Last time on Levy Quest:>You, a cowardly farmer, experienced battle for the first time>With the help of your squad mate, Richter, you rescued your squad captain, Briton, after he blundered into the enemy ranks>You and Richter watched each other's backs until you got injured, at which point you lost consciousness and Richter had to carry you out>After a day in the medical tent you met with the corporal who promoted you to take Briton's place as squad captain>You took the squad out to loot the battlefield and recovered a few pieces of armor and a mostly intact byrnie >Richter showed up with a stag he had killed and you traded some of the meat with the other squads for better weapons>You took on an escort detail to gather reinforcements at a nearby fortress>The lord of the fortress, Oberlin, managed to convince the corporal to mutiny and give up the lieutenant. He tried to kill you when you refused to help, and was killed in turn.>Things quickly spiraled out of control, but you managed to take Lord Oberlin hostage, at which point he made you the same offer of gold, which you again refused. >After a daring escape, you've returned to camp without reinforcements, less one corporal and with the lieutenant injured and mysteriously hostile towards you
None of this sits quite right with you and when you return to base you request to speak privately with the lieutenant. Normally this would be done through the corporal, but seeing as he's the very topic of conversation, you go instead go straight to the source. The lieutenant is not at his tent. One of his retainers informs you that he's currently receiving treatment at the officer's medical pavilion. You find him arguing with an older man, who you realize is the lord himself. The argument is one-sided and has more the tones of a father scolding his boy for bringing mud in the house than a military reprimand. The lieutenant even assumes that penitent posture so familiar to roughhousers and rascals, the hands folded over the crotch, the head down, the eyes at the earth and the upper lip kneading the lower lip as though to massage away any notion of talking back or breaking into tears. When you appear at the tent opening, the lieutenant's eyes swing toward you briefly and he sniffs his broken nose in a way that could only be described as hateful. The lord exhausts himself with his arguments and the medic takes the opportunity to gently pull him out of the tent, with the refrain that the lieutenant needs his rest. Although the lieutenant's shoulder and arm are in a sling, it does not appear he will be sleeping any time soon, and even perhaps that he will never sleep again.The conversation is brief. The lieutenant begins by saying that no apologizes are necessary, but that he is disappointed in your character and hopes that this "trial will serve as a valuable lesson for the development of future virtue". You expressed your confusion. He became angry at you for trying to keep up the "facade", that Jerod had already informed him of your treachery, that yes, in the end Jerod was able to convince you to help with the rescue and that he (the lieutenant) was grateful and would forget the whole thing as a consequence, but that no, it did not completely absolve you of the betrayal, that he would be keeping an eye on you, that he would not so easily take your recommendations the next time, and that "trust is like an earthen pot, easily made, easily broken, but not so easily put back together".It is then that Jerod appears and the two men clasp hands and talk with a familiarity as though they'd run barefoot, shirtless and in shortpants, through mud and grass and rock, once upon a time. Witness to a slander so vile, you...>Return to your men, with the knowledge that there is more safety now, in silence>Denounce Jerod as the liar and scoundrel he is>Go one step higher and try to speak with the lord himself
>>3438402>Denounce Jerod as the liar and scoundrel he isIf he wants he could ask our men and the lord
>>3438402>Bash their faces togetherGot an archive link to the last quest?
>>3438497Whoops, I forgot: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Levy%20Quest
>>3438402>Ask lieutenant if he would at least be interested in you side of the story. Or if he is fine only with what Jerod told him.If he is fine I say leave him be.>>3438429>our mennot believable of course they will take our side>the lordYou mean the guy we threaten with our sword? The same guy that try assassinating lieutenant?
>>3438429>Denounce Jerod as the liar and scoundrel he isPoint out he's only heard Jerod's tale.Ask where the majority of the guards were, surely the LT's smart enough to see that we acted as bait ready to give our lives for the LT?Then ask LT to question each man individually of both squads and see which story has more inconsistencies. Point out that corporal came to us and that we had plenty of time to either agree or at the very least not interfere, but we were steadfast and almost got knifed for it.
Witness to a slander so vile, you denounce Jerod as the liar and scoundrel he is. Jerod denies everything, even going so far as to request the lieutenant rescind his pardon and give you the hundred stripes and then the rope. Your defense was perhaps less eloquent: you broke Jerod's nose and a few of his teeth. The strength of the farmer's son, the levy, the thousand bales and clods of earth he has moved and the milk and fruit of his labors he has enjoyed, is not nothing. Jerod took the blow, fell and did not get up again. The medics called the guards, the lieutenant stood astonished. But by your squeezings of his hands and beggings of his pardons and requestings of his reconsiderations you drew out from his brow a single seed of doubt. Then you were thrown out. But later that very day a messenger comes to inform you that your squad is being reassigned. You are to report to the 2nd lieutenant's camp. A surprise because everyone knows that, despite going against convention, the 2nd lieutenant commands the more experienced of the lord's troops. Even the captain of the Zanterburyan's answers to him. His men are encamped in a small hill overlooking the rest of the troops. The air here cannot be breathed so much as swallowed in mouthfuls, it is so solid and so charged with tension. No greetings are offered beyond the silent nod and the occasional wad of spit orthogonal to your path. There is no tomfoolery here, not even laughter beyond the quiet snort, like horses telling each other old jokes.The 2nd lieutenant himself cuts a strange figure. A man older than that 1st lieutenant and the lord combined, yet not less in strength. You find him, shirtless, bent in prayer over a bucket of water, his face wet by a recent ablution, his mouth whispering desperate hymns. He is the kind of man whose age only shows in his face. The rest of his body counts the years by scars, like a tree by its rings. His eyes, when they fall upon you, are kind, and remind you of a sailor looking upon the faint lights of the shore after many years on sea. His men call him Father and he does not mind it.You then learn that the 2nd lieutenant had asked for your squad by name. Your valor in the previous battle has apparently not gone unnoticed nor the slabs of stag meat brought into his camp from yours. But he does not offer you a position in the lines, your men are to be auxiliaries. Which is to say, little more than servants for the others. You will fetch food, clean weapons, empty latrines, relay messages. You will not fight.This detail...>Will keep you and your men safe, and that's really all that matters>Is an insult and you'd rather suffer under Jerod's command than subject your men to glorified slavery>Will give you an opportunity to train with the real soldiers and you are grateful for it
>>3438799>Will give you an opportunity to train with the real soldiers and you are grateful for it
>>3438801SupportingFuck their politics. We're here to fight.Also, I'm ashamed that our character went so far as to beg and grovel for reconsideration. And apparently, our men cannot be trusted either, if this is the way they repay our kindness, not even bothering to refute Jerod's claims.
