> Previous thread here: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/27242257/> Quest Twitter: @Stratocumulus1You are Esalar - orphan, hunter, herdsman, and now leader of a band of horse archers, trotting away from your village, chasing after your friend and leader Savas. The sun is already low in the sky when you set off and, rounding a hill, turn around to watch your tribal tent-village disappearing slowly behind terrain. You have heard stories about Imperial soldiers and how they bid their farewells, how they go through the same moment you just did and weep, thinking they will never see their families again because they are headed for the front. It's no wonder the bloody Empire's so fragile, if that's the sort of people they have protecting their frontiers. You, on the other hand, are a steppe-son. Rounding hills and heading off to get some killing done is what you do in summer and autumn when you are bored. The terrain of this region is familiar, and even though the light is failing your band of men have no trouble, traversing the grasslands at a brisk walk until you reach a first, easy waypoint - the grey-white slopes of the Stele Ridges. There are actually a few steles on the crest of these hills; apparently, at some point in the past, Imperial armies ranged all the way here, setting up their little stone carvings as proof.
>>27262429'Brother, should we take a rest?' Ferho, one of your first recruits and childhood friend, rides up to you on his trusty, roan horse. 'I don't know if you've noticed, but it's nearly midnight now.'You blink, and then glance up to see the stars and the half moon, high in the sky. Damn, he's right. But then you know that Savas, who set off just yesterday and has a bigger band, can't be very far in the lead now. If you travel in the night, you can close the lead or even join up with him immediately. You turn around to look at your men in the darkness - they are still sitting straight, but many are rubbing their eyes now, or yawning. > You are their leader; you will look after your men. > You are Savas' brother, and what good is a brother who does not ride in search of his kin? > Other.
Character and Warband information: > http://pastebin.com/rbDTeur3
>>27262439>You are Savas' brother, and what good is a brother who does not ride in search of his kin?
>>27262439> Other. Some can rest and set up camp, while others scout ahead.
>>27262776>>27262633>>27262706You look at the men for a few more moments, and then raise your hand to gather them. Sentar gives a yell, and they hurry to line up before you. 'Any orders, band-chief?' One of them asks. One or two of them start reaching for their hides and mats tied to their saddles, guessing what your order will be. That is the sight that irks you into your decision. 'Is anyone here so tired he cannot ride? We can leave him here. The rest of us will leave him and go to look for Lord Savas. He is our leader and band-chief, and we are bound to seek him. So does anyone here want to sleep?'A wave of murmurs rise among the group, but after a little mutual glancing no one dares to be the one who drops out. Sentar gives some encouragement as they begin riding, and you go to the front, where Ferho joins you. 'Well done, sir,' he says softly. 'We will have to consider what to do about Lord Savas' other... leaders, won't we, when we catch up?'As you consider your answer, you suddenly realise one thing. Mara, the chief's niece whose sword you hold, told you that Gotaras left with the Imperial troops. But he was about to join you and Savas. That's... odd. > What do you mean? (You can ask for more specific info.)> I fear not those nobles. In war we will outdo them tenfold. > They should be talked to, of course. The band must remain united. > Ask about Gotaras. > We'll worry about that when we see them. (Proceed to plan for catching up.)> Other.
>>27262861>They should be talked to, of course. The band must remain united -for now-.
>>27262861> Ask about Gotaras.
>>27262902>>27263143> Huh. Probably not the knock-off time yet... As usual, it takes you a while to think of what to say, at which you sigh. Much as you'd prefer otherwise, the realities of life and rank mean that there's nothing to do but accommodation. 'What can we do about the other nobles, Ferho? They're nobles, after all. We cannot break up the band just for disagreeing with them.''That might be true, but I'm sure there are other ways. We'll need to watch out for them, that's for sure. When you were knocked out, they were quite adamant that you ought not to be in the vanguard, since that is the position of honour. And I heard them say, directly, that you did not deserve that honour by your low birth.'Try as you might, that makes you grip the reins tight. 'And... what did Lord Savas say?''He was adamant about you leading the vanguard. But then he was also adamant about waiting for you to wake and recover slightly before leaving, and see what's happened...' This is worrisome. By now you've ridden through a gap in the Stele Ridge, and Ferho is quick to ride towards higher ground for a better vantage point. Soon, from the southern slope, you look out into the soot-dark earth... ... and you see a small group of fires, three or four of them, in the middle distance. 'Might that be...?' That is pretty slow going if it is Savas, you must say. > We will head there together, it must be Savas! > Keep the men here, you will go scout it out first. > Send someone else to scout it out. > Avoid. It's probably not Savas. (You will skirt them and continue south, towards your next waypoint.)> Other.
>>27263273>Send someone else to scout it out. A trusted man. I'd like for us to go but we should stay with our men to preserve order.
>>27263347Send Ferho, maybe?
>>27263347On the other hand, scouting ourselves would be a good example to our men. They wouldn't feel like we're having it easy.
>>27263347>>27263360>>27263363> ScoutSo, go yourself, or send Ferho? Ferho's the better scout, but then you are the leader, naturally.
>>27263445Ferho. We will be an example to our men by... doing jumping jacks, or someting.
>>27263493We will train with the blade. Push our body to the limits!
>>27263615>>27263493>>27263360>>27263347If it is not Savas, it could be anyone - these are the southern steppes in the autumn, after all, when grass is still plentiful. It could be a bunch of herdsmen... or it could be a bunch of the many criminals and bandits who prowl the area, rustling livestock and sometimes even kidnapping womenfolk. 'Shall I go down and take a look, then?' Ferho interrupts your chain of thoughts, but it is a well-timed offer. 'Bring one man with you,' you say. 'Be careful. It could be anyone.'You then watch Ferho, and his companion, disappear into the darkness just as Sentar brings up the rear and the rest of your band is gathered. To be honest, while you know they are strong men and courageous hunters and fighters, they really don't look particularly impressive right now - with mere tunics and bows and kishabras for arms. This won't do - in a war involving the whole of the Empire, what can you do with 12 or even 50 men? But as you stare off into the distance, you can hear cheering from behind you, and you turn to see Sentar taking off his tunic in the cold night as the men begin to form a circle. 'All right then, you little brats, who wants to wrestle the Tigercatcher?'Heh. Among your circle of friends, you knew Sentar as the Ambar-Kaslahar, Tiger-catcher, because he once actually wrestled a tiger. Eventually he managed to kill it, though one of the nobles then took the hide. > Consider your question of plans for the warband. > Go and watch the wrestling. > Watch? Don't be a ninny, go wrestle!> Other.
