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/qst/ - Quests

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The mountains of Vinstraga, the northwestern continent, on which Sosalia lays, have been inhabited by strange peoples since the earliest recorded histories of the region, before even the dawn of Nauk Imperial more than two millennia past. Such records are rare, as the Nauk did a thorough job of obliterating the history of the continent before they arrived upon it, but even these incredibly rare windows into the past do not give any indication of the history of the green haired mountain folk, nor where they came from.

Most of the history of the people who call themselves “Nief’yem” come from what they are willing to share of their own records. These records often heavily mix folklore with what could possibly be historical fact, and few if any are consistent with one another in finer details, but they all indicate what the Nief’yem will tell most when asked; that long ago, they ruled these lands.


You are Lieutenant Richter Von Tracht, self-exiled but no less, in your opinion, dutiful officer of panzers for the Army of the Archduchy of Strossvald. You and a company of volunteers made up of your own platoon, picked men of elite riflemen known as Bat Company, and a few other misplaced miscreants were on a mission to venture deep into unknown territory and retrieve more than two hundred kidnapped hostages of your mother nation.

The journey had taken you further from home and comfort than you ever had been before. Once you could easily carry yourself with the pride, if not necessarily the proper prestige, of a son of nobility. Now you had been forced to assume the guise of a Sosaldtian mercenary; practically a low class criminal.

Of all the roles you could have played, this was one of the least ideal ones you could think to play. Perhaps your distaste for it was what helped you play it relatively well.
You were currently in the midst of a mountain road in East Valsten, after speeding through the enemy nation of Valsten to the west with all possible haste. There was apparently to be a war between East and West Valsten soon, but from where you were, there was no way to tell. Besides the occasional creaking of stone and tumbling of pebbles, the mountains were eerily quiet. This combined with the thick blanket of fog was quite disconcerting even before consideration of gigantic truck eating crabs.
That had been something you had set out on this mission mentally unprepared to deal with, although despite the loss of the truck and most of your food supplies, there was no loss of life, so you supposed that you couldn’t have been expected to deal with the situation any better.

Soon after that, while the sun wasn’t visible through the white mist, the hue of day began to change to orange and pink, signaling its coming end. Fortuitously, a mountain village lay on a side path, discovered by your ghostly companion, Emma.

The concept of driving a column of tanks and trucks through a misty mountain road down an illusory path, encountering gigantic crabs, led by a little girl’s ghost would have seemed utterly mad to you not two weeks earlier. It was good that you had turned out to have a special talent for adapting to the unknown, since even stranger things had happened to you than today’s ordeals.

The village didn’t take long to get to, despite being off the road. It overlooked the path from a slight elevation; no sign introduced its name.
“You said you saw nobody here?” you asked Emma, who was floating by you above your m/32 panzer.

“Nope!” Emma chirped. Considering that she was a ball of blue and white flame, one could be forgiven for not assuming that she was a (dead) young woman until she spoke aloud. “Good thing too, since you all look simply ravishing. Like you’d ravish anybody you came across.”

Emma was also a filthy minded potty-mouthed seagull, but you could tolerate certain things when they had a proportional amount of utility.

“Good work,” you ignored Emma’s not so subtle comment on your appearance. You were masquerading as sellsword-bandits, it wasn’t something you could help anyways.

“I try.” Emma said haughtily in return.

The village itself was a collective of stone brick buildings with tiled roofs. While the walls looked appropriate enough, the tiles did not. Presumably they had been imported, as they had a modern edge that clashed harshly with the more rustic and brutal architecture.

The village appeared to go on into the mist, the ground sloping gently down as though at the edge of a shallow bowl. The very edge seemed to have enough room for all of your troops and vehicles, although perhaps it was worth looking further?

>Explore further; best not to be surprised by anything you should have seen coming.
>Secure a small perimeter. It’s not like there should be anybody here, and if there is, it’d be better to not be invasive.
>Other actions?

>Past threads pastebin @ https://pastebin.com/UagT0hnh
>New pastebin for miscellaneous files here: https://pastebin.com/k8yuNeuS
>Miscellaenous files are sparse for now; there's only a map, but I'll fill it out eventually. It will certainly not be required reading: the only things that go in the files are what has been encountered or explained in quest.
>announcements and other shit are @scheissfunker on twitter
>Explore the village with Malachi, Jorgen, Emma and a couple of infantrymen
>Have the rest secure a small perimeter on the edge of the village
>Make sure they know not to try and loot something
You quickly got everybody unloaded and up to speed on your current plans. With it growing dark, you’d rather not risk driving the mountain roads at night, and instead chose to wait for morning to come once more.

“I’m sure it doesn’t need to be said that we aren’t looting anything around here,” you said lowly to your collective officers.

“Some men already poked around a bit,” Captain Honnrieg slouched against an uneven stone brick wall of a hut, “There’s nothing to loot, not right here, at least. These places have been abandoned for some time. The homes are empty as a widow’s bed.”

“…I see.” You processed that metaphor, while also wondering at how Bat Company managed to begin poking around so quickly. “How long do you think?”

“There’s no growth on the walls, hardly dust,” Honnrieg dug around the edges of a door with his foot, “Can’t have been more than a couple of weeks. The people around here took their time leaving, packed up everything in an orderly manner. No signs of a hurry.”

You could only guess that it was because of this place’s proximity to the border. Mountain campaigns were particularly miserable and nasty fighting, and any permanent settlements, even small ones, were vital footholds in terrain that was hostile to mass maneuvers.

“Give me a couple of your men,” you asked Honnrieg, “Can you set up camp here on the edge of the village? I’m going to see what else is here.”
Honnrieg grabbed the first two men who came when he called, which was fine. You weren’t very picky when it came to potential forceful persuaders, and they would balance out the two who were members of your crew. Tough as Malachi and Jorgen were, one pillaged New Nauk and the other thoroughly destroyed it whenever they spoke. Ever mindful of strange occurrences, you decided to bring your resident ghost, as well.
“So what are we looking for?” one of the Bat Company men asked. They seemed to be completely unaware of Emma’s existence; talking to her prompted confused looks from them, so you decided to be more accommodating to the less able. Why they couldn’t see what you could wasn’t particularly important at the moment.

So you disguised anything addressed to Emma as being addressed to the one who spoke entirely in barely comprehensible babbling anyways. It took your driver a few times to get what was going on, but his puzzled vocalizations were easy enough to pretend to understand. Was that what Stein did all along whenever he interpreted for Malachi?

The village turned out to be far larger than you thought. The clouds had hidden more than a small clutch of homes, but as you delved deeper into the cradle of the mountains the density of homes increased until the settlement was revealed to be the size of a small town, possibly of a couple of hundreds or more once.

“I hear running water,” one of the Bat Company men said. You didn’t hear it for a minute, but gradually, as you went forward, you began to hear it too. It was the distant crash of a waterfall. Considering that some of the things lost with the food Handelwagen were potable water barrels, it certainly didn’t hurt to have at least found some source of water.

“There’s a person ahead,” Emma floated back, “Some old guy.”

“There’s an old guy ahead.” You relayed.

“I’m not old!” came a voice from ahead, followed by a silhouette, “I'm not deaf yet! I’m only fifty three.”

“That’s old.”

“You’re too young to know what old is.” The silhouette convalesced into a man with scraggly facial hair, dressed for light weather. His black hair was greying slightly, and his mouth and eyes were flanked by deep creases of age. He looked you all up and down.
“Tourists, I presume? Sightseers? The resort’s closed for now. Come back in a few months when whatever war’s coming up is over.”

>Actually, we’re just staying in your village for the night. You don’t mind, do you?
>I expected to be treated with a little more respect, considering who we are. Who the hell are you supposed to be anyways?
>I go through a whole day of wandering through magic walls and having my equipment eaten by crabs, and the park’s not even open? I didn’t even know there was one around here but that still sucks.
>Nief’yem will tell most when asked; that long ago, they ruled these lands.


C-c-c-c-combo breaker

>>I go through a whole day of wandering through magic walls and having my equipment eaten by crabs, and the park’s not even open? I didn’t even know there was one around here but that still sucks.
>I go through a whole day of wandering through magic walls and having my equipment eaten by crabs, and the park’s not even open? I didn’t even know there was one around here but that still sucks.
“I suppose you aren’t the king of these mountains, are you?” you asked the old man.

“What?” the stranger seemed greatly confused by your snide remark, “Oh. I’m not a mosshead, fella. Don’t know why you think I’m one.”

“You live on the mountain, don’t you?”

“Please. This is just my vacation home where I stay the hell away from my bitch wife.” The Old Man leaned on his walking stick and squinted at you, “You, though, from the way you sound, you’re married to a child and you’re plowing your sister, hm?”

“I don’t have a sister.” You said, immediately regretting not just saying no.

“Your cousin then.”

You didn’t actually have any of those either, but the old man had had his fun. “I don’t know what you’re talking about anyways. We’re from Sosaldt.”

“Alright,” the Old Man smirked an open, sardonic grin, “Heh. Yeah. You’re from Sosaldt, and I’m the king of this mountain. Sure, kid. You’re pretty mouthy to somebody you just met.”

“I went through a whole day of wandering through magic walls and having my equipment eaten by crabs,” you complained in a faux whine, “and the park’s not even open? I didn’t even know there was one around here, but I’m still upset.”

“Right, you’re definitely not from around East Valsten, or the border, for that matter.” The Old Man muttered, “Else you’d know the Spring Rock Baths.”

“Fancy name for a pile of rocks in the middle of nowhere.”

“Come,” the Old Man waved back to you, “The fog clears somewhat up ahead. Don’t know why, but even during these times, it do.”

You and your band followed him dumbly.

“Oh, I wonder if it’ll be more rocks.”Emma quipped. If the Old Man could hear or see her, he didn’t make it known. At the very least, he wasn’t some predatory illusion that you’d never seen before, leading you to your doom.

“I live around here with my mistress. She’s stupid as goatshit cooking on a boulder but for a mosshead she’s sweet. Sweet enough for me to put four kids into, at least. Two before my wife even found out.”

One of the Bat Company grunts snickered.

“Somehow my wife didn’t understand that women don’t get better with age,” he continued talking about his life like the old bastard he most certainly was, “So we’re spending some time apart. Hopefully until she dies. Old bat.”
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The mists began to part somewhat, and the sound of water grew louder. Wind whistled too, not harshly, but in the wistful, artful way spoken about in poetry.

“Something you’ll learn when your wife grows up and you can stop diddling your relatives, blue blood,” the old man strode ever forward, “A lot of women, even after only a couple kids they’re spoiled. Does shit to their bodies you don’t see coming. My dimwitted mountain monkey, Judge bless her pretty behind, hasn’t aged a day since I met her. Pure magic. Never trap yourself with a virgin, I say. Find somebody who won’t fall apart as soon as the kids come round because you might have to live with that horse til you die and your entire life’s a long time to regret that particular decision. Oh, and we’re here. Enjoy the view.”

It was a dense congregation of buildings short and tall, forming a pillar of civilization that supported a huge, ancient looking structure. A tall smokestack stood alone to the side. The buildings were faded, but still colorful, and the strings upon which pennants would fly were still up in some places.

“Spring Rocks Baths,” the Old Man said, “the Nauk liked the look of this old temple the mossheads built way back when, and they turned it into a bathhouse after they scrubbed all the heretical filth off the walls. It’s had more and more built on top of it over the years; really, you can hardly tell where the original building was until you’re inside. Only thing keeping this place from being a city is how hard it is to get a lot in and out of the place. If war weren’t on the horizon, you’d have to pay a month of a working man’s salary to stay a night, this place gets so full. The mossheads don’t like that their country house got turned into a bath, but they’ll take your money happily enough.”