>>3438816>And apparently, our men cannot be trusted either, if this is the way they repay our kindness, not even bothering to refute Jerod's claims.I think it's more of a they haven't a say in the matter
>>3438402>Will give you an opportunity to train with the real soldiers and you are grateful for itcan't wait for a good chance to tell him off if there is ever a chance. want to talk about virtue? that was when we refused that big bag of gold the lord tossed at us, more gold than we would ever get as a lifetime working as a soldier or a farmer.now to be fair, he is being deceived by jarod, hes probably projecting and accusing us of what hes guilty of.
>>3438799>Will give you an opportunity to train with the real soldiers and you are grateful for itWhat're the consequences for deserting or running away from a losing battle?
did we kill the traitor lord or capture him?
>>3438855We let him go?
>>3438868i didn't read any kill scene in the last thread......
>>3438799>Will give you an opportunity to train with the real soldiers and you are grateful for itJerod's a fag, we'll get our own back sooner or later.
>>3438816In their defense who is going to believe a bunch of random, peasant conscripts over an actual officer?
about the pics you requested earlier on the other thread.there's this one from a barmaid in a quest long gone, maybe it can be Silvia since she is the brewmaster's daughter
>>3440354Whats a name of that quest?
>>3440407Vampire quest, barmaid got a serious case of the vamps, it was quite nice and the Qm ran another one in the same setting(that was also quite nice) but then up and vanished
>>3440433Is that the one where the woman was the bride of a hero who wanted attention from him and so decided to become a villain, only to be bitten by a vampire lord?
>>3440407No, the MC was the barmaid tuned vampire, first thread was we trying not to kill our friend and then getting revenge on the vampssecond thread had a different mc, a noble woman that was already a vamps and was married to a human, there was a conspiracy to murder her and take her lands
This detail will give you an opportunity to train with the real soldiers and you are grateful for it. You let the lieutenant know as much and far from being surprised he actually embraces as you as he would a beloved son. Your squad mates are more divided on the matter. To everyone's shock, it is Richter, fearless and ferocious Richter, who is the most enthusiastic about staying out of battle. It is his endorsement which finally silences the discontent of the others.So the next few days are spent doing menial work. And it goes hard for your men, for though the soldiers are not cruel and the tasks not too humiliating, it nevertheless hurts the pride of a free man to fetch water or to shine another man's shoes or to come running when he is called. Telly in particular takes it badly. The other squad mates surmise that he was once a slave, though Telly will not speak of it. He directs most of his ire to the 1st lieutenant and to Jerod. Several times he has to be restrained so that he does not march down the hill and throttle them both in their sleep. Jerod for his part seems to avoid you. The few times you go down to the first camp, he hides in his tent. There are rumors of an alliance forged between him and Briton, in order to form a united front against you. Briton, ever the politician, has already regained his captain's post in another levy squad, courtesy of Jerod.As for the ceasefire, it draws to a close with no terms reached on either side. Another battle is imminent. In the midst of all this your training efforts have come up woefully short, but finally an opportunity presents itself...>In the 2nd lieutenant's cavalry>With the Zanterburyan mercenaries>Among the veteran levies
>>3441423>with the mercenaries.
>>3441423>Among the veteran leviesThe mercenaries I am sure are even more expendable then we are, and I don't think we are skilled enough to be riding with the cavalry.
>>3441423>Among the veteran levies
>>3441423>With the Zanterburyan mercenariesMerc experience better than even most harden levy.
>>3441423>With the Zanterburyan mercenariesThese are the real hardasses
>>3441423>With the Zanterburyan mercenariesThey probably value their lives more and have more autonomy to move around or retreat if they want to.
>>3441423>With the Zanterburyan mercenariesThese guys are the big boy footsoldiers, unlike the other levies.
>>3441423>Among the veteran leviesIn most formation battles, the veterans tend to be put in the back and the green weenies get put in the front.Not sure about Greek phalanxes, they might be either in the center or the flanks, I forget.
>>3441423>>With the Zanterburyan mercenaries
>>3441423>With the Zanterburyan mercenaries
>>3441655For most of military history, starting with the phalanx, the right flank was the position of honour. The Greek hoplites on the right would have not have a comrade's shield to rely upon. In military parades, units with more seniority are supposed to be on the right when the march column wheels into line.
>>3441715That doesn't really determine where the veterans are placed in battle. Many commanders tend to hold them in reserve for crucial moments such as sending them in to exploit a flank or at the end to finish off the enemy.
Depends on what kind of military force it is: Napoleon's Imperial Guard was almost never committed to battle, because they were his best troops. Roman Republic Hastati were on the back line for the same reason. But your average barbarian horde? Medieval knights whose rep and need to stand out were almost beyond keeping? Those guys would charge straight in. You wouldn't be able to keep them back, because they had to show the youngblood how it's done. Or industrial age military such as, oh, the Stonewall Brigade: they'd get used first, and used up, because they were troops that could be counted on to weather any storm and hold the line against terrible odds.
>>3441752In republican Rome the Hastati were the first line to make contact with the enemy. The triplex aceis used the hastati up front, principes, who were better equipped and experienced after that, and finally the triarii, the best equipped and most elite troops of the republic. The skirmishes were leves and velites, the youngest and poorest of the troops who couldn’t afford the equipment and didn’t have the experience to fight in the infantry line with the hastati.
