifty archers."
Of Marrowdorf? A peasant promoted into a commander, eh? Interesting."Greetings." The man offered a silent nod in response.
"I's Kog, blood brotha o' Zog. I's leadin' da fighta boyz. We's onla oin hundred an' fifta strong, thougha. Big boss took most o' us bak 'ome." Next to speak was the other orc, a much larger one at that. He was outfitted with a loosely connected or in some places welded plate armor, clearly something forged from the remains of his enemies, which indicated that this was a far more experienced orc."Nice to meet you too, Kog. You like to fight a lot, yes?"
He offered me an orcish smile, an action that showed off his half-rotted teeth in pure joy and approval."Yas! Me boyz loik killin' an' butcherings, lots."
I nodded towards the savage orc with a bloodthirsty gleam in my eyes as I turned around towards the old man who remained silent so far."Is it finally this old mans turn to speak, then? You youngsters have no respect for your elder, I swear." He joked for a moment. To their credit, both the orcs and the humans bowed before the elderly, white-haired man in shame.
His eyes shone with gold and a thirst for carnage not unlike my own. A man of Chaos.
Someone potentially very, very useful to me."Its nice to finally get to meet you, Alice. Here's to hope you're as insane as yer dad was!"
I blinked at the man in confusion and grinned at him."Well, that remains to be seen, sir."
"Aye, that it does. The name's Peter Cognat and I'm your Marshal. Sorry for not introducing myself to you sooner lass, I didn't expect you to come back so soon." Cognat?
"You wouldn't happen to be Lettice's father by any chance?" The man smiled broadly at the mention of his daughter."Aye, that I am. Why? Is it that obvious?"
"I don't rightly know the either of you enough to make that statement, but you are both soldiers, so in a way, yes." His prideful grin didn't wither in the slightest at my reply."Good! I personally command the vanguard of our army. One thousand infantry and five hundred cavalry, experienced soldiers that have fought and survived a thousand victories!"
A thousand victories, not battles. I quirked an eyebrow at the man, yet said nothing to counter his outrageous claim.
Finishing up my scribbles onto a piece of parchment, I turned my head back up just in time to have a man rush inside of the tent and fall onto the ground. He appeared to be a peasant, his clothes torn to shreds and his eyes black from exhaustion. Quickly, I rose from my seat and walked over to the man.
He then grasped my shoulder and immidiatelly began to talk as he took note of my symbolic noble dress."Milady! A huge force was seen approaching the border town of Oryx, numbering around ten thousand men! They didn't look friendly so the town elder sent me to gather reinforcements, but the nearby town mayors were off on some business trip, so I had to come to you to seek help! Please!"
"Calm down, friend. When was this force seen first?" I questioned the man, the others behind me now focused their gazes directly into my back, each of them eager to see how I would handle the situation.
Mayhaps... Yvains little blunder wasn't his choice alone, after all. Because of it, I now have the means to respond appropriatelly."T-they were seen two days ago!"
Two days ago, hmm?
I let go off the man and turned around to think."A force of ten thousand... the only plausible people who could muster such a force would be the dukes of the nearby duchies, if they were to unite against a common foe that is. And even then, the bulk of their army would be hastily levied and armed peasantry or even compliant bandits."
"A giant disorganized mob of fools and horses and pitchforks." Peter added onto my assessment with glee, the others expressions matching his."They can't move very quickly, but they've probably already razed Oryx to the ground."
The peasant man fell to his knees in sobs and horror."Someone get this man some food and drink. I am sorry for your loss, friend. If its any consolation, I shall see to it that your family and friends are avenged." He nodded and was carried away, his tired legs giving up on him.
Hmm, tired legs? I would most likely need every advantage I can get to defeat this foe. Something to keep the unruly horde awake at night."I'll need Fluffy."
I left the tent for a brief moment and whistled as loudly as I could, the giant bat monster promptly leaping out of his tower-nest and coming down. This surprised my commanders."Wh- thats the monster we saw attacking the castle yesterday."
"Yeah well, hes a friend now." I casually explained to them as I turned to face the now shocked senseless army."Come on men, we have a battle to win. Enter formations, we march to Oryx!"
That evening... - Alice's Point Of View...
Perhaps hastily ordering a march was not the best decision, as my troops left the capital without too many supplies. Yvain and Tibald offered their aid without question on the condition that their city garrisons would not be drafted into my army.
... A bold and insubordinate move, but I should've expected as much of them. Perhaps not of Yvain, but with him having to keep one of his city gates constantly open in order to help me already, I could not ask of him to sacrifice his people any more than he already did for me.