>>27263747>Watch? Don't be a ninny, go wrestle!Yes.
Rolled 14>>27263747> Go and watch the wrestling. we still have to consider our freshly wounded hand.
>>27263747> Watch? Don't be a ninny, go wrestle!
>>27263792>>27263860>>27263866> A very brave sentiment... except one of your arms is dead. > But when has that stopped a steppe-son? You shake your head, watching Sentar shiver slightly as one of the men goes up to him and gets into position. He takes the charge first, bending his body and making it clear he is attempting a takedown. Sentar sees it too, naturally, and simply stands awaiting the charge. 'GURR-'As you step up to the spectator ring and the others make way for you, Sentar suddenly bends forward as well, reaching out to clamp his huge hands on the challenger's shoulders. His timing is excellent; his hands grab on just as the attacker's feet leave the ground, and his body hangs horizontally in mid-air for a moment before he hits the ground like a plank. '-OWWWW!'Peals of laughter ring out as Sentar pulls the man bodily onto his feet, and then you step up. 'Hey, Tiger-catcher. My turn!''Brother, your arm is ruined. I can't possibly fight you like that.''It's nothing.' It's really not nothing, but if you say so. 'You can put your left hand behind your back and fight me one-armed.'Sentar hesitates a moment more, then nods. For added reassurance, he slips his left hand into his belt, tying it firmly to his back. The crowd, stunned into silence at your challenge, suddenly begins to cheer. 'Esalar! Esalar! Band-chief! Band-chief!'... Damn, that feels really good to hear actually. > Take the offensive. (Say how.)> Let Sentar come for you. > Other. (You can cheat, but that is of course dishonourable.)
>>27264002>Let Sentar come for you.
>>27264002>Take the offensive. (Say how.)Feint to the right, make him overextend his stance, then take advantage of that and sweep his front leg.That's how fights work in real life, right?
>>27264094Seconding this one.
>>27264157>>27264094>>27264061> Go on the attack! You and Sentar circle each other for a few more moments, while the cheering goes on. Despite you being the favourite, Sentar is grinning, seeming quite happy for you. Or maybe he calculates it will goad you into attacking. Damnit, he's not going to do it, and eventually you lose your patience and step forward, advancing with your right as he retreats and dodges. For his size, he really is nimble! 'All right then, brother,' he says, and beckons to you. 'Come on!'That does it! You charge forward, preparing to dart to the right as he reaches to arrest your attack, just like he did before. You can do this if you trick him; he's top-heavy and a low attack will do the trick. Or at least it does in your mind. > Roll d20. Sentar has a +3 bonus.
Rolled 6>>27264214rawling for the glory
Rolled 18>>27264214Which roll do you take?
>>27264233>>27264243>>27264258>>27264259The first five are considered. Crits take priority. The highest is normally taken; that might *not* be a good thing.
Rolled 17>>27264275That's a lot of rolls. High chance of criticals.
>>27264258> 18 vs. 6+3: Surprising success!You charge, and just as you expected, Sentar again moves to halt your charge, swerving a little so his right hand does not collide with your wounded shoulder. A man of honour! It's a pity you'll use that honour against him. Just as his hand comes for your chest, you sidestep it and slam your right arm on his shoulder; despite you putting your weight into it, he does not seem to budge at all. But your trick has worked, from the look of surprise in his face as you kick his front leg out from under him. Sentar goes down, turning as he goes, and lands on his shoulder. But damn him, he is quick - as you recover and lunge to cover him on the ground, he rolls out of the way and is on his feet again. This time he cracks his knuckles and goes for you. 'Esalar! Esalar!''Sentar! Sentar!' Bloody hell it's like an ox is being loosed on you! > What do? (Write in.)
>>27264396Try to goad him into an attack.
>>27264407He's already going for us man. Sidestep!
>>27264396Try to dodge his attack and jump on his back.
>>27264396Meet his charge head on! Slam your shoulder onto his stomach and throw him to the ground!
>>27264518We need to be bold.
>>27264447>>27264434>>27264518Holding a slightly crouched wrestling stance, you try to evaluate the situation. It seems that Sentar's even more unbalanced than you with one arm behind his back, which means that if you could perhaps dodge, and then take him do-STOP THINKING ESALAR HE IS ALMOST UPON YOU! > Roll d20! Unfortunately, you have to beat 17 (14 + 3) to succeed.
Rolled 19>>27264576Come on!
Rolled 20>>27264576I got this guise !
>>27264656 good good, my first crit over a long time.Also if we kick his ass we should play it on luck... we don't want bad blood between us.>The highest is normally taken; that might *not* be a good thing
>>27264764It's just a bit of friendly rivalry.
>>27264656He only takes the first 5, though. You were number 6.
>>27264656> Gah!!>>27264643> Well, you'll do! > Close success! Instinct takes over as your plan matures in your head. You crouch lower, as if readying to take the stallion charge head on, and give a deep holler to match Sentar's. He bellows back to match you, moving up to back his voice up with his bulk--and then you're not there. Sidestepping nimbly to the left, you open up your stance just as Sentar's arm sweeps before your face, about to carry you before him. As he carries the empty air, you arch your own right arm and launch yourself forward like a lance, catching his side with your shoulder. The force of the charge is enough to stagger him, and then he topples backwards, making a nice bed for your bad shoulder. 'OOF!''URGH!' Your head bumps into Sentar's jaw, amid a round of cheering, as it becomes clear you've managed to take him down.'Esalar! Esalar! Band-chief!' You stagger to your feet, as Sentar lies on his back, laughing. > Magnanimity. > Pride. > Humility. > Other.