In the midst of all this your training efforts have come up woefully short, but finally an opportunity presents itself with the Zanterburyan mercenaries. The Zanterburyans have their own camp at the base of the hill, separate from both the 2nd lieutenant's troops and the rest of the army. The few times you have entered their camp, you have always seen them in the midst of some kind of drill or sparring routine. It's gotten to the point where you wonder if they ever do anything else. In one of these trips, a passing Zanterburyan sees the longsword at your hip, clearly of their own design and calls you a thief. When you try to explain how you got it that it was by trade and not theft, he gets angry and demands that you return the sword immediately. You refuse and things would have escalated to blows and perhaps murder (as the Zanterburyan was reaching for his own weapon) if not for the intervention of another Zanterburyan, higher of rank, who vouches for your honesty and scolds the accuser. The accuser, embarrassed, bows his head and begs your pardon and having insulted you, even offers himself up to punishment. You refuse the rod and the whip and in its place request a favor.The very next morning, the Zanterburyan arrives at your camp to offer his services. No one is happy about exhausting themselves at the crack of dawn (even Richter fires off a few choice curses) but no one can deny the effectiveness of the training. As there are only the five of you, he gives each man individual attention. Franzen and Donven, the weaker members of your squad, are subject to intense physical conditioning until they can barely raise their arms and legs at which point they are forced to spar with Richter, the strongest of your squad, to learn pure technique without the interference of natural strength. Telly, who has a talent for the spear and eyesight to rival the keenest eagles, is taught a set of Zanterburyan spear forms that takes advantage of both. He practices these with one of the tent poles, about five times as heavy as his own spear, and then spars with the Zanterburyan himself. That leaves just Richter and yourself and your training is the hardest. The two of you are paired together and (with special permission from the 2nd lieutenant) allowed to participate the nightly "games". These are brutal affairs by firelight, generally given as punishment to levies and soldiers that are found lacking in their duties. Five on one battles armed with long crude quarterstaffs fashioned from birch and oak, fought naked from the waist up, gambled on, fought until mercy was called or a bone broken or, on occasion, someone died. It was you and Richter against ten men, every other night. 1/2
>>3442919Your Zanterburyan instructor is an artist. He saw at first glance how things would turn out. The first few games, Richter took the brunt of the punishment. You were still recovering from injury and so it was eight men to him alone, and he never once complained or even flinched. True, you never win even a single one of these games--though later on it gets close--but if you were ever a coward, if there was ever that lad in you who huddled in the mud with the pigs and the goats and the cows and trembled and prayed for a way out, in just one week, he was forgotten. When a man hates his own weakness, and if he really is a man, what else is there but to become strong?So a fortnight passes and three small battles unfold on the fields below with no discernible victor, only attrition. The supplies run low. The wounded pile up. The lord and his lieutenants grow restless. The soldiers begin to question the motives of their superior officers and the auxiliaries are called to reinforce their depleted ranks. The morning before what is rumored to be the final engagement of this conflict, the 2nd lieutenant calls for you. In his tent is the 1st lieutenant, looking very contrite, and rubbing his nose like he was developing a skin rash. The 1st lieutenant begins with a prepared preamble which the 2nd, having no patience for nonsense, cuts off immediately. The short of it is, you're wanted back. Nothing about the former score is mentioned, nothing about Jerod or Lord Oberlin or the former corporal, but there are languages other than those of speech. The promise of a promotion to corporal, on account of "the 2nd lieutenant's recommendation" (for he had something of a gambling problem and would often frequent the nightly games and was witness to your exploits) and the sudden lack of qualified men to lead his squads, as well the modest bonus pay that comes with it, speaks volumes. The 2nd lieutenant offers only these words in opposition, offhand and warm, as through remarking how the spring flowers had finally bloomed: "The Zanterburyans are also interested."Both offers come as a surprise, but after some consideration you feel you must...>Go with the Zanterburyans, there is much more to learn from them>Take the promotion, if only for the sake of the peasant levies>Remain with the 2nd lieutenant, after all, trust is like an earthen pot--not so easily put back together
>>3442924>>Go with the Zanterburyans, there is much more to learn from them
>>3442924I like our squad. If we go with the zanterbiryans do we keep them? If not let's go with the 2nr lieutenant I dont want to abandon our squad by going corporal.
>>3442937To be clear:Only the promotion entails separation from your squad (though they'd probably be in one of the squads under your command anyway, or you can just promote them to squad captains and give them each their own squad). In the other cases, you would stay with your squad.
>>3442944If we join the zanterbiryans are we actually joining the mercenary group or are we just sorta leasing under them as part of the lords levy?
>>3442924>Remain with the 2nd lieutenant, after all, trust is like an earthen pot--not so easily put back together
>>3442924>Remain with the 2nd lieutenant, after all, trust is like an earthen pot--not so easily put back togetherI prefer not to join wandering mercs, we have somewhere and someone to go back to
>>3442947You're still bound by duty to your lord. So it'd be closer to a lease. Once this battle is over though, depending on your performance, you'll get a chance to join them. But do remember that your ultimate objective is to get back home so you can marry your fiance.
>>3442958And have our heart crushed if she was married off to someone else lol
>>3442958Yeah but what if we love that good good murder life.> go with zanterburyans
>>3442959>>3442956>>3442954The second lieutenant is telling us using allusion to go with the mercanies, lest we be doomed by the promotion with the 1st.
>>3442964We can just stay with his squad, no need to go for the lt's
>Remain with the 2nd lieutenant, after all, trust is like an earthen pot--not so easily put back togetherDoesn't feel so nice, does it 1st lieutenant?
>>3442967>The 2nd lieutenant offers only these words in opposition, offhand and warm, as through remarking how the spring flowers had finally bloomedHe wants us to grow.
>>3442984He better put us up to fight then, because that is what I think he'll do
>>3443009That's the way the tide is turning, we'll see.
>>3442924>Go with the Zanterburyans, there is much more to learn from themYeah, let's stick with them for the fight and the following looting, but once that's over let's go home to the waifu-to-be. Hopefully we can win a title or at least phat loot to make our life easier.