Tibald decided that, while I was nice and all, he isn't going to waste his men on a doomed battle and instead asked to be allowed to fortify his city incase we fail to rout the enemy.
Lady Cognat eagerly rushed back to her city in order to gather up as many troops as she could in order to eventually reinforce us, but we would have to engage the enemy before morning arrived.
I did not even bother asking the pacifist granny for help.
Lord Clauss decidely offered a small contingent of dwarven guards to help me directly, but I decided against it, ordering the man to reinforce his own city instead as the threat of the ratmen would grow stronger the longer we left it unchecked.
And so, my forces set up camp near the southeastern edges of Lake Palemoore and waited for the marching enemy horde to stop.
By flying high on Fluffy's back, I was able to scout out the enemy lines and saw that they carved out a large portion of the forest in order to settle their tired armies on a hilltop. The encampment was filled with the screams of women and children alike, with enslaved men being forced to carry their cruel captors burden.
The survivors of their raids and the razing of Oryx. To think I passed the burgeoning little border town just a day ago on my way here... If only I paid more attention, I could have seen this coming.
My rising self-depreciation didn't stop me from doing what had to be done as I finished my scouting mission and returned to my camp. My forces had plenty of time to rest and I made sure that what little supplies we had were distributed evenly, ensuring that every man and orc was at maximum power for the coming battle.
But we didn't have any more supplies. This cannot become a battle of attrition, because that is one we would surely lose. Yet a direct attack is clearly suicide.
Though, perhaps there is a way to turn the tide into our favour somehow?
Walking into another war-tent in thought, I didn't even notice the fact that the others were already inside. Each of them discussing heatedly on what to do."W-Oh, the lady is back."
"How did your scouting mission go, Lady Alice? Any ideas on how to win this battle where we are outnumbered severely?" Peter asked me with half a smile. This wasn't the face of a man who had accepted doom or one that had lost all hope.
No, they were all expecting to walk out of this victorious. I grinned, thankfull that my soldiers morale was just as maddening as it was in Marden.
Maybe..."Tell me Peter, is our infanty all of the heavy type?"
The man, much to my inner approval, nodded."Indeed. All of them are outfitted in full plate armor, swords, shields and a pike to prevent an enemy charge from deling much or any real damage."
A nod was his answer."Zog, how good are you at beguiling untamed animals."
The lithe orc shrugged."Best ah can do iz make em angry."
"Good, because thats exactly what I need. Take your best trackers and make a tour of the enemy encampment. They cut down a large swath of forest, so we can be sure that the animals nearby are pretty pissed off. Let us take advantage of that." The orcs eyes widened for a moment before he bowed and wordlessly rushed out of the tent in order to carry out his orders.
In the corner of the tent was Fluffy, laying down yet eagerly looking at me. He appeared to be fairly hungry."Fluffy, I need you to listen to me closely. I want you to go and attack the enemy camp, kill and eat your fill and then get out before things go south for you, okay? Then, I want you to find a nice place nearby and howl as much as you can. Don't do it for too long as I'll still need you for the main assault, okay?"
"Grrhhnn." The Varghulf purred in response and immidatelly sprang into action."Planning to keep the enemy awake all night and terrorized, milady?"
Peters grin turned savage as I nodded."Indeed. Now, all that remains is to devise a stratagem of our attack."
"Attack? You mean we arent going on the defensive?" The mage of our group asked with a quirked eyebrow raised in uncertainty."No, because that would be our doom. Even if our enemy is tired and horrified from the night, gathered up together our forces would become easy pickings for the larger horde."
My explanation drew their attentions to me in full once again as I dragged out another piece of parchment as I began to draw up my plan of attack."Lets begin with something simple. In order for any battle plan to be effective here, we are going to need to create a massive diversion. The enemy is going to be tired and terrified at the start of the battle, so if they see a much smaller force presenting itself in the open in order to oppose them, they will most likely just charge into the fray without much ado."
I drew a circle onto the paper which I tilted the enemy army and another, much smaller circle below it which represented my one thousand heavy infantry."Peter and I will be leading the frontlines with our one thousand heavy infantry. I'll be calling this force, the cushion."
"The cushion?" Thomas of Marrowdorf questioned my naming sense as I turned towards him with a smile."Yes. And your ranged forces will be the pins."
"As we charge forward to keep the enemies attention, you will be pouring fire on them from behind our lines." Peter immidiatelly responded, the experienced war general seeing through my tactic with ease... but I wasn't done there."Peter, you said how we had five hundred cavalry before... are they all also heavies or?"