“Yet it’s closed.” You said, still marveling at the scale such a small town apparently supported.

“Yep.” The Old Man squatted down, hanging on to his stave, “Now that you’re educated on just where you are, I’m interested in learning just how in the hell you got here in these times. Are you secret mountain monkeys?”

>Yeah, you caught us, with all these strange shades of green we are. Boo. We should be asking why you’re here, not the other way around.
>We got lost. I don’t really know what else to say beyond that.
>We’re chasing after friends of ours. Dressed scrubbily, have a ton of tanks. Have you seen them?
>Other (Also any questions you might want to ask for whatever reason if you want)
>We’re chasing after friends of ours. Dressed scrubbily, have a ton of tanks. Have you seen them?

Noter to self: if we see any frog people, small soot creatures or featureless black figures in masks, leg it immediately.
>And what's the deal with illusory paths around here?
>We’re chasing after friends of ours. Dressed scrubbily, have a ton of tanks. Have you seen them?

They are my cousins.

Shit adding onto this:
Since you are the King of these parts, do you know any tales of magic or illusions?
“We’re chasing after friends of ours,” you told the old mystery man, “Dressed scrubbily, have a ton of tanks. Have you seen them?”

“Nope,” the old man looked quizzically up at you, “How far behind were you?”

“Not more than a day.”

“If they charged onto the mountain roads in these conditions, they’d normally be done for.” The Old Man sighed and allowed himself down, pulling a rock from under himself after doing so. “Especially with the Living Stones riled up like they are now. If they’re well-armed as you say they are, they’ll probably come out the other end sometime soon, but I’d wager they didn’t take a right where they should have. Means they’re going to take a bit more time.”

“About that,” you cut in quickly, “What’s the deal with that? The illusory walls and paths, that is.”

“I’ve no idea what you’re talking about,” the old man said with the tone of somebody who had no reason to hide any ignorance, “You just don’t go down the roads in these conditions. It’s not like this is the only way through. It’s just faster to go through these mountains than around most’ve the time.”

“So if I were to ask you about any tales or ghost stories…” you prompted him.

“Then I would tell you they’re poppycock.” The Old Man finished for you, “There’s no reason to go out and find out if what the mossheads say is true. They speak enough nonsense that I’d be surprised if one out of ten things they said were true. I’ve lived around these places long enough to tell you that if there’s anything funny here, it’s nothing that’s any funnier than you’d find any place else.”

That was decidedly frustrating. “Right, right. So what do you mean by taking a right where they should have?”

“Something I hear the greenie monks say sometimes. They know the mountains like the backs of their hands; they don’t even use the roads.” The Old Man pointed his staff towards the resort settlement, “If you came around a few weeks ago, you could hire one of their pathfinders while they were still around to suck the marks out of tourists. All you have now is me, and I don’t walk around when it’s shit out. Neither do the heifer and our kids.”
“Great.” You squatted down next to him, “So we’re stuck just going down the road, then.”

“Well, you got here,” the Old Man said, “You’re halfway through. So long as you don’t make too much of a ruckus you should be fine. Mountain monkeys say you only run into those sorts of problems coming in, not going out. Don’t ask me why ‘cause I don’t know.”

“Can we stay here for the night?” you asked, “We’ve been on the road a while.”

“What do I care?” the Old Man scoffed, “so long as it’s not in my house, lie down any place you want.”

“The people who live here won’t mind?”

“Nah. If everything’s still standing when the mess with the westerners is over then they’ll be thankful enough. Just don’t shit in the corners.”

“…I’ll try to remember that.”

“If you want to ask me about anything,” the old man pointed his stick up the other way, “find the highest house, has a fence and a pinwheel. That’s where I live. If you leave in the morning without ever coming up that’s fine by me. Just make sure you knock before you come in.”
The untimely demise of the rations truck had a noticeable effect on the mood of the camp. What little was kept on person or vehicle was either hastily stored away or sold for exorbitant prices, at least as exorbitant as barter could be. Nobody could be seen eating in sight, despite it being the proper time. Other than that, everything was relatively orderly.

You found Von Metzeler and Honnrieg discussing something.

“I met a resident of the village,” you told them as you walked up, “He said, more or less, that nobody would care if we slept in these places as long as we don’t make them less homey. Using them as privies, for example.”

“I thought about telling them to go off the side of the mountain like on the way here,” Honnrieg said, “But there’s a bathhouse real close here with proper plumbing and everything. Well kept, too. I’d have settled for a hole in the ground with a roof, God knows I’ve had to shit in worse.”

“The wounded woman has gone,” Von Metzeler said, “She informed me that she was going to find something to kill and eat. I expressly forbid her from doing such, but she left anyways. It was my mistake to assume that she would follow my commands without enforcement.”

“Ah, let her,” Captain Honnrieg waved a hand down in a casual manner, “I’ve spoken with her. She’s enough of a child of the wild to know what and what not to do. Besides, half of my company’s busy writing a love letter to her if she comes back with anything. She might have jerky for a face, but what they say about the way to a man’s heart being through his stomach is plenty true when dinner after a hard day is on the line.”

“Not even port gourmet could convince anybody with an ounce of sense that that thing looks good.” Emma said from beside you. She hadn't split off like everybody else had. “I looked better than her after being dead for three years.”

Von Metzeler gave the little sprite a glare so withering that the once proud and defiant wisp quickly moved to cower behind you.

“While I respect the Captain’s opinion, and would normally defer to his opinion,” Von Metzeler said slowly, “I think that our situation is not so precarious that we cannot stand a night and morning of discomfort. If our maps are correct, this place is almost halfway down the road. We can travel a day without food, if need be.”

>Best to be safe. Go and find her anyways, with a few people.
>Go and find Hilda, but by yourself. Wouldn’t want to interrupt her if she did find something.
>She’s fine by herself, and you’re plenty hungry. Socialize with somebody (Write in)
>You’re dead tired and you don’t mind how what goes. Just get to sleep (Skip to Morning)
>Other Actions?
>She’s fine by herself, and you’re plenty hungry. Go and hunt something as well, use those skills anons gave you back in thread one.

So Metz can see Emma, while Jorgen and Malachi can't?

Also, oh God, if only Emma knew HOW she looked...
Jorgen and Malachi can.
The latter just didn't realize you were directing questions at him when you were actually talking to ghosts, at first.
>She’s fine by herself, and you’re plenty hungry. Go and hunt something as well, use those skills anons gave you back in thread one.
This anon is right, let's use something we're actually good at and maybe boost morale a little. Also show off to Hilda-senpai
“She’ll be fine.” You decided aloud, “It certainly couldn’t hurt. I think I’ll try my luck at a hunt, too.”

Von Metzeler blinked at you. “Visibility is poor enough for mere navigation, I think, let alone hunting…”

“It’s not like we’re doing anything else here,” you said while lifting your hands up in a questioning manner, “I’m leaving you two in charge while I’m gone.”

“Would you not at least take a partner, for safety’s sake?” Von Metzeler’s level tone was beginning to grow exasperated. “These mountains have hardly shown themselves to be devoid of threats.”

>Take somebody?
>You aren’t afraid of any crabs or ghosts. Or steep elevations and loose stones. What’s the worst that could happen?
>You’re planning for a rendezvous. You’re planning on going out alone, but not coming back alone.

Sorry for how tardy I am, unplanned events happened. Unplanned event being losing consciousness after wisely not getting enough sleep for a few days hence
Take Emma.
This and:
>You’re planning for a rendezvous. You’re planning on going out alone, but not coming back alone.
“I’ll have an escort,” you gestured to the sprite behind you, “I hear she’s dead on the money for this stuff.”

Von Metzeler narrowed his eyes at your cohort, while Honnrieg looked to and fro for whomever you were referring to.

“Also, I’m planning on a rendezvous. I’ll be coming back with our wayward lady.”

Von Metzeler looked as if he would have had words about that, but he found them lacking before he said them. “Hmm. I suppose I cannot stop you, if that is what you want.”


You left them then, and retrieved a carbine from your tank. Not the most ideal weapon for a hunt, normally, but the terrain was close and the mist was heavy. Any stalks would likely end within a hundred paces or even less. You also retrieved a dim lantern; the softer flow was better than the concentrated beam of a torch.
Your experience with hunting was largely in the forests and hills, with deer and other such skittish game. You’d certainly heard of mountain goats, and seen the impressive trophies that they made, but you had no experience with the terrain other than driving through it as of recent.

Your lack of experience began to tell as the thinner air failed to provide for your lungs properly, and you found a flat rock to sit upon. Even a relatively shallow slope, it turned out, drained that much more energy out of you. At the very least the wind direction was constant. Something from within the valley pulled the winds to it, a great current that dragged air from within the pocket of the mountain you were exploring; from what you knew of the sciences, a matter of temperature, although you couldn’t be certain.

“How do you expect to find anything in this weather, anyways?” Emma flickered to your left, “The mist’s so thick you’re more like to bump into anything than see it.”

“You’re here to help me with that,” you said, “Despite how talkative you are, fortunately, few seem to be able to hear you. I’m hoping it’s that way with animals. You can skip about freely and tell me when you see something with meat I can shoot for dinner.”

“…what if it’s a cute animal?”

“A cute animal?”

“Like a goat or a bunny. I don’t want you to shoot any cute things.”
“These cute things are awfully delicious when there’s little else…” You leaned forward weighed your head in both hands.

“I forbid you from shooting any cute things.” Emma insisted.

You smirked and pointed a finger gun at her. “Bang.”

“Yeah, really funny.” Emma smoldered, “I bet you’re not hunting for any cute things after all.”

“Goats aren’t cute.”

“Yes, they are! But that’s not what I’m saying. You’re out looking for the ugly girl, aren’t you? Lecher! Imperial swine! Chasing after ugly girls because they’re easy!”

You sighed and picked yourself off the rock. “What a fantastic fiction you’re brewing in your dirty little mind there. You’re being awfully rude, do you want to go back into the can?”

“I’m only teasing,” Emma sulked, “She’s of the lower class. I know enough about you Imperial Nobility to know you never associate with them unless it’s for a one night stand in a barn.”

You ignored her slight at all honored bloodlines of Strossvald. “How do you know I’m a noble?”

“Not just a noble, a poor noble. Somebody who thinks their blood’s worth more than any money in the world. It’s the way you carry yourself when you’re not pretending to be a bandit or whatever. Like you’ve got something to prove, even every step you take is supposed to be a better example of a heel to toe. We call your sort scarecrows. ‘Cause you all walk like you’ve got poles stuck up your butts.”

“You’re a strange person to hear accusing somebody of such.”

“I’ve got a stick in my butt about dying a child and being pickled. I know I’ve got a sharp tongue. Some boys like that when it’s combined with a pretty face.”

You rolled your eyes. “Of course.”

“You were sitting on a crab the whole time, by the way.”

You jumped and slipped, tumbling a few paces before picking yourself up an examining your seat. Indeed, there was the barely visible face of a crab, its head mostly masked by its two craggy claws, staring at you while cleaning its eyes with its long mouthparts.

“It’s not very cute,” Emma said, “Can’t you just shoot that? It’s a crab, crabs have meat. I want to go back. It's creepy out here.”

Living Stones weren’t poisonous, and there was no reason to believe that this one was any different. This particular one seemed completely indifferent to you. Easier prey, should you decide this was your quarry, could not be found.