Both offers come as a surprise, but after some consideration you feel you must remain with the 2nd lieutenant, after all, trust is like an earthen pot--not so easily put back together. The 1st lieutenant practically tries to rip his nose off at this retort. His position prevents him from lowering himself to any kind of apology and he instead gives a stiff nod to the both of you and walks out as fast he can. "Why not the Zanterburyans?" Says the old man."I'm not a soldier sir. I just want to get back home to my farm and my wife."The old man smiles like he was smiling for the first time, exactly like a newborn babe, especially because he's missing his two front teeth. "You'll be fighting now. Auxiliaries and reserves are going in for the next one.""I understand.""Do you pray?""Sir?""Do you pray? To god?""On occasion.""That is not prayer, that is alms. Do not hold up your cup to the lord and say "Please", but drink of what you have and give thanks. Will you do this?""I will sir.""I am an old man and I know my words mean nothing to you now, but one day you may remember them and perhaps on that day you will pray for me, a poor sinner." He touches you gently on the shoulder, as though setting the broken wing of a thrush. "How old is she?""Sir?""Your wife. Any children?""Oh no, it's only been arranged, we're to be married when I return. She'll be 17 summers now.""Is she comely? Does she have a good heart?""She's..." Suddenly, without warning, tears roll down your cheeks. "I'm sorry sir, I don't know why--I'm very sorry sir." In all this the old man's hand remains steadily on your shoulder, as though gently propping you up. "She's quite--at least I think she's very pretty. Very healthy. But we've only met once and we didn't even speak then. I don't know what's in her heart, good or bad. I don't really even know what she thinks of me or of the marriage." These things had somehow never crossed your mind. It was so obvious that the two of you would lead a good life together, you were so certain in your happiness. But what if you die tomorrow and there's no grief whatsoever? What if she's actually glad? You begin to sweat all over."No one but god knows when the rain will come." Says the old man. You have no idea what he's talking about, but a cool breeze brushes against your lips and your heart is suddenly lightened. 1/2
>>3443466You return to your men with the news and find them playing with a chicken that Telly found somewhere. He's made a little collar and a leash with a bit of string and is parading her around the camp like a prized hunting dog--except that it's impossible to parade a chicken in any capacity because she will stop every few seconds to peck at a worm or to admire a man's boots with her head bent carefully sideways in that flirtatious gesture so well-known to cunning women. Telly has to kick the poor thing or carry it half the time, much to the delight of the onlookers. Real laughter is heard for the first time in a long time in the camp.They are all at least relaxed and eager to prove what they've learned on the battlefield. All except Richter, who you find late at night by the fire, stroking the chicken while she sleeps in his arms, and staring into flame. The axe is at his feet, its steel catching the light of the fires so it's blade that appears red hot. Seeing your squad mate in such a state you...>Urge him to get some sleep for the battle tomorrow>Give him some privacy and just leave him be>Sit down with him and offer a penny for his thoughts
>>3443471>>Sit down with him and offer a penny for his thoughts
>>3443471>Sit down with him and offer a penny for his thoughtsAh, I knew the 2nd Lieutenant was the right choice...
>>3443530Also, if you guys could please reply to the update post, it makes it a lot easier to tally the votes.
>>3443471>Sit down with him and offer a penny for his thoughts
>>3443471>Urge him to get some sleep for the battle tomorrow
>>3443471>Sit down with him and offer a penny for his thoughts>>3443511It was a good choice.
>>3443471>Sit down with him and offer a penny for his thoughtsgot to keep this broship alive like Vorenus and Pullo
Seeing your squad mate in such a state you sit down with him and offer a penny for his thoughts. "Nay, tis nothing." He says and puts the chicken down. "Just can't sleep. You ever have strange dreams?""Dreams?""Nay, never mind.""No it's alright...I sometimes dream of Silvia. Or of home. There's this spot, past the old Codgers fields and about a mile in to the woods. A secret path through a hill that goes all the way above the trees. I used to hide there when the other boys made me cry or when I was feeling down. I dream about that sometimes. I take Silvia there but in the dream we're children and she twists her ankle trying to climb up and I have to carry her on my back. Its hard, but we make it. And when we're there, the view is just...I point out her house and my house and all the roads and little houses in between. But then I get too close to the edge, there's a cliff there and its a steep fall. I get too close and my foot suddenly steps in the air and...and I wake up.""Nay, mine are not like that." Richter whispers, tossing bits of grass into the fire. "We'll go home after this one." You clap your hands together and lean forward. Another pause. "What are they like? Your dreams."He glances at you and then looks at his hands. "It's always the same...I see the men I killed. But they're not whole. Not as they were. But as I made them. Cut apart. Mangled. And then...they pin me down and pour their blood on me, in my mouth, in my nose, my eyes. There's just so much of it." His voice cracks ever so slightly. "And I drown in it."You sit there together, listening to the crack of the fire. "We'll be home after this one." You say, not really speaking to Richter in particular, but just saying it out loud. "We'll go home."The next morning the horns blow from both sides. There won't be any more skirmishing, both lords have fielded their entire force. In an unorthodox play, the first lieutenant and the lord have decided to take the left and right flanks, with the 2nd lieutenant's veterans in the center. Normally, it's the lord who takes the center and his lieutenants, the flanks. You're not sure what this reversal means, but the 2nd lieutenant doesn't seem to like it. You and your squad march shoulder-to-shoulder with the veteran levies, which take up the first position. Behind them are the Zanterburyans. And behind them, the 2nd lieutenant and his cavalry. Your corporal is a tall, dark-skinned man, not quite black enough to be totally foreign, but just enough to suggest a southern heritage. His orders are crisp and to the point and he marches on foot like the rest of you, relaying messages through a curved horn that he carries, which makes a croaking sound that reminds you of frogs. 1/2
>>3445996The levies are arranged in a long line, longer than the enemy's and only two men deep. Your squad is on the left side of this line, standing on the second rank. Out of the corner of your eye you spot the first lieutenant's forces. Compact squares, five squads to each corporal. You can even make out Jerod on the nag and Briton--who's somehow gotten ahold of a horse himself--shouting at his captains. You reach the designated marks and a terrifying stillness falls over the field. A murder of crows caws overhead, and, as if this were a signal, the men begin to advance. The enemy has kept to the usual formation. The front line is made up of green levies, woefully unequipped. But as the lord's forces lack any kind of ranged troops, there is no choice but to fight through them. Fifteen paces away, the corporal blows his horn. A sustained note--the signal to hold. Those with shields put them up, as the javelins and stones come raining down. You and your men kneel behind the front line, safe for the moment, as fire concentrates on the center of the line. Suddenly the enemy levies sprint across the gap and slam into the center, managing to push back the most veteran levies in the whole army. On the left flank, the green levies are charging