He let out a sigh."Sadly no, only two hundred men can be counted as heavy cavalry, with the the remaining three hundred being lightly armored."
Using this knowledge, I created two more circles, each on a side of the enemy army. To the left was the hammer and to the right was the rake."Let us place our heavy cavalry to the left. These guys will be continuously charging the enemy in a back-and-forward formation." Much like it sounds, they'll be attacking, fleeing and attacking again repeadeatly. This continously charge will hopefully serve to wither the enemy morale.
I don't have to kill everyone if I can just break them."As for the light cavalry, they'll be doing something very similar but foundamentally different. Instead of simple back-and-forward attacks, they'll be circling around as the enemy will most likely attempt to use that side in order to flank our much smaller infantry or even try to break through to the Pins. We cannot allow this to happen, so they will have to be quick about it. Charge in, cleave a portion of the exposed enemy flanks and then continue running sideways to escape them, only to come back and strike again at the nearest weakspot, all in a singular motion. They wont be making any pikeman walls as they'll need to quickly rush their men to our Pins if they want to deal any real damage. During this time, you and your men will be focusing fire on that same side of the enemy in order to buy the light cavalry enough time to escape and attack again."
"But wot 'bout me and me boyz, boss lady?" Kog seemed kinda sad that I had yet to include him in my battle plan, yet my bloodthisty grin seemed to revitalize the orcs spirits just as quickly as they faded."Kog, I'm going to need you to listen well to what I'm about to tell you as you'll be relaying the orders to your brother once hes back, alright."
"Kog do 'is best, boss-lady!" He replied with interest as I nodded, deciding that response was the best I'd get."Okay, so first I want you to take your boys behind enemy lines and once the battle starts, you'll be charging in and killing everybody you see. As the battle seems to be in their total favour, the enemy commanders will most likely remain inside of their tents rather than come anywhere near the front lines. If we are lucky, then they'll be in the same tent and most certainly wont expect a contingent of orc warriors to attack their exposed northwestern rear. Your boys name is going to be the nail."
"So we's gunna go in, kill 'em lots, den findsa deir bosses and kill em all, raight?" I nodded towards the orc."Yes, and please make sure to yell really loudly once you've killed the enemy commanders. Wouldn't want anyone to not know you did that, right?"
"I's gonna scream so loud they'll be hearin' ma voice for daiz!" Was his casual, if infinitely dreadful reply. Yet, it was exactly what I hoped from him."Now, what your brother is going to be doing is something very simple. While you focus your boys on killing the enemy commanders, your brother will charge into the enemy northeastern backside with every beast and berserker he can muster. He can only do this after you've already gone in though, so tell him to wait a bit before going in, alright? Not too much waiting, just enough to have the soldiers fully focused on you."
"An' den we's both kill everybody, ya?" Another nod was the orcs reply as I took a final look at my drawn up battle plan."Also, your brothers forces will be called: the Scythe. They'll cleave through the routing enemy like wheat stalks on an open field."
"Most impressive... I was not aware that you were adept in millitary strategy, milady. Were you perhaps home tutored by someone and what do you even call this... stratagem?" Peter questioned me as I quirked a confused eyebrow at the man."I didn't and I do not. Though perhaps I should get some millitary tutoring. This stratagem is just something I thought up now, it has no official name."
He blinked, they all did as they looked at me with respect and shock."Then, young miss, you have an almost preternatural understanding of warfare. Whereast your father was a soldier alone, it would appear that you have the makings of a true legend."
Then he turned to look at the battle plan once more and smiled."Say, all of that almost reminds me of those clown gatherings that parade through towns... what are they called again? Circuses?"
"Carnivals are what you're thinking off, old man. Though circuses do exist too." Something awoke inside of me when I heard the word *carnival*. Wasn't something like this used by Marden?
What was it again."Young lady? Are you alright?" Our resident mage asked me with a worried glance.
"I'm fine, I'm just thinking..." Was my reply to her before I finally remembered the name of the spell."Carnage... The name of this stratagem is the Carnage Carnival."
"Nice. Just one final question: where do we, the mages, fit in all of this?" Catherine questioned me as I blinked in momentary consfusion. Oh right, I had one hundred mages.
"Lets have you join in with the Pins, but focus on the left side of the enemy army with your firepower." She bowed and nodded in response.
Don't mind me guys and girls! I'm just a line break...
Hehehehe, at this rate, my chicken scracthings are gonna be famous one day!
As per usual, I'll remain online to edit out mistakes and reply to early comments!
Anyways, read and review! And Good Morning/Day/Night to you all! ADIOS FOR NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!