>>27264812Incidentally, as the cheering fades, you somewhat realise what a racket you were all making. Probably every wild predator on Stele Ridge - and there are quite a few - has taken note of you now. But more importantly, you can hear... hooves.
>>27264828...FUCK.>MagnanimitySentar is our brother, and his concern for our health is admirable. That said, we rather need to address the fact that unknown riders are now out and about.
>>27264812>>27264828"Good match Sentar, now arms, someone comes."
>>27264895Something like that. Just be noble. Tell him it was a good match.
>>27264796aww shit my luck just turned,hah gotta love my rolling.>>27264812> Magnanimity. also give him a hand to help your brother upwhile raise the alert of closing hooves, and order everyone in their saddle.
>>27264812Going with magnanimity. And sword.
A bit of humility too.
>>27265017>>27265003>>27264991>>27264920>>27264913>>27264895> There will be more good rolls. There better bloody be. > MagnanimityYou reach out your hand for Sentar, as you ought to - even though there's no way you can lift that bulk. Then, the moment he gets up, you turn around to face the sound. Thankfully everyone else has gotten the message too, and before you can give the order they're already reaching for their bows and arrows. But then, on closer listening, you realise there are two sets of hooves, both cantering up. Then, to confirm your hopes (and fears), a shout. 'Brother!''Bows down! Bows down, people. Ferho?'Ferho and the other scout quickly dismount, looking completely unfazed. 'It's not them, Esalar. Not Lord Savas. Just a group of women and civilians, and Imperials it turns out. They say their convoy was attacked and scattered over in the hills out east, and they've wandered here.'> cont'd.
>>27265136... what, why would there even be a convoy? Just then a blast of wind reminds you that the crest of a ridge is not the best place to be bedding down on the steppes. 'Did you ask them, then, if they saw Savas?''Yes. They said no - they've only seen a few bandits, not a band of men.' Ferho frowns. 'Besides, if Lord Savas had come across them, surely he would have saved them. You too know how he is.'He has a point. Damn. Savas must have taken some other route, then - though you can't really think of where he'd go. Maybe he also followed the Imperial recruits? But where would *those* people be going then? 'We should do something about those people if they're really civilians and women, Esalar,' Sentar says, doing up his tunic. 'Besides, we're only a day's ride away from the Forest, and then we'll have to decide which route to take into the Empire.'Oh yes, that. You will have to think about that - where you enter the Empire, in the middle of a war, could be crucial. Besides you'd have to guess where your band-chief is going. But as for those people - huddled like lambs in a wolf's lair... > It is only right to help them. Approach. > We have bigger things to fret about. Avoid. > Other. > Note that either way, you'll be getting off this ridge. There's wolves in the shrubs, and it's bloody freezing up here now.
>>27265260>It is only right to help them. Approach.At this point, we really don't have a chance of catching up to Savas' band any time soon, what with our false start increasing his lead. And having to guess where he's headed.
>>27265260Help them, our entire goal was to fight banditry, and neither side is going to have a hatred for the peasantry.
>>27265260> It is only right to help them. Approach.
>>27265260>> It is only right to help them. Approach.We can maybe use our "helping" them to make our entrance into the empire.
Rolled 3>>27265260> It is only right to help them. Approach.I say we start getting some fame
>>27265396It doesn't take you very long to make your decision. Savas would do the same; it is exactly what you started out for after all; and besides, who knows what they could provide? As your father used to say, 'a flask of milk-wine in winter can buy a lifetime's friendship'. Turning to Ferho, you nod, then you give the order. Before long you are on the flat ground, headed towards the fires, and as you near them you can already hear the outcry - of relief, mostly, it seems. You can understand a smattering of Imperial, and certainly their gods are being praised right now. A brace of women and older men come up to meet you, and soon you are led at the head of your men into the camp - a bare, horribly pitched affair, the tents flapping loudly in the wind. Eventually you are brought to three people, two men and an older woman, near a fire. 'Thank the stars you have come to help us! Oh, great fortune!' They say. 'We are in need of food, and this place is truly unsafe.'No less safe than anywhere in the steppe, you think. But why put down the unfortunate? > Ask them about their conditions. (Specify your query.)> Distribute food. (There's about... 25 to 30 of them; this could take quite a bit of food.)> Plan the journey ahead with them. You need to choose your route anyway. > Actually, why are you being so charitable? > Other.
>>27265625Ask them how dire the food situation is so we can try to plot the journey that might have the most game/food available around it.I say give them some food for now and think of this more as an exchange since we will no doubt be pumping them for information about the empire.
>>27265625>Ask them about their conditions. (Specify your query.)Where do they intend to go, do they have shelter, how many are they?
>>27265707>>27265719You look around you, and ask how bad exactly their food situation is. 'We have about three or four days' rations left,' the older of the two men says. 'We tried hunting, but...'Well, leave that to the experts probably. You tell Sentar to get some of the food ready and rustle up some stew, before going back to the leaders. From what you know of Imperial dress, they actually seem quite well turned-out, with silk robes and dresses and fur overcoats. Pity about all the ripping, though. 'We will head anywhere within the Empire, except if it is controlled by those foul rebels,' the woman says. 'They're the ones who chased us up north in the first place.'> cont'd.
>>27265881It is now that Ferho decides to present his plans. After all, he is one of the most knowledgeable person here where the terrain of the southern tribes is concerned. 'As I see it, people,' you can see the woman's face wrinkle a little at that egalitarian address, 'we have two main options for routes into the Empire.'The first is to strike south until we reach the Hurulun River. Then we can follow the course of the river, which is a big detour, until we get to Nienshari Pass. The good thing is that the two Hurulun tribes are both friendly with us, as you know. On the other hand, it is a long detour, and it ends in a major Imperial fort.''We could help you through the fort,' the man offers. 'We could vouch for you.'Ferho ignores him. 'The other way is to strike east, cross the East Downs and then the Little Saddle Hills, and cross into the Empire from there.' You already know the advantages of that route; it is a familiar route for your tribe whenever you try to raid the Empire. It is a short route, and the garrisons are weaker and more diffuse; but it is also crawling with bandits. You sometimes spend more time fighting off other tribes in the hills than raiding. 'We are going by the river route, certainly,' the three elders say. 'Crossing the hills will put us where we started, with the rebels. Will you aid us?'> Why not? We go by the river. It is more peaceful. > Delay upon delay! We can help the refugees and cross the hills. > Other paths.