into superior forces and not having nearly as much luck. Briton and Jerod are struggling to keep their men from routing, while the 1st lieutenant is waiting nervously for a gap to slip his cavalry through. The corporal maintains the order to hold, while the veterans get steadily pushed back, further and further until you begin to see the sides of the enemy formation. It is at just this moment that the corporal blows his horn in two quick, staccato notes--a charge. The men brace their weapons, steel their nerves, scream and run out all at once. The enemy levies are pinched in from both sides and suddenly the veterans in the center are switched out with the fresh Zanterburyans. It is, in short, a massacre. But it is not to last. The left flank has been utterly crushed, with Jerod and Briton shamefully leading the rout on their horses. The 1st lieutenant, trying to salvage the situation, attempts to cut around the enemy formation and strike at their flanks. This only makes things worse. The men that were holding, now believing that their lieutenant has also abandoned them, join Jerod and Briton in a beating hasty retreat. The 1st lieutenant has at least managed to distract the enemy cavalry so that they cannot give chase to the fleeing hordes, but this still leaves their infantry free to wheel around and attack the center-left. It's almost a perfect repeat of the last time.As the enemy veterans close in on the back rank, and the fighting goes on in the front, you...>You try and penetrate deep as you can into the enemy center >Turn and brace for impact, trying to keep the infantry at bay as long as you can>Counter-charge, nullifying their momentum but splitting yourself off from your allies
>>3445998>Turn and brace for impact, trying to keep the infantry at bay as long as you can
>>3445998>Turn and brace for impact, trying to keep the infantry at bay as long as you canCan we slowly start backing up to hopefully the Zanterburyans? I'm sure our squad is cool and all that, but I think it'd be best to have the mercs fighting with us against these dudes.
>>3445998>Counter-charge, nullifying their momentum but splitting yourself off from your alliesWe are 2 rank deep, there is no much allies to speak about. This give us some shock value, and breathing room.
>>3445998>Turn and brace for impact, trying to keep the infantry at bay as long as you canperhaps get the rest of our squad to brace spears to create a makeshift spear wall? besides Richter and his axe and our longsword
>>3445998>You try and penetrate deep as you can into the enemy center
>>3445998>>You try and penetrate deep as you can into the enemy center
>>3445998>Counter-charge, nullifying their momentum but splitting yourself off from your allies
>>3445998>>3446106SupportingWhat we need right now is to buy our veterans time to carve into their center while protecting their flanks.
>>3445998>>Counter-charge, nullifying their momentum but splitting yourself off from your allies
As the enemy veterans close in on the back rank and the fighting goes on in the front, you counter-charge, nullifying the enemy's momentum but splitting yourself off from your allies. Another two squads follow in your example but it's 15 against 50 and while you do manage to halt the enemy in their tracks and even cut swathes into their lines, your squad is very soon surrounded. Once again you and Richter must fight back-to-back, but the nightly games have perfected your coordination into an almost telepathic understanding. The others are likewise alive only because of the Zanterburyan's training. Telly alone has already killed a dozen men using his new spear forms and Franzen and Donven are fighting on where previously they would have broken from exhaustion. The equipment you salvaged and traded for also pull their weight. The Zanterburyan longsword is a ruthlessly efficient killing instrument, light and sharp enough to open vessels and arteries at the slightest touch. But no matter how much training one undergoes, or technique and skill he accumulates, his body is always constrained by immutable limits. What can the levy do who charges when out of breath? You might have found out, if not for the sudden entry of the 1st lieutenant's cavalry. Despite the near complete loss of his infantry (for which he deserves only a small portion of the blame) his cavalry is almost perfectly intact. The skirmish with the enemy horsemen was concluded in a decisive victory and the lieutenant is now executing lightning charges against the enemy infantry's rear, ruining their cohesion. This provides you with the perfect opportunity to...>Retreat toward the center and let your men catch their breath>Send forth a rallying cry and push even further into the enemy>Coordinate with the survivors from the other squads and regroup
>>3449338>Coordinate with the survivors from the other squads and regroup
>>3449338>Coordinate with the survivors from the other squads and regroupAll according to keikaku
>>3449338>>Coordinate with the survivors from the other squads and regroup
This provides you with the perfect opportunity to coordinate with the survivors from the other squads and regroup. Among the 15 men part of the initial charge, 12 are still fit to fight, 2 are dead and 1 is injured. You manage, with a combination of screaming, cutting through the enemy and strategic maneuvering, to yoke the 12 together into a single compact force. And like a fishbone stuck in the throat, you agitate and inflame the walls of men around you, pushing them back from all sides. Their formation loosens until men can be picked off one at a time by the lieutenant's cavalry. The lieutenant himself is able to pierce deep enough to join with your men.His stallion is bleeding through its armor and his swordarm is caked in three layers of clinging gore. His eyes bear that perpetual fierce sadness, like the gaze of the lion and the tiger, who kill because god has fashioned them in that way. He turns and stares down at you and gives you a short nod, which you return, in the acknowledgement that he has saved you because you have saved others. Then each goes back to his work. The twelve men move as one force, breaking the enemy into smaller clumps for the cavalry. The opposition attempts to regroup several times but the lieutenant is simply too swift, too prescient to their schemes. Victory seems near. Then behind you the corporal's horn blows once in a long draw, the signal to hold, but the men do not heed it. The center has broken. The encirclement, which at first had promised to annihilate the opponent's heart, thereby splitting their force into two disconnected fragments, has instead been reversed. The blame rests with the right flank which has not only fallen, but has lost its leader. The lord is dead.The Zanterburyans stand their ground even as they are slowly surrounded. And not by the levies--which have either been cut down or withdrawn--but by the reserves, the most experienced men in the enemy camp. Fresh, determined veterans held back for just this moment, strangely familiar: 50 odd men in red cloaks which bear the mark of the black boar. What remains of the enemy's left, swings around to join their brothers in the center. The Zanterburyans cannot hold. The 2nd lieutenant sounds the retreat, even as he charges with his own cavalry. Buying time. The 1st lieutenant joins him in the effort, picking off stragglers and trying to cut off the men attempting to regroup. Levies are running past you back to camp. It happens within the space of a few seconds. The 1st lieutenant's horse buckles and he is thrown off. He lands in a bad angle and his leg snaps behind him. At the rear, a hundred paces away, the 2nd lieutenant's horse catches an unlucky spear thrust and tips over, pinning the lieutenant's body against its massive weight. Richter pulls on your arm. "We have to run."To which you respond by...>Running for the 1st lieutenant>Running for the 2nd lieutenant>Running for your life
>>3449520>Running for the 1st lieutenantThis will be the biggest reward.... second lieutenant is a good dude but he is an old man.