>I’d rather not. I don’t like the taste of stone soup.
>Food is food, and this thing is probably a heap of meat under all the rock. Shoot it and roll it down the mountainside.
>It didn’t try to eat you, it wouldn’t be fair to try and eat it. Leave it be.
>>It didn’t try to eat you, it wouldn’t be fair to try and eat it. Leave it be.
I'd rather not. It's friends wouldn't take to kindly to us cooking their buddy.
>It didn’t try to eat you, it wouldn’t be fair to try and eat it. Leave it be

Also we didn't even properly hunt it.
>Don't they have that thing where if you kill one the others will know and get angry? We'd better find something else.

I thought we didn't tell Emma what happened with her body.
You didn't.
But she knows somehow.
She's taking this remarkably well.
“I’d rather not,” you told Emma, keeping your carbine slung over your back as you regarded the strange creature’s beady eyes looking back at you, “It wouldn’t be very sporting of me to return its docility with a bullet. That, and I hear these creatures don’t appreciate it when you kill and eat their fellows.”

“I don’t think the goats would appreciate it either.”

“The goats don’t swarm and attack people, and there aren’t any gigantic goats that eat my trucks,” you countered, “Not as far as I’ve heard, anyways.”

“You said it wasn’t sporting either,” Emma kept bothering you after you had begun making your way up again, “The goats don’t have guns. Doesn’t seem very sporting to me.”

“Goats smell better, and-“

“I’m sure goats smell better than Strosstadt beggars.”

“…I meant that they have better noses. This is also their home, they’re built for it, they know the ground, and they’ve probably evaded plenty of predators before. Really, any contest is stacked in their favor so far as material advantages go.”

“It still doesn’t sound fair.” Emma sulked.

“For goodness’ sakes, I’m not hunting for a trophy, I want to eat the damn things.” You tried to appeal to any sense of practicality, rather than attempting to woo her to your way of thinking with tales of how hunting was nature’s first contest of will and wit, or how it aided the ecosystem and how hunting was important for controlling numbers of both pests and prey species. You didn’t really feel like going into all of that, since it seemed that Emma saw animals more as cute things to be looked at more than anything else.

“Okay, but-“

“Shh,” you cut her off, “I heard something.”

You didn’t really, but it was a good way to shut her up.
Twilight was passing into night more quickly than you expected, but you had confidence that you could find your way back even in the dark. Mountains were naught but giant points, after all, with reliable ways to tell when one was on the side of it. Armed as you were with a compass, so long as you remembered which direction you went at landmarks, it would be cake for even the worst orienteer to make their way back.

Mountain lions were a potential threat both in the hills and the forests as well as their higher homes; you had seen one once while on a hunt four years ago, but despite the danger they posed, they were relatively wary of humans. You kept an eye and ear out for them anyways; in this weather, they had a great advantage on you, with better smell and hearing; important tools in these low-visibility conditions.

”Beneath you.”

“Did you say something?” you asked Emma.

“What?” Emma responded cluelessly, “No.”

You sighed to yourself and dug a twist of blackflower from your pocket, popping it into your mouth and chewing it. The smoky-sweet juice brought about a unique sort of calm over you, as evidently any tendrils of spiritual anomaly would be repelled from touching you in particular. Since it wasn’t a smoke or vapor, it wouldn’t have any effect on your incorporeal companion, either. At least, in theory.

“Do you feel funny at all?” You asked Emma, just to make sure.

“No funnier than I’ve felt the past three years.” Emma said, “Actually, since we got into these mountains, I’ve felt sort of…new.”

Did good air have a positive effect on things that didn’t have lungs? Theories to be put off for idle thinking on the long road ahead tomorrow.

As the sun crept below the mountains and the light in the fog turned from orange to pink, perhaps two hours into your exploration, you heard the clatter of rocks, and a few pebbles bounced down the slope towards you. Something was creeping around above you.

Immediately after, you heard the unmistakable sound of a billy snorting, a half bleating sneeze, but this was from below you. It couldn’t have been more than fifty meters away, from the sound of it, but it was beginning to wander downwind of you. If it went much further, it would probably smell you and flee.

>Pursue the goat directly
>Stalk downwind and try to get in front of the creature
>Find out what’s up in the rocks above

I'm breaking my rule for only starting posting again at 11AM, or whatever I was doing per day, but that's only for this update right now. Next will be done in about three and a half hours. I still haven't had coffee after all.
>>Find out what’s up in the rocks above

no no no no no no creepy voice you do not get a free pass on this.
>Find out what’s up in the rocks above
You decided that the unknown in the rocks was of greater concern than a possible goat. Besides, the strange voice earlier had put you off of anything that it could have been prophesizing.

You held up a finger to your lips to Emma, and began to creep up around the slope from the left, blowing along with the wind.

You heard no movement as you stalked slowly towards the direction of the disturbance that knocked the stones down. Was it just the wind? Couldn’t have been. It wasn’t strong enough, by your reckoning.

You found a small prominence on the slope, a flat topped dark grey stone, covered with the marks of age. You edged around the side of it, ever so slowly, and found yourself looking down upon it.

On top of it, prone, lay a hooded shape, aiming a “classic” looking rifle down the mountain. It seemed that you had found Hilda.

Her breathing was steady, and she did not move and inch besides some horizontal adjustment of her aim. If she’d noticed you, she gave no indication of it. You squinted for what she was looking at, but you couldn’t see what she could be aiming at.

>Make your presence known with a call.
>Try and sneak up behind her and spook her, for a bit of mischief
>Sit and watch until she notices you
>Sit and watch until she notices you
she probably knows where here but wants to get the shot
>Sit and watch until she notices you
Ah, wait, we only chewed it.
Anyway, try not to talk to Hilda with a blackflower breath.
>Sit and watch until she notices you
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You made yourself comfortable and waited.

Hilda laid there and waited, for several minutes. From the way she moved you assumed she had a shot; why she was waiting, you didn’t know. Perhaps what she saw that you didn’t wasn’t facing the ideal direction? It was difficult to get a good shot from behind, for example.

Then, you saw Hilda loosen, and her rifle cracked.

Soon after, she looked up from the sights, before pulling the lever action down and ejecting the spent round, which she gingerly picked up.

Hilda didn’t look around afterwards, and just kept watching where she shot, rifle still lifted but not in an aimed position. It seemed that she was looking for something else, but didn’t seem to know where it was or what it was.

She definitely wasn’t lining up a shot any more, and now it was apparent that she hadn’t noticed you. If you were to guess, Hilda had a bad case of tunnel vision when she was hunting.

>Get her attention from afar
>Sneak up on her and try and spook her like a rake
>Leave her be; although the shot probably spooked everything off the mountain
>Get her attention from afar
Sneak up on her, we aint a normal rookie hunter after all
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>>Sneak up on her and try and spook her like a rake

What's the worse that could happen?
Okay I’m back.


You slowly begin to creep towards Hilda, as if you were a person who was likely quite familiar with the local constabularies. This was all in good fun, though. What was the worst that could happen? Most women seldom carried arms to fend off molesters or stalkers, not that you were either. The gun at Hilda’s side was still somewhat worrying, though.

Being forced to disarm her if this went the wrong way would be even more troublesome than her overreacting, and whatever prank you were planning probably wasn’t worth the risk, but you were already on your way.

>Roll a d100, average of three at most, one roll per post. Roll Under DC 50, boost by 10 for if you think of any possible way to decrease any attention that might be called to you. QM discretion as to whether it would work or not.
>Also, you really don’t know what you’re going to do. Creep up behind her and shout Boo? Write in.
Rolled 17 (1d100)


Quack like a duck. We shall test her knowledge of mountain wildlife.
Rolled 27 (1d100)

Rolled 27 (1d100)

Just stop right next to her and watch, see how long it takes for her to turn around.
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You managed to step lightly all the way up next to Hilda, and slowly squatted down behind her, keeping your breathing soft and quiet. The distant songs of evening birds and Hilda’s heavier breaths were the only thing making the mountainside not utterly silent.

Hilda apparently decided whatever she had been looking for had long gone after a few minutes, and began to get up, presumably to fetch the goat. She turned and saw you, and jumped back in surprise.

To enhance the effect, you made an astonishingly terrible quacking noise that probably sounded much more horrifying to Hilda than it did even to you, as she tumbled off of the rock.

“Wha…ah, shit.” You muttered as you watched Hilda roll down the mountainside, into the mist. “God damn it,” you picked her backpack off the stone and jumped down after her.

Hilda’s journey had terminated about thirty paces from the large rock. She stared coldly at you while you jogged over.

“Are you alright?” you asked immediately.

“What was that supposed to be.”

“Uh,” you said, wincing at the trail of blood dripping down from her hair, “I don’t know. I thought it’d be funny.”

“Dick.” Hilda brushed herself off.

“You need to work on your situational awareness, missy.” You tried to smile and wag a finger at her, if I were a mountain lion, I would have eaten you.”

“If you were a mountain lion I’d have shot you.” Hilda pushed herself up and wheeled her right arm in a circle, “Alright, smartass. Head or nuts.”

>That’s sexual assault! If you goose me I’m returning the favor.
>Yours, on mine. (Roll d100 to see if you’re feeling like enough of an utter pig to say that)

Oh, that d100 choice...tempting.

Bear in mind too much damage and the guy in charge of this expedition is going to get us all killed due to a concussion.
>I'm your commanding officer, you can't hit me!
>I'll carry your kill back for you, ok?


Worth it.
“I’m your commanding officer!” you protested, “You can’t hit me!”

“You’re a louse is what you are right now.” Hilda cracked her knuckles and pulled on her fingers, “Pick one or you get both.”

You sighed, and decided that the family jewels were too short in supply to risk sacrificing. “Head.”

Hilda wound up, stared at your face for a moment, then lunged forward and cuffed you across the face with her open palm. It stung slightly, but it hardly moved your head; it was certainly not even a strike with half the force she could potentially muster.

“I was expecting worse.” You admitted.

“I didn’t want to hurt my hand.” Hilda said back, slightly testy, “You jump between being sharp witted, or dull and hard headed as a rock. You’re doing a good impression of a rock right now.”

“If it’ll help me be less rocklike, I’ll carry your goat back for you.” You offered, “Couldn’t have been that big anyways, right?”


It turned out to be a fat son of a bitch of a goat, and Hilda was not sympathetic to your suffering. You collapsed after making it back to the village, gasping for breath as your fellow hunter paid no mind to your, ultimately self-inflicted, condition.

“After I clean this,” Hilda told you, “I’m going to bathe. That bathhouse across the way apparently has plumbing, so I’m going to use it.”

“Bathe?” you asked breathlessly, “Why?”

Hilda eyed you as though you had turned from a rock to a pile of boulders. “I don’t like smelling like sweat and dirt all the time. Or blood. Besides, my back is aching since you made me jump off a cliff.”

>I’ve hunted and cleaned animals before. How about I just do that for you?
>I’m sure nobody will mind if you’re as filthy as the rest of us. Besides, the sexes are a bit too weighted in one direction for you to go off doing that.
>Should I escort you to make sure you don’t drown?
>I really would like if no one ever was alone and unarmed while we're here. That's how people get vanished.
>I insist you take an armed man along.
>The only alternative I can offer is an ornery ghost girl.
Yeah. Help her clean the kill and then escort her, we prolly need abath as Well and its not like we are forced to shower together we Can just wash once she is done
Actually, I wanted to put Metzeler to this duty. The way he shot down Emma when she dissed Hilda makes me think he might like a chance to talk to her alone.
This, use the excuse of cleaning the animal for why you can't escort her yourself.
“I really would rather no one was ever alone and unarmed while we’re here,” you said to Hilda, starting to get your breath back, “One or the other maybe, but both, I’d think people would start vanishing.”