>>27265986>> Why not? We go by the river. It is more peaceful.It is longer yes, but this is just more time to try and get information form the imperials and others. We might be able to recruit from the other tribes along the way
>>27265986> Hills. We can recruit along the hills too, and not be weighed down by these people.
>>27265986> Delay upon delay! We can help the refugees and cross the hills.
>>27266247>>27266240>>27266232>>27266111> Two each; awaiting consensus.
>>27266349Going with river as well. Sounds more calm.
>>27266420>>27266358>>27266111>>27266247The river Hurulun - you've travelled along it before, once, when you were sent along with Savas to negotiate something. Certainly the friendliness of the tribes will help. As for Nienshari Pass, even if the refugees don't help you through it, you will be able to find a way around it. What are nomads for after all? All the walls and passes of the Empire have never stopped your kind. You rub your chin, then nod. 'We will escort you and your people, then.'Their faces light up, and then reach to touch your hands, shaking them with gratitude. Before long, soup is being cooked, and you head towards the aroma by instinct to see a huddle of men and women in their poorly suited clothes, raising their bowls. Ferho taps your shoulder. 'Brother, there's something I forgot. Before we left, you were saddling up and Lady Mara gave me this to give to you.'You blink and take the package; even without lifting it to your nose, you can smell what it is. Dried meat - Mara's dried meat. 'Well, it's a good thing you didn't add it to the soup,' you say, smiling. > Do anything else this evening? > If not, you will rest here with them (and with some proper tents and mats), before heading out for the river. The steppes should be uneventful. Hopefully.
>>27266578Are there any young men of military age in the group? Might try to recruit them.
>>27266578Remember to post a rotating watch of our men to check for both external and...internal threats. We don't really know these people after all, they could be in league with bandits.
>>27266701If we need a watch, we can take the first one. The men are tired.
>>27266647Men from the plush imperial core who'd rather read than learn to properly shoot from horseback, I don't think so. Our band may be small but it is close and experienced. Lets just go to sleep.
>>27266578work out a watch and sleep.
>>27266647Perhaps when we're an established warlord and have need for combined arms tactics to foil the plans of our rival tribesmen, we'll start recruiting from the soft Imperials. Until then, we'd be better off sticking with hard frontiersmen.
>>27266778>>27266761>>27266647>>27266701>>27266717>>27266732Young men of military age... yes, actually, and they're even armed, albeit with the straight Imperial swords. You count 4 of them. In terms of supplies, other than the food situation itself (also, the stew that your boys rustled up is *awful*, but the refugees take it gladly anyway), it seems they do have quite a few horses with them. You'll still be slowed down because there simply aren't enough for everyone to ride, unless you want to use your spare ponies. Also, dear Tengari, many of these horses are in awful condition. Swayback, bruises and cuts, and all that sort of stuff. As dinner ends and the exhausted people begin drifting off to sleep, you volunteer to lead the first watch; Sentar will take the second, Ferho the third. Soon you and your three comrades are standing under the stars and half moon, amid a field of snoring and tossing and turning bodies. And then you spot movement, coming near one of the tents. You quickly recognise that tent - it's where Sentar is sleeping, and anyway you can hear his snoring all the way from here. Wait a minute...... yes. There's definitely movement inside. You move to investigate, trying to figure out what it might be. > It's probably an animal. > It's probably a thief. > Damnit, they are in league with the bandits! > Other.
>>27266778>>27266732yeah, our personal vangurd 'band' need to be all hardened and brave fighters. most important thing for a vanguard is a compact unit formed with experienced men.
>>27266867>It's probably an animal.Better get over there to make sure a wolf isn't about to eat our buddy.
>>27266867>Otherits no help making guesses. Go and check it out.
>>27266932>>27266903>>27266900> Well, right now your band *are* pretty good fighters. By Imperial standards you're sure they're good. You'll see, well. You head for the tent, hand on the hilt of your kishabra, and just as you walk around to the part which was moving you suddenly hear a rustle and some pattering. After a short while, something bolts from the tent's entrance, clearly spooked by the fact that it's been discovered - except you foresaw that and simply walked back, quietly, to stand right in front of the tent. As Sentar continues snoring - dear heavens he will not make a stealthy sleeper - the thing runs out and barrels straight into you. 'Ow!' Then another 'OW!' As you reach out and grab what turns out to be a wrist. Oh, it's a human. And from the voice, it's a girl. 'What're you doing in my brother's tent?''Ow! Let go!' Then, after struggling a bit more, she falls limp. 'Please, sir, let me go...'You look up and around you. There doesn't seem to be a place from which a little girl would emerge. > Question her nicely. (Write what to ask.)> Question her not-so-nicely. (Ditto.)> Save the questions, take her to the elders. > Let her go. It's just a girl. > Other.
>>27267094>Question her neither nicely nor rudely"What were you doing near my brother's tent?"
>>27267094>Question her sternly.
>>27267094Tell her we're not going to let her go until she answers the questions we've asked.
inb4 evil demon
>>27267180>>27267168>>27267145Keeping a tight grip on the wrist, and also keeping it twisted, you make her clamber to her feet and pull her aside, while she whimpers. 'Please, sir, please let me go-''Not until you explain yourself. What were you doing?''Food... I wanted some food. I'm hungry.' Come think of it, her hands are freezing cold as well, even compared to the weather. You loosen your grip a little. 'Nonsense. I dispatched the provisions myself. Didn't you have the stew? Everyone had stew.''No... we underfolk, we didn't get it, it was finished when it was our turn. We only got to drink a little of the soup. I'm hungry.'Underfolk - that's the Imperial term for their servants, as you know. Bloody hell. You'd measured out nearly half of your food and there's still hungry people? 'How many of you underfolk are there?''There were three but Numo's died. So just two.'> What do? (Write in.)
>>27267364Give her a bit of dried meat.