>>3449520>>Running for the 1st lieutenantif the lord is dead and he is his son, he is the new lord.and he just saved our lives, I guess that settled our score
>>3449520>>Running for the 1st lieutenant
>>3449520>Running for the 1st lieutenantI mean the second liutenant is a good old man who has lived a long life while the 1st isnt even 30 i think he would want it this way
>>3449520>Running for the 1st lieutenant
To which you respond by running for the 1st lieutenant. Your squad mates attempt to follow you but Richter holds them back. "Nay, I will go. You all follow the others." And then, despite the fact that you have a headstart, he catches up to you easily, sails past you and reaches the lieutenant first."Still breathing," He says. "Take the other arm." You hoist the lieutenant onto your shoulders, one side for each man, but you don't get very far. A horseman cuts off your escape. A man with a long beard and several freshly missing teeth, riding an old nag."Jerod." You say. There a light edge to your voice and it is perhaps this bit of insolence which makes him snap."Give me the lieutenant." He says, pointing with his spear. Behind you, several of the scattered infantry have assembled themselves into squads and have spotted you. "Now!" Screams Jerod. The enemy is rapidly closing in and you decide...>To keep the lieutenant>To give up the lieutenant
>>3449653>>To keep the lieutenanthe'll obviously try to exchange the Lt for his lifepretend to give the lt to him and unhorse him, use the horse to escape with the Lt
>>3449660This, but how will the nag carry us, Richer AND Lt?
>>3449653>>To keep the lieutenant
>>3449696the nag will carry the Lt and just one of us probably, Ritchie can run way faster than us but we are probably volunteering first and he will tell us to shut up
>>3449653>To keep the lieutenantWhatever happens next we have to go to our hometown to warn our family and our wife to be before the raiders and looters arrive
>>3449653>>3449660Yep, move as if putting the LT on the horse while we get too close for him to use his spear, then wack him, get on it and ride. We'll tell Richter to run, he runs fast anyways.Real question is whether this LT can keep his power and keep our town safe.
>>3449719Well, lets hope the war was not over the entire lord's territoty and just a dispute about something, we never got to know what it was.The important part is to keep the Lt. alive to prrserve the bloodline, other nobles usually won't let he lose all his power since he still has a family name and keeping his family name safe is like preventing a precedent of the same thing happening to them.That's probably the reason why the Boar lord wanted to kill the Lt., he probably had a plan to kill the lord during the battle, thus eliminating the lord and his heir.
>>3449653>To keep the lieutenanttake the horse
>>3449653>To give up the lieutenantYeah, whatever. See if the 2nd Lieutenant can be saved.
>>3449653Is the lieutenant conscious? I don't want Jerod to steal our credit again. If he is then give him, if he isn't keep him.
>>3449653>To keep the lieutenant
The enemy is rapidly closing in and you decide to keep the lieutenant. Jerod will not get the best of you a second time. "Alright," You say. "You can have him." Richter gives you a look, but doesn't say anything. Jerod reaches forward to pull the lieutenant on to the horse and the moment he does so, you hold fast to his arm. "What are you doing? Let go!" He rears back with his spear, but Richter's axe is in already mid-swing, coming down hard from the side. The strength pulling against your grip, suddenly disappears. Jerod screams, loses balance and drops forward. The combined momentum of his spear thrust and sudden loss of his arm forces him off the horse and straight into you. The spear hits you first, gouging your chest and throwing you backward into the grass, then Jerod collides with your body and pins you to the ground, using his last bit of breath to push the spear as deep as he can into your body, pushing the very air out of your lungs and replacing it with pain.Someone kicks him off of you and tries to pick you up. The earth shakes with the sound of approaching footsteps. "No. Take the lieutenant and run." He tries again and you slap his hand away. "I won't make it. Don't doom us both. Go.""I'll come back for you," He says. "I swear it.""No. You watched my back. And now, I watch yours. Go." And with the last bit of will left in your farmer's body, with a last flash at last of your wife's face, a thought of "will she weep for me?", a scream, a cry of anguish, you raise your sword and charge. Lightning tears across the sky and then thunder. And soft rains follow after.---1/2
>>3449753That ship has absolutely sailed. We've already stuck to saving the 1st Lieutenant. Giving up now will just result in us having let both men die for nothing.>>3449653Voting +1 to keep the lieutenant.