“I know how to wash myself.” Hilda said in a way that might have been humorous, but naturally wasn’t toned as such.

“I insist that you take an armed man along.”

Hilda frowned at you. “A naked, vulnerable woman, and an armed man.”

“Either that or you get to bathe with the ornery ghost girl who thinks you look like bacon.”

“I’d really rather be by myself.” Hilda grumbled.

“You had your alone time for today.” You leaned against the big white mountain goat’s corpse, “Listen, I’ll clean this beast for you, and we can have it on a fire or something by the time you’re done. I’m doing you a favor, so do me one and save me the stress of wondering if you’ve been kidnapped by crabs.”

Hilda looked one way, then the other, at the menagerie of men around the camp. “…only if I approve of your choice,” she finally said.

“Thank you,” you got on a knee and pushed yourself up. You had a decent idea of who you could trust with this.
“I cannot.” Von Metzeler said almost immediately when you proposed the idea to him.

“What? Why?” you asked.

“Even though I would not take advantage of the situation,” Von Metzeler explained quietly, “It would appear untoward. There would be…rumors.”

“There are already plenty of rumors about your family,” you pointed out.

Von Metzeler turned a shade of cold anger, but it wore away as he realized you weren’t speaking of him. “That much is certainly true. However, I would prefer to keep my personal reputation…cleaner.”

“Come on,” you persisted, pleading, “It’s a task for somebody trustworthy. I’m asking you to stand around looking for any trouble, not to wash her back.”

“That is not the issue. I am sorry, but I simply cannot do this.”

Your Lieutenant refused to hear anything more of this suggestion. Any other appeals to honor or convenience were shut down with two word refusals.

“Crap.” You kicked dust for a few steps back to Hilda, “The most prude man I know doesn’t want to do it.”

“I wouldn’t mind if the Captain were to volunteer.” Hilda said suddenly. She seemed to have noticed Honnrieg leading one of his subordinates someplace in order to put them to work doing…something.

“Do you fancy older men?” you asked Hilda. Honnrieg wasn’t that old looking, perhaps in his early to middle thirties, but that still seemed far away from you and Hilda’s age.

“Maybe I do.” The tiniest bit of coyness tinged Hilda’s teasing. “Or maybe he seems trustworthy to me. I’ve spoken with him some.”

>Sorry, but I know the sort of people he and his men followed, and it would be irresponsible of me to send you off with a lecher. I’ll stop asking nicely and just order my Lieutenant to go.
>If that’s what you want, so be it.
>On second thought, you’re going to be the ghost’s baby sitter. I’m sure she could use a bath too, if only to wash her mouth out. You won't approve of her, but she won't approve of you either, and you can bond over spiting my decision.
>>If that’s what you want, so be it.
>If that’s what you want, so be it.

Works for me, no wet towel fights though.
>Sorry, but I know the sort of people he and his men followed, and it would be irresponsible of me to send you off with a lecher. I’ll stop asking nicely and just order my Lieutenant to go.

"Time for you to stop acting like a little schoolgirl and not worry so much about what others think of you."

I think we should make him angry now before this becomes a recurring problem and blows up in our face later.
>If that’s what you want, so be it.

/*Duck noises*/
You sighed and rolled your eyes. “If that’s what you want, so be it.I’ll-“

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll get him.”

You grit your teeth as Hilda stepped off. If you were higher on the chain, you’d be having quite the fit right now. Even relatively acquainted with one another as you were, most in Strossvald knew their place when it came to even lower nobility. You weren’t so stuck up that you were actually offended by any behavior deviating from that, but on some deep, instinctual level it discomforted you in a way you couldn’t describe.

At the very least you had a goat to take out your subconscious frustration upon.

As you pulled the thing over to a more private place to butcher it (hardly a thing that any self-respecting nobility would do themselves, at least in public, but it wasn’t as if the maid and butler knew how back home anyways), you caught wind of something from the couple people Honnrieg was talking to before Hilda had dragged him away on bath watch.

“So uh,” one said to the other, “How long til she figures out that the Captain’s married?”

“Not long I wager,” the other said with a chuckle, “He can’t help but never shut up about her when the subject even vaguely comes up. I’m surprised she hasn’t been around for when he’s popped off.”

As the Emreans apparently said, C’est la vie.
By the time Hilda came back around, the makeshift apron you had donned was spattered with all manner of blood and sinew, and the once proud creature had been divided into easily manageable bits and pieces to be devoured.

One of your Junior Lieutenants, Krause, had found you while you were doing this, and asked if you shouldn’t have had Von Metzeler do it instead.

“Why?” you asked, after you had cleaved off one of the hanging carcass’s legs, the blood having been drained. Ideally you’d let it hang for longer, but you didn’t want to stay around without food for that long.

“Because…oh, never mind.”

The exchange was rather confusing.

A mountain goat was by no means a small creature, but when just shy of fifty people attack one, the only reasonable expectation is for the bones to be picked clean. As they were, before being split and boiled. Even organs, unpalatable as they would be normally, were consumed by the less picky, save for the digestives that had little nutritional value even if their contents were purged.
This followed by baths ensured that most everyone was better rested than they had been in quite some time, despite the eerie surroundings.

Bright and early the next day you and the others were off, motivated by the knowledge that, at the end of the mountain road, food would no longer be a scarcity.

The mountains were as they were yesterday, minus the illusions and gigantic rocky crustaceans. Only a few relatively large ones obstructed you this time, and these ones you met were considerate enough to not block your way for too long.

As before, any proposals to eat them were condemned and dismissed.


A feeling of great relief came when, just as the sun began to sink once more, the mists parted and you found yourself entering whatever town made its home on the other side of the mountain pass.

“Halt!” commanded a voice, and a team of East Valsten Rangers approached your convoy, weapons slung. They looked up and down your group as you waited patiently for them to finally come to you.

“Is this all of you?” the lead ranger asked, “We were told there would be many more of you. Looks like you’re but a platoon or two.”

“What do you mean?” you asked him.

“We got a radio relay message saying there’d be a company or two of tanks and support vehicles coming down the way. Blood Suns. You’re Blood Suns, but there aren’t nearly enough of you. What happened? Or are you the ones who came up late?”

>We’re the ones who came later. You mean they haven’t come through yet? They entered the pass before us and we didn’t pass them, that’s impossible.
>We’re an advance party. Careful though, whoever comes out directly afterwards aren’t with us, they’re clever impersonators. Spies. They should be detained and inspected if possible.
>There’s nothing wrong. We passed them on the way up, is all. They found a lovely resort they wanted to stay at.
Option 1

Is this the only exit?
It's a mountain road that only went one direction with no forks that didn't turn out to be not real on some level, so yes.
By one direction, I mean it's one big two-way road. There may have been footpaths going elsewhere, but no place that you saw that branched off elsewhere that would be suitable for large vehicles.

The Blood Suns' travel plan pinned them going for this exit anyways.
I'm tempted to say 2, but simply detaining the group coming through wouldn't get us Maddy faster, and we have no real proof besides our word to detain them. I doubt East Valsten likes the Blood Suns that much.

>We’re the ones who came later. You mean they haven’t come through yet? They entered the pass before us and we didn’t pass them, that’s impossible.

More information needed.
The real danger of this situation is when the real Blood Suns emerge and the patrol tells them about us.
Still, I can't come up with anything clever to do about this.

>We’re the ones who came later. You mean they haven’t come through yet? They entered the pass before us and we didn’t pass them, that’s impossible.
I always anticipating that'd we catch up to them in Sosaldt proper or by the time they would have returned to the Blood Sun base.

Do we all want to ambush them beforehand? Probably not here but if we can anticipate their route we'd never have a better chance to do so.
“We’re the ones who came later, actually,” you said, puzzling out how it was possible that you got here first, “You mean they haven’t come through yet? They entered the pass before us and we didn’t pass them, that’s impossible.”

“You came out of the mountains during Rock breeding season during a deep fog,” the Ranger pointed out, “That doesn’t happen often either. Mostly because most don’t go in, but considering what I’ve heard it’s not an impossibility, not in there.”

“I suppose not.” You drummed your fingers on the turret of your tank, “We’ll be leaving soon. I just have to…discuss something with the men.”

“As long as you don’t cause any trouble.” The ranger replied curtly.


You called your officers to you after parking your vehicles and troops where they were out of the way. The crews and soldiers were allowed to stretch their legs, and despite advice not to mingle with the townspeople, the townspeople made their way over to them, marveling at this curiosity and drilling them with questions about your journey. A pair of little girls in strange dress with bob-cut green hair babbled at people until they found Malachi, who replied to their jibberish with something that sounded short and rude, after which the two runts ran away.

“So apparently,” you began, “We arrived here before the people we are pursuing. This makes our next move a bit more complicated.”
“We could ambush them at the mouth of the pass,” Von Igel said quickly, pushing up his spectacles, “Their numerical advantage would be completely nullified, and they wouldn’t even know we were here. If we waited, they would doubtless learn of our existence.”

“I doubt the rangers or the people living here would like us starting a battle right outside their homes,” Krause said darkly, “There’s too much that could go wrong. If we lost, they would take revenge on the citizens and soldiers here for allowing us to ambush them. If we won, we might have surrender demanded of us for fighting a battle, with heavy equipment no less, on sovereign territory. We are guests, not combatants. Our right to travel freely will be stripped from us if we begin using our hosts’ land as a battleground.”

“If we’re going to fight them we need every advantage we can get,” Von Igel insisted, “We have means to keep people quiet. All we need is a couple of days of silence, and that can be bought.”

“Do we have to fight them?” Captain Honnrieg yawned and covered his mouth, “Who knows how much of a head start we have on them? Maybe it’s a few hours, maybe it’s a few days. Either way their home base probably doesn’t have all of its firepower, by virtue of all of it save what’s needed to defend against vagrants being gone on business. There won’t be a better time to try and hit them where they’re probably keeping everybody anyways.”
“We could also just…” Von Neubaum said boredly, looking as he usually did, about to fall asleep standing up, “…buy their silence, then wait for them to go ahead. We won’t bother the people around here, and we won’t spook the Blood Suns and force a race. It wouldn’t be fun if they decided they were more motivated than us, and we had less of a lead than we thought, and they caught us.”

“If you think we have the luxury of time for that,” Honnrieg stretched and looked at Von Neubaum thoughtfully, “That would certainly be the best action if they were to pop out the other end of the mountains tonight, lacking in boldness as that plan is.”

“But we won’t have better terrain to fight in if we do have to end up having to kick them around, that much is true.” Von Walen supported Von Igel, “They’ve got so much more than we do, that honestly? I’d piss myself if I had to fight them all at once without the odds being massively stacked in my favor.”

“What do you think, Rondo?” Krause asked Von Metzeler.

“I will support the commander’s decision.” Von Metzeler said, uninterested, “I have no piece to add that has not been mentioned already.”
All eyes were upon you after that.

>Ambush the Blood Suns at the bottleneck, and attempt to destroy or cripple their military might
>Dash towards Sosaldt and attempt to reach their home base before they can catch up. You have their travel plan and the location of their home, you don’t need to track them to get there.
>Try to return the state of things to how they were before; with you following the Blood Suns, and them ignorant to your pursuit.