>>27267364give her some of that dried meat. She needs it more than us
>>27267364Give her enough jerky for her and the other servant.
>>27267364We need to have a talk with these refugees. Yeah, we can give her the meat now, but guess what's going to happen tomorrow. These people need to learn that out here they are just baggage to us, and we didn't save them in the wilderness to watch them starve each other to death. If they want our help, they need to play by our rules.
>>27267454This is a good point. We must take it up with the elders. We're here to save everyone, and that means everyone, including the servants.
>>27267513maybe we could use camp followers
>>27267364Underfolk? Don't you mean prime recruitment material!
>>27267454give them some food. make sure everyone, and absolutely everyone, is kept fed from now on.
>>27267551Malnourshed slaves don't make for good warriors.
>>27267582we will need more then warriors likes spys
>>27267582Not at first, in any case. But the promise of food and freedom can get you some fierce loyalty
>>27267389>>27267414>>27267419>>27267454>>27267503>>27267513You shake your head and let go of her, and as she gasps in pain and rubs her wrist, you reach for Mara's bag of goodies. Well, it's what any of you would have done... perhaps. The girl makes to run, but you stop her. 'Wait.' You take out two thick strips of the jerky. It's more than jerky, actually; there are plenty of berries mixed in, along with some grain meal, making it more like pemmican. 'Here. Yours, and the other servant.'She takes the two strips of food and looks at you, amazed. 'Thank you, sir. Thank you! Thank you!' 'What's your name?' You make a mental note to talk to someone about this. It would be bloody pointless if you helped them only for them to kill each other. 'Uh, it's Kimo.' And with that she scampers off. The rest of the watch passes quite uneventfully, and you go to sleep, dreaming of eating a pheasant. A whole pheasant! Slightly gamey, roasted and charred, a little tough and chewy - the perfect meat...... then you wake up. Ferho, having seen where you are situated, comes over to you and says that it would take about two days before you reach the headwaters of the Hurulun. 'Tengari grant us a peaceful ride before we meet the Hurulun tribes, of course.'That would be nice. But meanwhile you head for the elders, who are again by a fire. You also catch sight of a girl, skinny with black hair and pale skin, who is carrying a bundle of bedrolls but quickly looks away when you see her. That might have been Kimo. 'Yes, sir, what would you like?'> Roll d100 for the progress of the next two days. > If there is anything particular you'd like to do or know as you ride out, say so. Otherwise I will mostly timeskip. > Get to the point about the starving underfolk. > Ask them questions. (Write in with questions.)> Leave it for now. > Other.
Rolled 41>>27267702> Get to the point about the starving underfolk.
Rolled 36>>27267702How they got driven out here and also get to the point about the underfolk
Rolled 85>>27267702>Get to the point about the starving underfolk.
Rolled 58>>27267702>> Get to the point about the starving underfolk.
Rolled 17>>27267702>Over the trip, have some men hunt for food as you go. Hopefully the food supply can be improved or at least stabilized for a awhile >Ask how long they have been traveling>Ask about the underfolk
Rolled 12sixth but still wanna see hows my luck
>>27267749>>27267768>>27267775>>27267798>>27267812You consider the order in which to ask your questions. Probably would be better to antagonise them *after* they give you the information. That little tactic works a charm, as the three eagerly talk about their sufferings. What happened, it seems, is that they are a group of official families - gentry and landowners, with relatives serving in the Imperial government - from the northeast. When the rebellion broke out, they were right in its path, so after a few months they decided to leave. 'So we packed everything in caravans and tried to make it westwards. But our guides tricked us, and led us straight into the hills where the bandits were. So we got robbed.''How long ago was this?''Oh, about... six, seven days?' So the revolt had been going on a few months already... 'We've been reduced to eating mice and roots, it is so good that you have come to our aid. We are really grateful.'
>>27267982Well said, people. 'About that, actually. Yesterday I caught someone trying to steal food from our tents. When I caught her, she said she did not get any food from last night.''What?' But they quickly recover their composure. 'That... that cannot be,' the woman smiles, 'there must have been some honest mistake. It was dark and we didn't really see who's who when they came for the stew...''I don't think so, lady. She mentioned being an underfolk. And that they get the food after everyone, which is why she got nothing, because everything had been eaten.' You sit up straight. 'When I came to your aid, I understood that as coming to *all* your aid. That includes you gentle folk, and also your servants.' You gesture at the people hauling stuff around you. The Imperial tents are really unwieldy and heavy, while your tents are already on pony-back. 'Do you understand?'They glance at each other, and then nod. Good. > cont'd.
>>27268094> Roll: 85The days between your camp and the Hurulun pass by relatively quietly. At mealtimes, you make sure to stand by at the pot to see that all the servants get some meat and vegetables in their soup. Kimo, that girl, seems rather afraid of you, always dodging out of your way. Maybe you shouldn't have gripped her hand that hard. Was a bit harsh. But there you are. On the second day it starts raining; it is a light rain, and not a problem for those on horseback, but for the many on foot it is a miserable time. Which makes it miserable for you as well, sitting on your horses and waiting for them to catch up. 'We could let them have the spares,' Sentar points out. > Let them have the spares. It'd speed things up; you'd take forever before getting to Hurulun. > The spares are already hauling your gear. You don't want to exhaust *all* your steeds; that's the greatest mistake a steppe-son can make. Meanwhile, the food is beginning to run low. You're reluctant to eat all of Mara's pemmican before you even get to the Empire, and for the rest who haven't got pemmican, well... > Let's go hunt for marmots and groundhogs. Low risk... but low reward. > The hills have streams and forests, which means there's game. Let's go get some proper meat!
Rolled 23>>27268221>Let them have the spares. It'd speed things up; you'd take forever before getting to Hurulun.We'll need to make sure they're properly rested and watered once we reach the Empire.>The hills have streams and forests, which means there's game. Let's go get some proper meat!
>>27268221> The spares are already hauling your gear. You don't want to exhaust *all* your steeds; that's the greatest mistake a steppe-son can make.> Let's go hunt for marmots and groundhogs. Low risk... but low reward.