>>3450051The second lieutenant is executed before your very eyes. They tie him to a post and cut open his stomach for the birds and maggots. It takes hours. He never screams, indeed, he goes off smiling. Those of the Zanterburyans that were captured, are ransomed from their personal funds. The levies, yourself included, are forced into bondage. As for the rest, you must piece things together from the snippets you learn from the other slaves and conversations between the other soldiers. The war is over. The lieutenant, who, as it turns out, was the bastard son of the lord, survived. A truce was agreed upon. The losing side was forced to relinquish some money and property to the winner and in return the winner did not pursue the loser's army and destroy it. You are brought to the lord's own fields, to toil there twelve hours every day and to sleep among the damned in a small, cramped, squalid barracks not even fit for dogs. Six months pass like six years and though various means are employed to maintain that slight flicker of hope, the vivid dreams of your wife and the wild fantasies of your reunion, the hour each night practicing with the rake as though it were a spear, the desperate morning prayers, the prostration to god for relief, for salvation--still, your spirit slowly dies. The caged bird sings only slave songs. But eventually all grows tiresome and there is only silence. It is in the sixth month of your servitude that a new stock of slaves arrive at the ranch, to replace some that have died or been sold off. Among them is a frail, soft-handed lad, only a few years younger than yourself and a man of the cloth, a former priest-in-training. He does not fit in among the calloused, coarse, foul-mouthed bonded. And almost within the first week, he is chosen to be the butt of the others jokes and cruelties. Mostly the other peasants, for which you can do nothing, but one evening, while bathing near the river you discover him set upon by three of the slaves. You don't know what he did to anger, perhaps nothing beside exist, but it seems they intend to beat him, if not kill and drown his body.Seeing this inspires...>Indifference, and you finish your bath and depart>Disgust, and you let him get beat, but intervene when they go to far>Rage, and you beat the slaves to an inch of their lives for no other reason than they disturbed your bath
>>3450056>indignationYou defend him and beat the others away.I guess that means we lost our wife, six months is a long time, she was probably married off
>>3450056>Choosing to save the 1st lieutenant.Niggers, the lot of you.>Rage, and you beat the slaves to an inch of their lives for no other reason than they disturbed your bath
>>3450056>>Rage, and you beat the slaves to an inch of their lives for no other reason than they disturbed your bath
>>3450056supporting>>3450073>tfw no waifuThat pos 1st LT better give us good shit when we make it out of here
>>3450085I bet he will, Richie is probably a high retainer by now.
>>3450056>Rage, and you beat the slaves to an inch of their lives for no other reason than they disturbed your bath
>>3450073Yeah this. We can remain a good man in spite of this adversity.
>>3450056take our anger and resentment out on they 3 slaves after they get a a few good hits in on the guy and then demand to the priest why they are ganging up on him and why we should not beat him up too.
>>3450073supportingshame about the wife tho, we better come to terms with it or it might break us later
Seeing this inspires rage, and you beat the slaves to an inch of their lives for no other reason than they disturbed your bath. These men were here before you. Not levies, not anything, debtors, leeches, gamblers. Men that sold themselves to level their balances. They know to keep a wide berth from you because they have seen the scars on your body and a few of them have seen you swing the rake at night. They knew their blunder the moment you emerged from the river and stepped onto shore. One of them, one of the new ones, attempted a joke at your expense. Maybe you would have let them all go, even with that joke, if the man didn't also have a long beard reminiscent of Jerod. You broke his jaw and his nose and several of his teeth, pounding on him well after the others had taken their lumps and fled. And perhaps you would have killed him, battered in his skull with the wet, flat blows until bone broke into brain. But the former priest himself, pulled on your arm back, not once but three times, begging you to stop. "Please don't," He says. "He'll die.""That's the idea." You say, but you're done. You return to the river to wash your hands. The boy tries to lift to his feet, the very man that would have killed him. And for his effort, he is rewarded with a stiff shove and a curse. The boy watches you clean yourself and when your eyes meet he winces and runs off too. Unfortunately your actions deter nothing, only make the other slaves more careful in the delivery of their abuse. They just never do it in front of you now. And still, every morning and every Sunday he'll be up at dawn, singing hymns. Several times he catches you praying in the dark, but says nothing. 1/2
>>3450174Then one day he comes to you with a strange request. He wants your help in building a second barracks, arguing that the constant agues and fevers among the slaves are due to their poor living conditions. He offers his own services as an engineer on the project."I thought you were a priest?" You say."I was. But before I...before all this, I was involved in the construction of a cathedral. The engineer and masons on the project were quite generous with their knowledge. I know all that they know.""Then you also know how much work this would take. You expect the two of us to do all that?""Of course not. You can have the others help." You voice your skepticism and disdain with a single choice syllable. "They'll listen to you! They certainly won't follow me, but there's something about you--that is, if you ask them...please, you would benefit from this as well, would you not?"You spit on the ground and start walking away. The lad runs up beside you and you note the bruises all along his arms and neck, some of which continue down his shirt. Long purple marks. "Please, isn't there something I can do convince you? I can write--perhaps I could write a letter to your wife?" You stop. He raises his arms instinctively to protect his face. "How did you know?"He slowly lowers his arms. "You say her name in your sleep. Silvia. Your wife right? Or perhaps your daughter?""...you can send her a letter?""I could try. Maybe your family can even ransom you out."In fact...>Having your family ransom you would just bankrupt them, but a letter to the lieutenant might yield results>You've been dying to hear back from your family and from Silvia, at the very least you can let them know you're alive>Writing anywhere is a futile endeavor and may even get you in trouble with the lord, but learning to write may come in handy and will at least pass the time
>>3450179>Having your family ransom you would just bankrupt them, but a letter to the lieutenant might yield resultsBut not because of the LT., because of the chance to see our family again
>>3450179>Having your family ransom you would just bankrupt them, but a letter to the lieutenant might yield resultsYo, we'll offer him a trade. He makes us literate, we help him with any tasks he wants. If we get freed, maybe we can see about freeing him as well, never know when someone who knows their letters and has basic engineering skills (I assume this means he also knows arithmetic) can be useful.
>>3450186Or better yet,Send the letter to our family and Silvia, and on the letter instruct them to look for the Lt. or Richie, that way if she was not married off they may hold her marriage and we can still expect a ransom
>>3450179>>Having your family ransom you would just bankrupt them, but a letter to the lieutenant might yield results>>You've been dying to hear back from your family and from Silvia, at the very least you can let them know you're alivefuck him, he really doesn't have much of a choice, he's going to write us two letters, the first one to the Lt, and the second one to our family if we manage to slip it, there's really nothing stopping us from doing it unless we get caught
>>3450179>>Writing anywhere is a futile endeavor and may even get you in trouble with the lord, but learning to write may come in handy and will at least pass the time
>>3450240ThisFirst the LT and If we can, the family too
>>3450179>Having your family ransom you would just bankrupt them, but a letter to the lieutenant might yield results
>>3450179>Learn to write.