>From here, it would take a couple of days to reach the location of their base, at Todesfelsen
>Dash towards Sosaldt and attempt to reach their home base before they can catch up. You have their travel plan and the location of their home, you don’t need to track them to get there.
If we fight the Blood Suns the word will get around, and phones and telegraph exist.
>Dash towards Sosaldt and attempt to reach their home base before they can catch up. You have their travel plan and the location of their home, you don’t need to track them to get there.

There is no best decision. We can't fight them here without also involving the town and probably fighting East Valsten patrols.
We also can't guarantee the safety of any hostages they have here if we ambush them. Although that will probably be the case as well in Sosaldt.

Just following them again gave us no real advantage because then we'd have to fight them on their home turf with whatever support their base has.

I just know if we're caught between the two we're fucked. If there were ways we could slow them down as we dash ahead that would be best. But it would be impossible to do without alerting them that they have interlopers ahead.

Pure stealth may be best and surprise them on their home turf.
Ah shit adding to this:

We should buy the silence of the patrol regardless, frame it like their is going to be an election for a bandit king and whoever gets there first will get the prize so we want them to keep a nice and relaxed pace.

I vote for 5 gold bricks to keep them quiet.
For 5 gold bricks we could also ask the patrol to try and delay the Suns at least a bit.
For example, organize a village festival with free drinks.
I'm willing to spare even 12 bricks for that.
>>Ambush the Blood Suns at the bottleneck, and attempt to destroy or cripple their military might

Now is the time for violence. The locals have plenty to gain from the Blood Suns' destruction as well so I don't think they would need much convincing to look the other way. And they're not at risk unless we lose, which we won't.


Considering the Blood Suns seem to take whatever they want from whoever they want anyway, somehow I don't think the offer of "free" drinks would make much of an impression on them.
Sorry for the singular update, I figured it was an important enough decision to give plenty of time to discuss (mostly because it's a major branch path), but I suppose a majority decision was reached rather quickly.


“We’ll try to take advantage of however much of a lead we have on them,” you decided, “Any other option we take, we could be waiting around for anywhere from a few hours, to even a few days, for what I’m not seeing as plans equally as advantageous.”

“If it turned out they’re hotter on our heels than you think,” Von Igel murmured, “This would be the least wise course of action, though.”

“I’ll try to mitigate the damage,” you offered to your subordinate, “I can bribe the village and watch to keep quiet, which should give us some time. Maybe we can even have them throw a party.”

“That’s presuming they’ll behave and be tempted, which I doubt,” your mousey junior lieutenant added critically, “If they’re tempted, I think they would just take it and move. They weren’t exactly sightseeing on the way here.”

“In Valsten, perhaps,” Von Neubaum interjected dully, “East Valsten has somewhat better diplomatic ties than most have with the bandit kingdoms. The Southern Cities prefer for their people to not cause problems with a state they sell arms to, and the Blood Suns are the arm of the Southern Cities. If what we know of our boys is correct, even though they’re but a petty kingdom leashed under the greater organization, they won’t risk the wrath of the larger whole.”
“They didn’t seem politically inclined enough to care, from where I observed.” You said.

“Lieutenant, I mean no offense by this, but your scores in World History were ranked at thirty nine out of a class of a class of eighty. Your knowledge isn’t good enough in this case to be a good base for womanly intuition.”

“Tch,” you grimaced at Neubaum, “Alright then, why do you think otherwise?”

“The Southern Cities don’t often make themselves known in our politics, see.” Von Neubaum seemed already tired of talking even though he’d just started. “Anybody close to the Southern Cities, or affiliated with them, won’t deliberately try and provoke them. You can see that there’s plenty of ‘Free Valstener’ Rangers around here. Some crime can be overlooked for conveniences of politicking. Military engagements cannot be. Wherever there are soldiers, the Blood Sun wouldn’t dare hurting their betters’ bottom line.”

“So could we distract them with, say, a festival that happened to be thrown when they arrived?” you asked, thinking about whether you could delay them even more.

“I don’t know about the politics of the bandit clans.” Von Neubaum said flatly, “They aren’t politically significant outside of their dens. The Southern Cities are. The Academy doesn’t deal with the historically irrelevant.”

You supposed you could count on your, admittedly surface level, knowledge of the bandits, as well as possibly any you could glean from the mercenary you added to your cadre before you “deserted.”
For now though, your actions here had to be decided.

>Leave as quickly as possible, ask for the favor of the populace here not gabbing about your passage.
>Bribe the authorities into keeping hush (-5 Gold)
>Bribe the authorities into preparing a distraction (-15 gold)
>Other actions, or queries?

>Current gold stocks: 90 fifty gram bars
>We have a merc who seems to know about Blood Suns. Let's ask him how likely they are to stop for free booze.
Support this but also we should lead into
>Bribe the authorities into keeping hush (-5 Gold)
>Bribe the authorities into preparing a distraction (-15 gold)

Maybe also mention that if we were to win the "elections" that we'd be very friendly and mutually profitable to those who helped us rise to the top.
You know what would really distract the Blood Suns? If we killed them all. Right here and now. Which we could easily do.
Killing them is the easy part. It's killing the nice townsfolk that guard this end of the pass after the battle that's the hard part. Morally.
“I’m going to find out more about how we can take advantage of this,” you told your officers, “be ready to reconvene.”

It took you nearly ten minutes to comb through your men and find the man you were looking for. A person who was like to know more about the character and politics of the bandits you were after.
Eventually you found him, but you couldn’t for the life of you remember his name.

“Hey, you,” you approached him, “Sosaldtian guy.”

“I’m not a Sosaldtian, I’m a Netillian,” he said testily, “Get your uncivilized holes straight.”

“…Whatever. What’s your name?”

“Obersoldat Alek Zellt,” Alek curtsied mockingly, “Signed up to be in tanks, yet my service apparently entails riding trucks through walls and getting eaten by giant crabs that have no right existing. If this was what I had to look forward to I’d have stayed with the Hogs.”

“On that,” you said, “I need you to tell me how one of your mercenary gangs would deal with a certain situation.”


“So the situation is,” you said slowly, “We’ve ended up ahead the Blood Sun bunch that we were chasing.”

“How, again?”

“They got lost. That’s not the point, anyways,” you tried to avoid being caught up trying to explain things you really didn’t understand either, “The Blood Suns we’re going after, they’re going back to their home base because I killed their leader, supposedly so they can choose their new leader.”

“I know, I remember I told you that’s what would happen,” Alek said, “But you mean you killed Selgess. Selgess wasn’t the boss of the Blood Suns. He was the boss of the Death Heads.”
“I’m sorry?”

“The Blood Suns aren’t just one group is what I’m saying. They’re a…what do you call it…an alliance, of a bunch of different gangs. Selgess was the leader of a bunch who called themselves the Death Heads before they shacked up with the Blood Suns to get better paper.”
You rubbed your face in disinterest, “Is there that much of a difference?”

“Yeah, if you say that your beef is with the Blood Suns while you’re in Sosaldt, you’re going to get your ass kicked. The Southern Cities don’t like being shit talked unless you’ve got enough guns to back up your opinion. Since we’re apparently following these guys back to where they came from, the distinction’s important.”

“Whatever.” You accepted this halfheartedly, “What I wanted to ask is if they’d be easily distracted from this trip home for their election or whatever it is. Do they decide if anybody isn’t there?”

“Nope. Everybody has to be in attendance, though they won’t wait forever. Pretty much everybody does it like that, so you don’t get dickheads who try to say they had a legitimate claim and use that as an excuse to try and take over by force.” Alek illustrated this with an outstretched arm punching inward into his palm, “As often as it would happen otherwise, at least.”

“So would they, say, goof off and do something else if they wanted to?”

“If it was tempting enough, sure.” Alek shrugged, “These gangs…well, the Death Heads, at least, they’re like little things of what I told you the Blood Suns work like. If there’s a gang they ate up, whoever they said was boss for the way back might not be able to tell them what to do until they get back. They can take their time if they wanted. So I’d say if you did anything like…I don’t know, got an army of whores to swarm them, you’d probably break them up at least a little, but it all depends on if whoever’s leading them has the stones to keep ‘em together, or if they don’t have something more important than petty politics to come back for.”

“Like what?”

“Say if they had, I dunno,” Alek trailed off, “Some hostage worth a lot of money that needed heavy guarding? The number of people you could split off with stupid crap would decrease a lot with that. That depends if they’d have them with them, and didn’t send them ahead on a plane or something, though.”
“I see.” You said, scratching your chin.

“You planning to fight them though, boss?”

“I didn’t see another way of dealing with the problem we have,” You muttered, “They won’t give up all the hostages if we just ask nicely, will they?”

“They will if you ask nicely with enough guns. We don’t have enough guns.” Alek seemed to be hinting at something, but letting you come to the conclusion yourself. “I hear you can buy plenty with enough gold.”

“I’d rather keep my gold if at all possible.” You said back.

This gave you some food for thought, though. Was it possible to break up their formation along the way, and maybe hit your enemies in detail? Maybe it would still be more viable to make a break for their HQ.

“Tell me about the typical home bases of these bandits.” You asked Alek.

“They usually have half to a quarter of their boys sticking around at home,” he seemed to be guessing, “Depends on how under threat they are. Wouldn’t be good for a rival band to try and smash them while a bunch of them are away on business, or raiding, or whatever. They’re usually decently laid out as far as fortifications go, too. Merc bands and such don’t like dragging around guns too much, but they’ll definitely have at least a few at their base.”

“So could we attack these people’s home base with what we have now?” You asked hopefully.

Alek held back a snort of laughter, “Oh, hell no. Not unless you think we’re a lot better than we really are. You’ve got a bunch of border raiders riding along with you, ask them if they’d feel good attacking a fort with these numbers. They’d laugh in your face if you were the Archduke himself.”

Some things still needed to be properly planned for and observed, then, it seemed.

>Go with initial plan of keeping the town quiet and trying to get to their home first; you’ll have to figure out something else to get through there anyways, even if you somehow managed to reduce your initial quarry
>Try and bribe the town into distracting them. Even if it isn’t guaranteed to be effective, any little bit helps.
>Just move on. They’ll find out about you one way or another; you’ll have more flexibility and options once you reach Sosaldt
>Other actions/questions?
>>Other actions

Kill them.
>Try and bribe the town into distracting them
>If some of them separate, ambush them further down the road. If not, try to sneak Maddy out while they're getting drunk
>Use Emma as a scout to locate Maddy
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Well shit, just how the hell are we gonna break out hundreds of Noble hostages then?

>“Say if they had, I dunno,” Alek trailed off, “Some hostage worth a lot of money that needed heavy guarding? The number of people you could split off with stupid crap would decrease a lot with that. That depends if they’d have them with them, and didn’t send them ahead on a plane or something, though.”

So Maddy might not even be here? Well fuck now I want to fight them. Bottle them up, demand they turn over any hostages/buy back hostages/threaten them with death and see.

I'm tempted to fight them now but for the fact we don't know where they are popping out of or when they are popping out.

And if we DO fight them then that almost certainly means we're going to be fighting our way out of East Valsten and who knows what that will entail.

Hell will the East Valsteners even let us setup an ambush? It's not like they can't see the group prepare and try to stop us, or call in backup.

I'm so fucking torn here.
Ambush them, we need to have to find out if the hostages are with them or not. If it turns out they are and we let them reach the fortress it would be a huge setback. If we down enough of them it'll improve our position at the bargaining table too, it's not like our little group is going to take them all on AND storm the fortress. Were probably gonna have to use the gold as an extra incentive.
>we don't know where they are popping out of

As I understand there's only one exit from the mountain pass, it should be as easy as arranging a fortified ambush position and sitting and waiting. Even if they try to be sneaky or have diminished numbers I doubt their entire column would make it out of the mountains unnoticed.