>>27267551>>27267546>>27267582>>27267601>>27267609Also, you do see the wisdom of keeping camp followers. Maybe you could ask for those underfolk, though you're not sure how the refugees might take the request. You suspect they know how to cook and wash a lot better than your boys anyway, because the stew has gotten a lot better since the Imperials began doing them instead. An army marches on its stomach, after all. > Make note to ask?
>>27268330>Make note to ask? I would say once we get closer to the fort we should ask them. This way we have earned their trust and how they treat their underfolk I doubt they would mind them traveling with us.
Rolled 49>>27268221>Let them have the spares. It'd speed things up; you'd take forever before getting to Hurulun.We don't need to kill some due to exhaustion. Of course priority goes to Kids first, then elderly/women>The hills have streams and forests, which means there's game. Let's go get some proper meat!With this group, we need to keep up a fair amount of food. Bigger game also means the meat, if stored/dried properly could make it last longer>>27268330We should bring it up, but weave it into a conversation. Sort of guage how they might act if someone was to ask to buy/take them off their hands
>>27268330will they be able to keep up with our riding? if they can, we could ask them as the payment for our protection.
> Give spares> Ask later, but sound them out first> Hunt for big gameAfter doing a quick head count, and figuring out the logistics, you think you should be able to let your spare ponies carry some of the Imperials. After all, the servants who are walking are not particularly heavy to begin with; it wouldn't be too much more to ask of the horses. And if it is, you'll just trot a bit more and canter a little less, then. With this slower pace, Ferho takes the initiative to scout ahead, and on the second afternoon he comes back with good and bad news. 'Good news, brother, is that the Hurulun's just ahead. I'd say half a day-' he glances at the Imperials. 'Let's be safe and give it a whole day.''Fair enough. Bad news?''There's no one there. All along the length that I managed to see, which was about four or five miles.' Ferho shrugs. 'They must have moved farther south for the autumn, I suppose.'That's even better, actually, if you intended to hunt; the hills would be a bitch for riding, but hunting in the Hurulun valley plain could be very easy indeed. By the time you descend the slopes on the third day of your march, your provisions are still holding up fine, but you are hungry for meat. > Roll 2d20 for hunting success.
>>27268712> Also, bad but unavoidable news: your arm means no archery for you. It hurts to raise your arm, which is a bitch. But you can still do rounding up - it's one of your favourite things to do, anyway.
Rolled 17, 12 = 29>>27268712There's food in this there woods
Rolled 17, 4 = 21>>27268712MEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAATT
Rolled 10, 18 = 28>>27268712Hunt! Kill! Eat!
Rolled 14, 11 = 25>>27268712lets hunt a glorious bear.
Rolled 3, 2 = 5>>27268712
>>27268767> This! The few young men from among the Imperials insist on joining your hunt, brandishing their long bows which are really suitable only on foot. Even when you try to explain how hunting is *actually* done out in the steppes, they insist. 'We really ought to do our part! Let us help!'Well, not being on horseback might not necessarily make them useless. You think of an idea - to have them on hides, across the river, while you drive the game down towards the river. You can trust your boys not to shoot each other; let's hope the Imperials don't wound your men. The hunt goes well; you quickly set up a riding cordon around a hill, whooping and corralling whatever animals you can find. And there are many - a scattering of wild asses, for one; a large herd of red deer, whose stag you quickly separate and force away. Today is not antler day, it's venison day. As you ride the far end of the corral, however, making sure the deer do not run through the hill forests, you ride down a relatively open patch of woods before realising something is wrong. Slowing down without pausing, you turn around and then realise what it is. There is a line of striped wild piglets, whose little trek your horse just disturbed, and now they are panicking and squeaking as they huddle together. You've just separated a wild sow from her children. Fuck. Soon you hear the rustling of short, powerful legs on the leaf litter. > Stand and fight! > Run away! Join the main body! > Other.
Rolled 28>>27269017>Run away! Join the main body!Boar ain't nothin to fuck with.
>>27269017>Run away! Join the main body!
>>27269017>Run away! Join the main body! Gotta pick your battles
>>27269017> Stand and fight! >Being afraid of boarWe have a spear, right?
>>27269178>>27269089>>27269140Well, it's a damned good thing you spotted that quickly! As soon as you tug on your reins and give the horse a good kick, there is a loud squeal, and your horse takes off downhill with the wild sow chasing you for a good hundred yards or so, squealing and grunting. It is only at the edge of the forest that you manage to slow down, sure that you've lost it. You've ridden down right in front of most of the Imperials, who are just sitting and watching as if a performance is being put up for them, as your boys herd the animals into a tightening corral and the shooting starts. 'Left wing!' You hear Ferho holler. 'Loose!''Right wing!' That's Sentar. 'Loose!' With each volley, more animals are brought down, limping and then falling, and with each animal taken the Imperials clap and cheer. The sun shines out at afternoon, through the dispersing clouds, to see your little entourage busily cleaning and skinning the game. '9 does, 5 wild asses, and 4 wild ponies!' Sentar says, a wide grin on his face, his arms red up to the elbows. 'A good haul, brother!'> Roll d20 for perception. > Let's encamp here for the day. Finding the tribes can be done for later. The horses could do with a good watering and some rest. > Let's not waste time. Cut the meat, bag it, get on the road.
Rolled 9>>27269290> Let's not waste time. Cut the meat, bag it, get on the road.
Rolled 13>>27269290>Let's not waste time. Cut the meat, bag it, get on the road.
>>27269325> Let's not waste time. Cut the meat, bag it, get on the road.
>>27269314>>27269315>>27269325>>27269329>>27269362> 18: ah, shit. 'So, should we stay here and have a big grill, Esalar? What say you?'The smell of blood and guts is thick in the air, and you look at the hides that have piled up on the riverbank. 'I think we can leave the cooking for later, Ferho. If we can get to one tribe or another before the evening, we ought to. We can always cook with them.'Ferho nods, a 'fair enough' nod, and then you stop at one hide and feel tension creeping up your spine. It's a horse hide. But more importantly, on the rump of the horse hide, not very well done but still rather distinct, is a little charred mark on the skin. Shit, you've just shot and bagged someone's riding horse! When the two or three boys nearby come by and see what you're looking at, there is general consternation. This is pretty big, as faux pas go. A horse is half of life out on the steppes. 'Better prepare a good apology then, sir,' one of them mutters. On closer inspection, you are pretty sure the horse belonged to the Lapwing tribe, one of the two. Well, there are ways of dealing with this... as the meat is bagged, and the horses readied, you consider. > Take the hide along, go to the Lapwings, apologise. > Burn the hides, avoid the Lapwings, head for the Sparrows (the other tribe) instead. > Other.