> if we DO fight them then that almost certainly means we're going to be fighting our way out of East Valsten

I don't think so; sure fighting on the locals' land might be somewhat rude but remember that they're no greater fans of the Blood Suns than we are and would certainly appreciate our getting rid of them to some extent. If we could bribe them to throw a party for a group of evil mercenaries I don't see why we couldn't bribe them to look the other way while we slaughter them instead. Takes a lot less effort on their part, and I doubt there's much risk of collateral damage as long as the ambush is quick and decisive, which we can certainly ensure.
You called your officers back together after some thought and looking around at the mountains’ exit.

“Change of plans,” you announced to them, “It sounds like the road up ahead will be tougher if we don’t deal with this problem here. I’d rather our trail be clear of everything that could threaten our operations, since from what I’ve been told, by somebody who knows the lands ahead, we’re going to have to take our time one way or another. Time we can’t allow for the enemy to reinforce themselves. As soon as these brigands come out one way, we’ll hit them as hard as we can, and they’ll either fall on our swords or flee. Either is fine, although ideally we destroy any ability they have to fight.”

“The rangers probably won’t like that…” Krause said warily, looking around.

“We’ll give them enough money to look the other way for a while.” You explained away that inconvenience, “If we ruin them enough, any remainder won’t be able to do much more than crawl after us with their tails between their legs. We couldn’t have a better opportunity; we have the terrain advantage, and they have no idea they’re about to march straight into an ambush.”

“How much time do we have to prepare?” Von Metzeler asked.
A thorny question, and one you had to think about for a minute.

“I don’t know.” You decided, “We’ll distribute our firepower at the mouth of the pass at first, and we’ll recon the surrounding areas and work from there. If we have days, then our situation can only improve. If we only have hours, we’ll be able to handle it still. Are there any concerns?”

“Only one big one,” Krause said, and though you expected him to cite some appeal to the well-being of the locals, he mentioned something you hadn’t thought of. “What if the Blood Suns refuse to march into a death trap? We execute our ambush successfully, but they turn tail and go back to where they came. Is our objective to destroy them utterly, or merely bruise them? If it is the former, we may have to pursue them, or perhaps go around the mountains to intercept them coming from that way. They could also anticipate this, and press through, expecting us to go around to meet them instead of expecting us to wait for them to come the same way.”

“You assume these mere bandits to be that clever?” you asked.

“I expect them to have a healthy enough regard for their own survival to know that we have no way to cut off their route of escape.” Krause said sternly, “I have no objections to attacking these people and destroying them. I just want to know how far we intend to take our assault.”

It was true that you didn’t have any way of cutting off the retreat route of the Blood Suns, even if they could only go one direction. It was back into the treacherous mountain pass, certainly, but if you were caught in the situation you planned to put them in, you would rather brave that again than push into a hopeless engagement.

>We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. We should begin preparing.
>If they retreat, even if it’s a temporary withdrawal, so much the better. Their newfound wariness will delay them.
>I’m not planning on leaving anybody left to warn their friends at their base. We’ll do whatever it takes.

>have to go somewhere, map of local terrain will be in next update
>I’m not planning on leaving anybody left to warn their friends at their base. We’ll do whatever it takes.
we should hit the rear most tank with a buried satchal charge first to cut off as many as possible
use hilda and our infantry in the hills to their sides to ruin the day of any turned out commanders and open case tanks
cover our own tanks in leaves
>>1713937 on second thought switching to this
>We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. We should begin preparing.
>I’m not planning on leaving anybody left to warn their friends at their base. We’ll do whatever it takes.

This anon has the right idea, no guarantee that it will cut them completely off but every little bit.

Do we give them a chance to surrender? Demand they release their hostages? If we tell them we're after hostages they might use them against us.
>Our highest priority is to extract any hostages they might have along. The second priority is to break their ability and/or willingness to fight. Total destruction is not necessary.
>That being said, we'll try to take out as many as possible anyway.
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Update soon.

In the meantime, a picture of a Union of Free Valstener States Ranger picture I couldn't think of a way to use.
What a snazzy helmet.
“We don’t need to destroy them all, I don’t think,” you decided, “We just need to beat them enough for them to think better of trying to chase us down too quickly. We’ll try and neutralize as much of their ability to fight as possible, nevertheless. Our highest priority is to extract any hostages that might be present.”

“How do you plan on that?” Honnrieg ground cigarette ash into the ground beneath his foot, “Are you going to demand them? Might not want to let them know we’ve got a particular interest in them.”

“I know, I know,” you itched at your neck, “I’m thinking about it. I’d rather be able to go in and steal them, but that might not be an option, depending on how many dismounts and other things we just don’t know…ah, we’ll figure it out later. For now, we’ll focus on how we’re going to fight this.”

“But we are fighting, then,” Krause interjected.

“We are.” You nodded, “get troops ready to intercept at the exit. I’m going to see what arrangements I can make.” You thought for a moment more, “A map, for example, if I can get one. Lieutenant Von Metzeler, handle my platoon. Captain, your troops are yours.”

Your officers saluted as you made your way towards what appeared to be the town hall. Perhaps they could be helpful.
“Absolutely not!” cried the mayor, taken aback by your small suggestion, “I will not allow a battle to take place in my town!” he looked worriedly at the East Valsten ranger officer at his side, “Lieutenant, eject these men from this settlement, if you would!”

“Mister Jaeyd, if you would please be calm,” the Lieutenant said with the strain of speaking with somebody whose character he knew but couldn’t stand, “Forcibly ejecting them would be a battle my men would more likely lose. These guests have armor, and have been amicable thus far. Provoking them would be idiotic.”

“They will not be allowed to perpetrate the mischief this ruffian speaks of doing!” the mayor puffed and began turning shades of purple, “A battle here? In this peaceful place? We are far from the frontlines to the west, Lieutenant, I am not so blasé concerning battle as you may be! If this discussion were to be taking place several days ago, what would you think of this? They are already suspicious having come from the west!”

“Several days ago?” you asked, “What happened? I only crossed the border a couple of days ago.”

“No, you did not!” The mayor aggressively corrected you, “Else you would have crossed through a battle!”

“But it’s only been…” you thought better of saying anything further, “Never mind. My sense of time must be off.”

“By days? I think not! Do you have a reason to be so deceptive?”

“Mayor…” the Lieutenant sighed, “they came from the pass just now. Strange occurrences happen within the mountains in these times.”

“Then what reason do they have for knowingly crossing such treacherous conditions!?”

“Please cease your shrieking, mayor…” the Lieutenant’s jaw ground back and forth. He looked at you, afterwards. “I would be willing to negotiate, to try and sway you from taking up the homes of locals as defensive positions…”

“There shall be no negotiation, not when their side has nothing to grant us!” the mayor fumed.

If the mayor wanted some material benefit, you thought to yourself while touching the gold bricks in your pocket, you certainly had some…

>Write in how much to put in
>Likely, the more you invest, the better a deal and the less restrictions you can negotiate
>While intimidation is an option, it probably isn’t a stellar idea when you already have enemies coming from one direction
>other actions or concerns?
Do we have to fight in the town? I thought we're going to set up an ambush in the mouth of the pass
Not at all. This guy just thinks that's what you might do.

There'll be a planning map with the next update, was originally going to be this one, but things changed
>We aren't going to fight in the town anyway
>And we dont really have to get your approval either.
>But because we are such nice people I will offer you 8 shiny gold bricks as a compensation for the inconvenience

Start with 8 and aim to haggle to 10 or at most 12

>It's awfully suspicious that you seem to be so adamantly against any sort of action against the mercenaries coming down from the pass, no matter how little it might affect your town...Here we thought we were doing you a favor, protecting your citizens from the threat of a horde of poorly led, rabid mercenaries rampaging through your town. I've seen what they've done to other towns they've been through on their way: kidnapping and enslaving young women, looting and pillaging at will...you wouldn't want to subject your town to all of that, would you mayor? Or perhaps you have some sort of deal worked out with the mercenaries already? I don't think your townspeople would be happy to hear that you're taking money to allow the Blood Suns to run rampant among them, when I'm offering protection for free. Why don't you do the smart thing and leave the Blood Suns to me instead? We'll dispose of them nice and quick, not even a battle as much as a short confrontation, and I can assure you we will keep all of the fighting in the mouth of the pass and outside of your village. Surely that's the best result for both of us, wouldn't you agree?
Ugh,arnt we masquerading as the blood suns. Seems weird that we would outright say we arnt, considering we could play this off as an internal feud
Also Jesus people are loose with the gold. We arnt even in Sosaldt yet and we're bringing through it super fast and giving it away like it's charity. We need somebody else to look after it because at the rate were using it, we'll be needing to sell our tanks for food and fuel.
>bringing through it
Should have been
Burning through it
Actually, now that I think about it, the best scenario would be to attack when they stop for the night. I wonder if the mayor or the rangers can help with that.

I mean if we're planning on murdering all the other Blood Suns I think he would get the idea pretty quickly. We could still try to pass it off as us just being a better behaved band of them who want to get rid of the less disciplined dregs of our organization, but I don't think the mayor will care too much about the distinction as long as he gets the idea that the approaching Blood Suns will ravage his town and we won't.
I prefer to wait for a decisive consensus in votes, but I don't see one here and I've waited a while. While I don't mind waiting, I think that everybody would prefer I update sooner rather than later, though, so unless there is any additional votes for a more definite agreement upon an option, I'll be updating in an hour.
“You’re one to speak of suspicion, mayor,” you leaned onto his desk with one hand, an intrusion of territory that the administrative pillar immediately found to be of utmost offense. “Do you know just who we intend to fight with? There are changes going on back east, some restructuring, if you will. Ugly boils that need to be cut away, lest they fester.”

“You as well as they may fester elsewhere, ruffian princeling,” the mayor said heatedly, shooing your hand off of his desk.

“The true ruffians will fester here, good sir.” You smiled at the Mayor with knowledge you pretended to have, “Wouldn’t it be more convenient if they were to disappear? I have seen what they’ve done in towns on their way here…kidnapping, enslavement, looting and pillaging at will, wouldn’t you prefer for that to not happen?”

“You attempt to intimidate me with baseless suppositions, ones that I have known the truth of far to long for some trickster to come and tell me otherwise!” the mayor slammed a hand down on the table, “I know your organization, Blood Suns, your Southern Cities would not tolerate senseless pillage of their neighbors and clients! We have treaties!”

Phew, it was a good thing you had asked Alek those details earlier. You waved a finger and grinned toothily as the response bubbled up from within. “Ah ah, the Blood Suns are a vast organization, and our band was but one of many. The leader who acknowledged such treaties is dead, and I and others are returning home to decide our course of action. The band coming up? They resent such past decisions, and would rather we return to our past, not as Blood Suns, but as Death Heads.”

The mayor looked at you boggle eyed; he was an easy man to read, and it was clear that he no longer felt he had control over the situation that he once thought he had.

“Any deals you might have had may as well be forfeit now, as far as they’re concerned,” you nudged some objects around the desk absentmindedly, “Your townspeople would surely not appreciate if you turned down my simple request, which, truly, is more benefit to you than us, is it not? We don’t want any assistance, nor do we want to fight inside of your town. We merely want to eliminate our competition and be on our way.”

“Mayor,” the Ranger Lieutenant held up a hand, “Allow me to speak for you in this matter.” Without waiting for the Mayor’s further response, the Ranger continued, “You will keep your fighting outside of this town, and entirely inside of the pass, then?”

“That was the plan, yes.”

“You never arrived here,” the Ranger Officer told you, “We did not harbor you. You did not receive our permission to maneuver in our territory, nor did we know of your plans to ambush the contingent coming. Is that clear?”

“…of course.” You said slowly.

“And that should you be defeated, that we may be forced to capture you and hand you over to your enemies, so that they look upon us more kindly?”

“We won’t lose.” You said confidently.

“If you say so.” The Ranger Lieutenant straightened, “As acting garrison commander of this town, I will overlook any chaos you cause in the pass, so long as no harm comes to this place, its citizens, or my men. Is that clear?”

“Of course it is.”

“Good.” The ranger said firmly before placing his hands behind his back, “Then do as you will. Do not cause trouble in our town, and we will provide for what you can pay for.”

“…can you provide me a map?”
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You called your officers together once more.

“How are preparations, Lieutenant?” you asked Von Metzeler, a small, rolled up map in hand. It wasn’t in depth- its topography was quite basic, but it would do.

“The platoon is battle ready, sir.” Von Metzeler said with satisfaction, “Although our positions are not as well fortified as I would like. The soil is quite hard and difficult to break in a timely manner.”

“Hopefully we’ll have plenty of time,” you said to both him, and yourself. There wasn’t really any good idea as to precisely when your enemies would emerge from the mountains, you had heard. It could be in hours, or it could be in days. The more time you had, the better, you supposed. You pulled a scrap of paper that noted all of your heavy weaponry, not including grenades and demolition charges, and clicked your tongue in frustration as you noticed that somebody had put a coffee mug upon it a few days ago, from the looks of things. Hopefully not you.

“This is our situation,” you began, “We cannot fight from within the village. Any buildings outside are not under jurisdiction of the mayor, but should avoid being damaged if we can help it. This map is imprecise, but it should reflect the terrain decently enough. Any place near a road will be traversable by tanks by necessity, but these thinner lines, from what I have seen and have been told, are smaller, rougher trails not easily traversable by larger vehicles.”

“Also,” you noted, “if you direct your attention to the space over here, across the canyon, you may notice that positions there can fire across the pass into the road. However, the mist here is still thick, and if it does not change in the space of time it takes until the Blood Suns get here, then we won’t be able to get accurate fire upon the enemy.”

>Plan your ambush. You may modify your plans based upon how much time you have; for example, you may plan for a short term operation where they appear within hours, while also sharing a plan for long term in case it takes longer.


>Heavy weaponry is noted upon the paper. Infantry are otherwise assumed to be equipped with rifles and submachineguns; all have access to rifles, but only one third to submachineguns

>Noncombat personnel may be used, but unless stated as such, they will not partake in battle

>Vehicles with no personnel icons next to them do not have dedicated combat crews; crews may be redistributed at will, and any non-tanker personnel may be placed in any vehicle, for reduced efficiency in exchange for the crew space being filled, due to not being familiar with armor operations. Spare crew, of course, are proper tankers and do not impart penalties.

>any questions concerning equipment and their capabilities, as well as anything you feel you should know about your unit, will be answered

>Any other suggestions will be considered as well
I want to engage them at that bend, around F,E 4, 5

Have squad 2 with a radio stationed at F3, their job is to tell us when they are approaching, equip them with AT Grenades, Flamethrowers and a couple of MG's on overwatch on that high ground. Their role is to disable the rear most vehicles with Flamethrowers/AT and to prevent them from backing up. If we can, have the armored car up on that hill highground. The Radio should be on the highground and the bend be prepared with markers so any guns on the otherside of the valley can have quick refrences to targets they cant see and can be directed to fire at anything by the spotters.

If range permits, Id like a m/28 on the otherside of that valley to fire into the bend. It should be in close communication with the above mentioned spotters so its fire can be directed. If not have it join with the group below.

That gap in F4 should have the 7.5cm captured tank and a m/28 covering that approach and the armored car if it cant get on the highground to the left. Squad 1 should also be stationed there and to prevent any infantry from escaping in that direction.

At the bends exit should be our remaining m32's. I cant remember if we have all 3 crewed or just 2.

So this quick and dirty plan will have at best fire coming from all directions and at worse from 3. I wasnt of the opinion of staying here to fight, so maybe one of the other anons who wanted to engage here has a better plan.
I just saw the scale, scrub the tank at the opposite valley, at a range of 2km it aint penetrating anything. And because I just saw the scale, I just realized how isolated our groups are if we go with my plan
now I wish we had procured a mortar or anything with indirect fire capabilities.
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Here's my plan. Hopefully somewhat self-explanatory. The tanks at battle position 1 let the enemy get as far as they can around the bend before they notice them, then hit them in the side, then the infantry with flamethrowers and AT rifles at battle position 2 hit the enemy in the flank to harass them and keep them from maneuvering. As soon as the fighting starts the light vehicles at hold point 2 move out to flank around and ultimately destroy the enemy from the rear. Once the light vehicles get around the hill to the west the infantry and tank at hold point 1 move out to hopefully hit the enemy in the side at roughly the same time. Until they move out the forces at both hold points are hopefully concealed behind the buildings; the infantry at HP1 are watching west in case the enemy decides to break off east from the road and scout out the valley there; if they do so the units at HP1 should destroy those flanking enemies so they don't threaten BP2.

The biggest problem will be seeing how quickly we can entrench the armor at BP1, assuming they get up the hill that is. If the enemy has straggling units that remain to the west of BP2 when the fighting starts the infantry at HP1 may move to reinforce BP2's flank, or if necessary the infantry at BP2 should withdraw into the valley rather than be overrun.

Yeah the ranges fucked with me too; might have to scrap HP2 and have the light vehicle force hold at HP1. They'll still flank around to the west though, hopefully they'll be fast and won't take too long.

The infantry at BP2 will be pushing the ranges of their AT rifles and won't be able to use flamethrowers or AT grenades but that's ok, I meant them as more of a harassing force anyway to keep the enemy from flanking BP1 or withdrawing.

BP1 is at a good distance; if we have time we should dig multiple positions on the hill and the tanks there should conduct berm drills to prolong the engagement and keep themselves from being effectively engaged; their role is mostly just to pin the enemy down while the flanking elements appear anyway.
What's our gun depression like? Also assuming we can fire from the high ground, we should be able to pierce their top armor easily. We could also place some demo charges near the roads like IEDs.
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We also need a forward scout group maybe in a position not on this map to give us a heads up when the bandits will be arriving and their composition.

I am assuming we have some portable radios for infantry? Maybe we should test the radio range just in case there is magical fuckery happening.

Also how tall are these hills next to the road through E-F-G?

Also also Von Metzeler mentioned how hard the ground was, would it be possible to plant demo charges on the bend towards the town? Maybe focus on putting them in the center and towards the mountain for maximum damage. Possible avalanches?

How close would an infantryman have to be to detonate those charges?

Sorry for the rapid fire questions, there will probably be more.

I like
plan for at least if they arrive a lot sooner than we want. I am only worried at those ranges any forward tanks they have will in pretty good range for us as well.
Actually yeah upon further review going on those hills would turn this into a knife fight. Maybe we should be across the valley.

Does the infantry have flares? Surely that could punch through the fog and we could have designated colors for enemy positioning. Or even then the fog might ruin that plan.

The ranges aren't really that close. From the southern tip of the eastern hill to the bend is around 300 meters, which is close but not unreasonably so when most guns being used are 47mms and 25mms. That's why I suggested conducting berm drills to delay the engagement there and prevent it from being too bloody. We could also move to the northern end of the eastern hill if necessary and fire down the road into the top of the bend, which will give us more space.

From the western hill to the bend in the road is about 5-600 meters, which is pretty perfect. Firing from across the gorge to the north is 2km+, from which we wouldn't be able to penetrate the enemy even if we could see them.
Going across the valley would.leave us with terrible visibility and in all likelihood zero penetrations. The closest point across the valley is literally right outside the village
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I certainly think fighting them on those hills is better than 2km+. I meant more in front of the village which leads to
(although it is following the Rangers orders technically "outside" the village) but frankly isn't worth risking their town or civvies for a bit of a gap. And even then only the heaviest tanks have tolerable ranges there

We are going to be outnumbered. Possibly really badly outnumbered. And we might not have much time to protect BP1 from bearing the brunt of it. Who knows what they are actually comprised of, T-8s? More howitzer tanks? Mad Max motorcycle gangs?

Hopefully this will be mitigated by a significant height advantage, dug in fortifications/traps/flanking/enemy cowardice and time.
Daily reminder that Maddy is probably in that column. That means no raking supply trucks with machinegun fire, no flamethrowers, no shooting half-blind from 2+ km. We need to achieve absolute precision of fire.
Luckily, this band seemed to be tankers, which will give us clear targets.

I propose we attack from the hill in E6.
We can hide our tanks on the reverse slope for the start, then start on digging posiitions on the front slope to move the tanks there if we have enought time.

Our main goal would be to scare and rout the enemy by destroying its armor. The intent here is to make them abandon the hostages. Emma can help us locate the hostages and warn them.

Honnrieg's men can set up positions forther along the roa and in the small pass to the south of the bend to ambush the routed forces.

Lastly, Richter should leave the tank and take the overall command somewhere at a high spot with a radio.
Alright I'm awake now

The m/28s, with the 25mm cannons, have quite good depression. The shortness of the portion of the gun inside the turret helps this; they can depress just about to the point where the gun's scraping on the hull (just shy of 20 degrees down angle, if my quick experimentation was right; gun can't be reloaded at that angle understandably).

The m/32 4.7cm cannon variant has a rather significant flaw of being unable to elevate and depress to too great a degree. Any battles with it are ideally fought on relatively even ground for this reason.

The captured tank (called a T-15; probably should have written what it was called there), while you're not too familiar with it, the crews have had some time to look at how it works, and from the look of things while its depression isn't fantastic, it has respectable elevation; likely an artifact of the design's original purpose as an infantry support vehicle, and some intention to be able to use its cannon as a howitzer.

The PzA-19 car also has relatively wretched depression, although their design includes an accommodation; the cannon can be partially detached in order to move it to different firing positions that offer greater variety in vertical traverse. Some troops, you've heard, completely detach the cannon from its original position and either mount it atop the turret or use it as a dismounted gun; both being questionable prospects since doing either requires substantial field modifications, being completely unintended uses of the vehicle's weaponry.

A note on the demolition charges; they aren't mines. They don't have pressure plates. Using them as such would require tripwires or similar methods of starting the fuse.
>I am assuming we have some portable radios for infantry? Maybe we should test the radio range just in case there is magical fuckery happening.

That would be a good idea, although while going through the mountains you didn't notice radio interference at close ranges. No precedent for long ranges, though.

Every armored vehicle has a radio, and there are two Company Command model Backpack Radios for infantry use; the lowest level of radio available to infantry, and quite a luxury, undoubtedly, to Bat Company's volunteers; most of Strossvald's infantry lacks radio communications below Company level. save for the Panzergrenadiers, who may or may not have a truck mounted radio for coordination with company command.

The Model 1931 Wireless Company Radios have a range of roughly 1.4 kilometers normally, but obstructions such as, say, mountains, can reduce efficiency greatly.

>Also how tall are these hills next to the road through E-F-G?

It's a rather steep incline, although the tops of these mountains aren't as sheer as they were on the way; much more weathered and rounded by time. each color represents a change in general altitude by about 8-10 meters.

Except for the canyon. All I'll say for that is don't fall down there.