>>27269518>Take the hide along, go to the Lapwings, apologize.To regain honor.
>>27269518>Take the hide along, go to the Lapwings, apologise.We honorable son
>>27269518>> Take the hide along, go to the Lapwings, apologise.
>>27269518>Take the hide along, go to the Lapwings, apologise.
>>27269518> Take the hide along, go to the Lapwings, apologise. Good thing we got imperials to blame.
>>27269561>>27269578>>27269605>>27269616>>27269723We are honorabru
>>27269723>>27269616>>27269605>>27269578>>27269561'I'll take the hide myself,' you say, and have it bundled onto your saddle. Since you managed to find some of the Lapwings' horses around in the forests, it stands to reason that the Lapwings themselves, despite Ferho not seeing them, must be around here somewhere. When you do find their traces, though, it is in a strange place - hoofmarks, not one but several, leading up a hill, into the forest, instead of sticking with their livestock. Oh, damn. There's one plausible reason why a tribe would decide to set up camp away from the grass and the water source, and in the forest. There must be a little war going on right now. With this in mind, you lead the group slowly up the hill, ordering everyone to keep as quiet as possible. After quite a while of riding, Ferho taps your shoulder and points downhill, along another path, and you look to see a line of horsemen, arrows on bows, pointed at you and ready to draw. Only the courtesy of hospitality keeps their drawing hands away from the strings. 'Oh heavens! An ambush!'For Tengari's sake, those Imperials! You turn around and see another line of horsemen uphill as well, with the same arms. One of them steps up. 'Who goes here unannounced? Speak!'> We are here to apologise for the accidental shooting. > We are here to see the chief of the Lapwings, friends of our tribe, and to be hosted. > We are here to recruit for our army. > Other.
>>27269780>We are here to apologise for the accidental shooting.
>>27269780> We are here to see the chief of the Lapwings, friends of our tribe, and to be hosted. Hospitality first, then forgiveness.
>>27269780> We are here to apologise for the accidental shooting.
>>27269780>We are here to apologise for the accidental shooting. Let us not deceive them.
>>27269817>>27269882>>27269900> Dear Tengari, you people really are honest! You calmly raise your hand to get the man's attention, and then take out the still wet and rather warm hide from your saddlebag. Even Ferho seems a bit flustered as you raise it in your hands. 'Our tribe has long been friends with the Lapwings. While travelling through here, we hunted and shot by accident a horse of your tribe. I am here to return the hide and give due apology for our transgression.'For a moment, your questioner looks surprised, perhaps not expecting the admission. But he quickly recovers. 'Bows down! Bows down!' He says as he rides up to you and looks at the hide. 'I say. You are quite unfortunate. That is one of the nobles' horses.'Well, trouble never comes alone. 'I shall have to present it nonetheless.''True, true. My name is Hucan, by the way. This way.' He points before riding off, leading you eventually to a hill camp - the same round tents in a large forest clearing. Then Hucan rides ahead. 'A party of guests is here!'Before long people are coming out to look at you, curious but wary, murmuring among themselves. > Speak to them. (Say what?)> Speak to your group. (Say what? Give orders, perhaps?)> Wait patiently to be led in. > Other.
>>27270081>Wait patiently to be led in.We stoic as fuck
>>27270081>Wait patiently to be led in.
>>27270103>>27270122>>27270170The Lapwing camp, you realise once you're inside, is actually being fortified now. Fences and palisades and pavises of wooden boards are being put up. Your men, and the Imperials, are barred from even approaching the chief's tent; they stand out in the main clearing while you enter alone. The chief's tent is large, even larger than your chief's, and the man himself sits there, one arm around a consort, the other touching a short sceptre. You know what that's about - the chiefs of both the Lapwings and the Sparrows, being neighbours of the Empire, were given honorary Imperial noble ranks, and the sceptres are their emblems. Many a raid has been launched over these Imperial names and titles, and now the source itself is tottering... 'So why are you here? What is your name?'You explain yourself quickly, laying out the hide with a wet flop on the ground, and then look up to see the chief's face. But more importantly, the face of the young man beside the chief.'That... that's my horse!' He shoots to his feet. 'How *dare* you!''I humbly offer to compensate-''Compensate! If you gave your *arm* you wouldn't compensate!' 'Now, now-' the chief says, in a voice that seems to be restraining but is actually egging on. 'You cur!' The young man makes for you, and you get to your feet. 'How dare you! You low-born piece of horse-shit!'It would be nice if he stopped at that. But you do notice he now has his riding crop in hand, and is raising it, threatening to strike. > Remain silent and humble. It is your fault. > Defend yourself verbally. > A steppe-son never stands to be whipped! Give him what-for. > Other.
>>27270387>A steppe-son never stands to be whipped! Give him what-for.
>>27270387A son of the steppe never stands to whipped
>>27270387>> A steppe-son never stands to be whipped! Give him what-for.and while defending ourselves "Is this how you treat guests?"
We are not a horse to be whipped.
>>27270492>>27270472>>27270458>>27270445As the young man raises his crop, your instinct takes over and you reach out and grab his arm. He is a strong man, though, and you are unable to stop him from waving the crop around, hitting you every now and then. 'Chief, is this how you treat a guest? How could you?''Ah, but you're not a guest, are you, Esalar? You are a penitent, here to compensate for our loss of a dear horse.' The chief sits up. 'I am wondering, still, what should be imposed on you as a penalty.'In your moment of shock, the chief's son's other hand reaches up and slams into your shoulder, and a roar of pain bursts from your lips involuntarily as you stagger backwards. FUCK! That *hurt*! More importantly, though, you turn to look outside the tent and see the Lapwings surrounding your band. Surely this is far more than a horse can provoke. What in the world are the Lapwings trying to do? > Restraint. > Rage. > Either way, roll a d20. > Other.
>>27270387Offer to settle the matter with a duel
>>27270617This is not how men of honor receive those who come before them humbly.
>>27270617"What is this treachery?"
Rolled 9>>27270617Rage! Bastard!
Rolled 15>>27270617Oh right I was supposed to roll
>>27270617>Other.Remind him that the death of us and our men would lead to war between our tribes, and with the rebels on the way that would put his tribe on very bad footing.
Rolled 11>>27270698Forgot to roll.
>>27270618>>27270650>>27270714>>27270692I ought to clarify - you roll only if you're choosing either restraint or rage. Since you people seem to be choosing 'other' by writing in, I'll consider your contributions instead. Unless you intend to change for rage or restraint. Restraint will probably earn you a lashing. Rage is your instinctive response now, after a fist in your FUCKING MANKY SHOULDER.
Rolled 4>>27270781Say that and then offer to duel.
>>27270650This. What's he doing?
>>27270788Imma go with>>27270650followed by>>27270618
>>27270791No. Let's not challenge them.No lashings, though. We will not sully our honor by taking it.
>>27270812>>27270808>>27270791>>27270650>>27270666>>27270618> I'll take your high dice rolls, coupled with relatively diplomatic responses, as successfully resisting the urge to lamp the little bastard. It takes all your effort to step away from the crop and also to not shatter the smug bastard's jaw, which you know you can. Instead you back away and turn to the chief, watching all this. 'What is this treachery, chief? Receiving a humble apology with a riding crop? That is not what men do, it is the jackal's resort!''Stop, son!' The chief then withdraws his hand and smiles, while pushing his consort away. 'Jackals, eh? That's rich coming from a man, leading a band of vagabonds and about to join the rebels against the Empire. Not to mention shooting one of our horses. If I am a jackal, you are a maggot! Do you think I would neglect my duty to defend the Empire from the likes of you?'Huh? You stand straight, hand cradling shoulder, trying to make sense of what the chief had just said. But... wait, what? And if he knew more about you than you had mentioned about the horse, who told him about you? > What... what say? (Write in.)
>>27270954Why would a band of rebels be escorting Imperial Nobles to safety, I ask you?
Rolled 12>>27270954I thought we were serving the Empire. What happened last thread? Wasn't around.
>>27271008We didn't join the Empire recrutiers. Decided to enter the Empire as free agents.
>>27270954Join the rebels, yes, and he offered you proof? or did he just lie to your face because he hated me? The only people who knew I was coming this way were my tribesmen, and they'd hardly betray one of their own without an ulterior motive now would they?""I am in fact not joining either side, I hunt banditry who would make their living off of others suffering, mayhaps to earn my own way off their spoils as well, but join the rebels? Hah, they have no use for us except as fodder."
>>27271045Oh. Thanks.>>27270954Tell him we are no rebel. Savas or what's his name is with the Imperials now.
>>27271097Actually we have no idea what he's decided, last we knew his plan was still to enter as a free agent.
>>27270954Ask the chief what he is talking about. We are escorting some imperials to a fort and we plan to pick off bandits who are trying to raid the country side.We didn't join the army because we thought we could better help this way than on the front line.
>>27270954If I am a vagabond and a traitor, why under Tengari's Eternal Sky would I be burdening myself with these Imperials, who hobble a steppe-son more surely than any fetter?
>>27271134>>27271097>>27270979>>27271018> This is the last post. I am utterly exhausted. > But thanks for playing! You people are awesome. I'll see you later in the week, check Twitter for details. Taking a deep breath, still glancing at the chief's son lest he come at you, you look directly at the chief. 'I am not leading them to join the rebels, chief! That is ridiculous! Would a rebel be escorting a group of Imperial gentry to safety in the Empire? I would have killed them if I was a rebel.' 'Easy to say. You merely refrain from killing them now.''I do not know who has told you this lie about my betraying the Empire, chief. But it is nothing more than a lie. It is completely untrue.' The chief finally gets to his feet at that, and you watch as he descends from his seat, looks at you and your men and the refugees, and begins laughing. It goes on for quite a while before he comes up and pats you on your shoulder as if you are a friend, and despite yourself you flinch from the touch. 'Well, a lie and untrue, is it? An Imperial envoy will be coming in the next three days or so. I can't presume to decide on his behalf. But meanwhile... men!'Two men come and grab your arms, and you yell out as your left arm is wrenched, agony exploding all over your shoulder and chest. You pant to find the breath for words. 'This is treachery and dishonesty, chief! You haven't the right!''No, not the right. The *duty*. Detain him, and detain the lot of them as well! Bandits and fake refugees. We will let the envoy decide!' > End of Chapter 2. Thanks for playing! Suggestions, Questions welcome.
>>27271134Don't mention anything of our plans, the important thing is that we are and have been defending a bunch of loyal Imperial nobles.
Also, would anyone be interested in reading about the real-world historical background of this setting? It is merely loosely based on the historical record, but based nonetheless.
>>27271344I would be interested.Also are you the guy who ran Nobleman Quest? There are a lot of similarities.
>>27271376Yes, that was indeed me! Suppose the culture is showing through, eh. As for the history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Lushan_Rebellion is the basic plot of the revolt. You were supposed to be *in* the Empire, fighting for or against the Imperial government. Instead this is turning out even better.
>>27271428You ought to have realized that when fa/tg/uys get the chance to pretend to be Genghis Khan, they're going to take it every time. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
>>27271376>Nobleman QuestOh god I remember that quest. We were on our way to rule the world!....Kinda.
>>27271278The Course of action is clear: seduce chieftain's concubine, convince her to poison, and become chief.
Why do I get the feeling that once this "official" gets here we will be "drafted" and sent to the front lines?
>>27271428You badass son of a bitch. You're back!
>>27271428OP what is your twittername?thanks
>>27276607thanks, will be looking forward to friday
>>27272973>>27272653>>27271525>>27271520> All shall be duly considered. And yes, Back! It feels good.