>Also also Von Metzeler mentioned how hard the ground was, would it be possible to plant demo charges on the bend towards the town? Maybe focus on putting them in the center and towards the mountain for maximum damage.

It wouldn't be too difficult to bury them simply, although like said earlier, these don't have pressure plates, so burying them might not be practical, depending on what way you come up with detonating them.

>Possible avalanches?

Possible, but not altogether too likely unless you purposely try and cause one. This section doesn't appear to have much danger of rockslides, although putting a line of charges deep enough into the ground would probably cause a healthy sheet of earth to be dislodged.

>How close would an infantryman have to be to detonate those charges?

The usage of these charges tends to be with a delay fuse. Or, to put it more simply, pulling the plug and running. More precise usage involves more traditional cables and electrical impulses delivered by a press of a plunger. You have three such kits; not something you specifically asked for, but provided nevertheless.

You have five of these charges in total. These do not count scuttling charges, which are roughly one half as powerful.

>Who knows what they are actually comprised of, T-8s? More howitzer tanks? Mad Max motorcycle gangs?

From what Richter noticed when he was observing them, the typical ratio tended to be roughly 4 T-8s to every 1 T-8 Assault Gun type or T-15.The T-15s tended to be concentrated, however, while the assault guns were spread out.

I think that might be all of them, but if I forgot anything feel free to tell me.
I should add, when planning positioning, that m/32s really, really don't like being overworked. Forcing them over too rough of terrain might tempt them to quit. The m/28s are much more tolerant of abuse, and from what you know of Twaryian overseas imports, T Models are practically indestructible, at least, for complex mechanical equipment, they are.
Send the ghost out to find that convoy so.we know how many there are and how long we got
We don't even know how far away that convoy is or where to look for it.
It's a single.road, just have her fly straight through it until she hits a split, then come back

What if she gets captured by a wizard
I want to start with: I am sorry I butchered your map tanq.

I mostly entirely agree with>>1718046 's plan just with what we now know about the tanks and terrain.

First we should IMMEDIATELY send a scouting force with one of the infantry radios down the road maybe with Emma if she agrees and both test the radios for interference and to wait for the enemy. Maybe with the armored car? Up for debate.

Two demo charges rigged with cables should be placed where I hope the front and back of the enemy column will end up.

If the m32 has terrible depression and hates being overworked we should keep them level with the road with the m28s replacing them on the hill. BOth infantry groups should split up the LMGs and anti-tank weapons.

We should give the the flamethrowers to BP2 but it would be better to use them in a defensive role to stop the hill from getting overrun because they'll be in a tough place until the car/other m32 round the hill. Other anons have made the right point that we don't know where hostages will be.

Until we have our defenses set up though I think we should keep all our forces together if the enemy arrives too soon and then concentrate on getting them to scatter and destroy their most dangerous tanks in the front.

Tell me what you think other anons, I'm just worried without defensive fortifications in place we'll get swarmed as they flee out of the trap.
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Of course I forget the map.

Although that does remind me, tanq what is the cover like on top of those hills? Forest?
How easy would it be to hide infantry/tanks up there with defensive works?
Some thoughts:

Captured T-15 is reliable, we better put it on a slope.

We can dig the positions in such a way that the tanks will sit at an angle, which will compensate for any depression difficulties.

The bend is the best place for the ambush because it effectively doubles the length of the killzone.

I agree that flamethrowers should be used as a defensive measure.

I don't think we should make the long roundabout to bring a tank behind the column. Remember, our goal isn't to destroy all of them.

Since we don't know where the column tail would be, I propose to set up our M-28 and T-15 on the hill F-G 3. This way they can concentrate their fire on the column's tail.

And lastly, given we have time to prepare, I feel we could actually get the M-32's up the slopes.by using the M-28's and T-15 as tugs.

The only problem with that is that because of the scale of this map the demo charges are way too far apart. In order for the enemy convoy to encompass the whole bend in the road it would have to be like 1.5km long.

Also it's because of the distance that I wanted the lighter faster vehicles to do the western flank, I'm afraid an m/32 will take too long. You're right about the gun depression, though. If the m/32 is going to flank it should start moving a little after the enemy convoy passes rather than waiting for the ambush to kick off.
Light scrub. Concealment would come more from irregularities in terrain than large flora. The biggest things are scraggly thorny short trees, which tend to grow alone. In short, little dense cover.

As a note the enemy coming is roughly two companies to one and a half of battle troops alone, from what you reckon. It may not be practical to try and box in all of them, depending on their marching formation.
It wasn't practical to sit and engage them here or throw gold at random old people but here we are.

We could have just moved on. Infiltrated their base and do a night raid alongside another mercenary group that hates them, or any number of options that wouldn't have left us fighting 20x our strength with unknown number of light and heavy vehicles.

Hopefully the crabs fucked them enough that this won't turn into an absolute bloodbath for us
Alright, I'm going to start working on the next update, I wasn't sure how much deliberation I should have take place but I think we can all agree it's pretty boring to have everything grind to a half while it happens.

Debate over it can continue, hell I'll probably post a summary of plans and allow it to continue when the next thread is up. Just saying that if you have changes of heart concerning anything, or critiques of existing plans, you've got time. I'm just going to try and get some things happening for the last day the thread'll probably be alive until I made the next thread, which might be anywhere from tomorrow to past next week...I'll get a more concrete time when I report it.
Rolled 17, 7, 7, 12, 6, 14, 17, 17 = 97 (8d20)

Unimportant roll
“I want us to remain flexible in our plans for now,” you pointed out positions on the map, and handed marked, rough copies of it to your officers. “Keep transports close and be prepared to move quickly. If you see anything and you’re close to a radio, I want it relayed to me. Clear?”

Affirmatives of varying enthusiasm answered you.

“I also want some Bat Company people to go up the road, within radio range, and maintain a lookout.” You gestured towards Captain Honnrieg, “Pick whoever you like, but I want to review them before you go. Also, I’d like to include one of my men with them.”

The hidden reason for this was to send your ghost, Emma, along. With her ability to range much further without coming under any sort of threat, if you could get one of your sensitive crews, Jorgen, for example, to go along, your ability to detect the oncoming foe would increase massively.

While Honnrieg was herding his men, you explained your plan to Emma.

“I…” Emma said uneasily, jerking back and forth, “You want me to…look for these people? So you can kill them?”

“But, but,” Emma was losing confidence in her speech with every word, “Couldn’t you just block the road? They’d have to turn around then, right? I don’t see why I have to…help kill people…”

“They’d kill us,” you pointed out something that seemed blindingly obvious to you, “If they wouldn’t do it to us, we wouldn’t do this to them. Besides, these aren’t good people. They kidnap and kill and plunder. Should they be allowed to keep doing that?”

“No, but, I mean…well…” Emma was thinking long and hard about what she could say, and when she seemed to not be able to come up with anything, you spoke once more.

“It’s not like you’ll be killing anybody yourself,” you tried to represent the situation to her by drawing in the dirt with a stick, “See, they have hostages somewhere with them, and we don’t know where. I have a very important job for you, alright? When you see these people, after you go back and tell the nice Yaegir man that they’re coming, I need you to look in all their trucks and see if you see anybody out of place. Anybody tied up, or bound, or struggling, doesn’t want to be there. Then you come back and tell us which trucks they’re in those are so we can rescue them. Does that make it better?”

“I guess…” Emma acquiesced, “So you want me to go with…him?”

“Yes. Jorgen!” you called out to your loader, who hobbled over to you. “I want you to accompany Honnrieg’s men when they go out scouting. You see our friend here, right?”


“She’ll tell you when they’re coming, and where anything funny looking is.”

“Yah. I gode id.”

“Good. Meet with the Captain, then.”

Jorgen saluted lazily and went over to the higher officer. Emma floated after him, mumbling to herself.
I want to take Emma as our mistress.
You don't stand a ghost of a chance.

If this thread falls off the board today, I'll make a new thread within the hour. Turns out the freest part of my schedule lately is...right now and the week through. No rest for the ass-hatted.


For now, you had placed Von Neubaum in command of your tank- he seemed competent enough, not that he wished to demonstrate it- so that you could coordinate the movement of your forces from a central command point in the town.

You had expected to be caught relatively unawares, as you still fretted over potential plans and places to initiate the ambush for what felt like hours, but when you checked your watch had only been a single hour. Weaponry was placed in forward positions, angles of fire were figured out, and the beginnings of earthworks dug through exhaustive assaults upon the hard ground with mattocks. A bulldozer would have been exceptionally helpful for the construction of the berm fortification you wanted, but alas, that was one thing you did not have.

You had heard of trials for dozer blades that would be attached to specialized engineering vehicles, but the fruit of such research was nowhere near your reach; nor did you anticipate it to be for a while. Trials for specialized mechanized engineers were still in early stages when you had stopped looking into them only a month ago. After all, panzer units were supposed to fight as part of the battle lines. The only reason specialized units and vehicles for mechanized units even existed, let alone were trailed, was for the benefit of the special Silver Lances division, where it also happened that most of Strossvald’s more modern and radical mechanized theories were born, in their near constant campaigning both in Strossvald’s wars and in the wars of the countries the elite formation was loaned out to.
Reports were agonizingly bare. Nobody reported seeing anything, hearing anything. All that came were merely more reports of progress; more preparation for a battle that would come…when?

It was oddly maddening. If only the Blood Suns would come sooner, you thought to yourself, so that you could act instead of anticipate. You ended up planning out theoretical skirmishes, thinking about modifying positions, countless possibilities, none of them correct. Was it better to simply move on ahead after all?

After several hours of this, you felt a hand on your shoulder. You snapped around, and saw Captain Honnrieg behind you, having climbed into the truck you were using as a command post without you noticing.

“You’re a mess, Lieutenant,” he said good-humoredly, “What’s all this; plans upon more plans? Didn’t they ever teach you that plans don’t survive contact with the enemy?”

“It’s better to have a plan than no plan…” you grumbled, still on edge from the Captain surprising you.

“You’re doing the job of your officers for them, Lieutenant. Let them take some of the slack off.” With that, the Captain yanked you to your feet, “Speaking of, I’m assuming command. Take some time off. I came up with something that should help you relax.”

“Relax?” you asked, half cognizant of being forced out of commanding.

“I went over your head and kept Fraulein Glennzsegler behind for now,” Honnrieg stated, “There’s something I thought she could be good for, being the most inconspicuous out of all of us, but she needs to know how to do something. She’s a great shot, and she knows her way around weapons, but she’s not familiar with the operation of Anti-Tank rifles. Don’t need to fire it, but I figure you could teach her how to do it.”

“…Couldn’t you…ahem. Couldn’t you just get one of your men to do that?” you asked, suddenly realizing how beaten you sounded, and attempting to correct it on the fly.

“Well, yes, I could.” Captain Honnrieg rubbed at both sides of his face with a hand under his chin, “But like I said, think of this more as an ease on your mind. Being an officer is a tough job, and you haven’t been one for long.”

>Thanks for the vote of confidence. I suppose I’ll defer to experience…and rank.
>Your concern is appreciated, Captain, but I must command my men. I’ve given them no respite, and I will not tolerate any for myself while I demand attentiveness from them.
>I find it extremely suspect that you’ve set me up to give a woman private lessons in weapons operations. Are you involved in any conspiracies that I should know about?
I beleive this
>Your concern is appreciated, Captain, but I must command my men. I’ve given them no respite, and I will not tolerate any for myself while I demand attentiveness from them.

But I can't pass up on "private lessons" so I vote this
>Thanks for the vote of confidence. I suppose I’ll defer to experience…and rank.
Same choice
Works for me

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