>>3450179>>Having your family ransom you would just bankrupt them, but a letter to the lieutenant might yield results>>You've been dying to hear back from your family and from Silvia, at the very least you can let them know you're aliveCan't we send a letter to both? The lieutenant is more likely to pay our ransom, but our family and Silvia need to know that we're still alive.
>>3451343This if we can, just the 1st Lt if we can't
In fact, having your family ransom you would just bankrupt them, but a letter to the lieutenant might yield results. On the other hand, you've also been dying to hear back from your family and from Silvia, and at the very least you can let them know you're alive. The former priest-in-training tells you that, while he doesn't have enough paper to send two letters, he can ask the lieutenant to send word to your family. Since the only one in your family who can sign their name is your younger sister Carolina, a message by word of mouth will go better anyway. "So you'll do it then?""The letters first. And I make no promises.""Yes, of course. Yes, I'll do it right away and then I'll give it to the tradesman at the square and--oh, thank you, you're doing a great service for the others and for yourself too of course. God will surely reward you for--"You grab his collar and almost lift him off the ground. He's like a child, so weak and frail, arms like straw. "Preach to others all you want, but never to me.""B-but...yes, I'll try." You put him down and he takes a moment to smooth his shirt. "My name is Iacopo, by the way." He offers his hand and you just stare at it until he puts it down. Then you walk away. The letter is written that very night. Iacopo decides to swap with your bottom bunk mate so he can take dictation. He has to give up his dinner to earn that privilege but he doesn't seem bothered by it. The letter is kept short and to the point. A few salient details are offered to confirm the authenticity of the letter and the identity of its writer and then a blunt request is made for ransom. Then a request to reach out to your parents and your fiance (but not to tell them of your situation) and finally, a request for an update on your old squad. Richter, Telly, Donven and Franzen. Little is mentioned about your own situation beyond the essential facts and still less about the final battle in which you saved the lieutenant's life. The lieutenant seemed to you a good man, if a little gullible, and won't need any additional goading.The letter is sent out the next morning and construction on the cabins begins later that day. You are unable to convince all the slaves to cooperate, but the majority are willing to follow you--if only out of fear. A small opposition has formed, consisting of the three slaves that you beat up at the river and another half-dozen slaves who are simply lazy and hate your guts for the mere suggestion of additional work. They are led by one of the new arrivals, a long haired fellow named Archer--the very same whose face you bashed in and permanently disfigured. Mostly they jeer and shout obscenities as you work, once or twice they try to bully some of the other slaves into quitting your crew, but once word reaches your ears, they stops immediately. 1/2
>>3453111The abuse toward Iacopo never stops. Despite Iacopo's skill and knowledge (without which the project would be impossible), the other slaves--even the ones working with him, even you--turn a blind eye to his suffering. No one ever takes him to the river again and they are careful when they hurt him but the punishment is constant. They steal his shoes, they eat his food, they rob him of the tiny profits he makes from selling the small wooden saints that he spends half the night carving beneath the moon, and they beat him below the collar. His small thin back and his legs and his chest are covered with bruises and fresh scars, yet you have never heard him say an unkind word to the others, never even raise his voice. And this is how you learn one of those fundamental human truths: misery loves company. And if even one among the company is not miserable, he must be made miserable. He must be hated.The weeks pass swiftly because of the work. In building something for themselves, each slave is reminded that once, he too was free. The new barracks is erected before the months end, and it is such a magnificent structure that word of it reaches the castle. Perhaps this was Iacopo's plan all along, as he is soon asked to supervise some new construction in the lord's manor. He would still be a slave, but he would be given some spending money and would get to live in the castle with the other house slaves and servants. It was an offer to be envied--even by a free man--and he wants to share it with you.You're response is naturally...>To ask: why you? Not that you'll refuse the offer--but there are better workers he can take.>To refuse. House slaves may live in greater comfort, but they sacrifice what little freedom the field slave has in exchange>To accept. Anything is better than suffering the coming winter outside the castle.
>>3453112>To ask: why you? Not that you'll refuse the offer--but there are better workers he can take.>To refuse. House slaves may live in greater comfort, but they sacrifice what little freedom the field slave has in exchangeAsk him if he can help the rest of the slaves by providing us with better conditions.
>>3453112>To accept. Anything is better than suffering the coming winter outside the castle.We gave him a small matter of kindness.
>>3453112>To accept. Anything is better than suffering the coming winter outside the castle.He couldn't have been noticed without us. Now we can get cozier with him and get a head start on learning etiquette and literacy from watching the inhabitants.
>>3453112>>To accept. Anything is better than suffering the coming winter outside the castle
>>3453112>To ask: why you? Not that you'll refuse the offer--but there are better workers he can take.
>>3453112>To accept. Anything is better than suffering the coming winter outside the castle.
>>3453302+1Even those that followed after fear deserve to get a little better too, this feels like our old squad again
>>3453111>"The letters first. And I make no promises.">"Yes, of course. Yes, I'll do it right away and then I'll give it to the tradesman at the square and--oh, thank you, you're doing a great service for the others and for yourself too of course. God will surely reward you for--">You grab his collar and almost lift him off the ground. He's like a child, so weak and frail, arms like straw. "Preach to others all you want, but never to me.">"B-but...yes, I'll try." You put him down and he takes a moment to smooth his shirt. "My name is Iacopo, by the way." He offers his hand and you just stare at it until he puts it down. Then you walk away.> the other slaves--even the ones working with him, even you--turn a blind eye to his suffering.Holy shit, we're an asshole. I suggest we be a bit kinder to Lacopo, he just gave us our only hope for freedom.>To accept. Anything is better than suffering the coming winter outside the castle.
>>3453302Support.>>3453599We're role playing a bitter, angry soldier for now, we'll be nicer to him later.
>>3453112>>To ask: why you? Not that you'll refuse the offer--but there are better workers he can take.>To accept. Anything is better than suffering the coming winter outside the castle.
Your response is naturally to ask: why you? Not that you'll refuse the offer--but there are better workers he can take. He doesn't have to think about the answer because it seems he's already thought about the question. "Because you still pray." He whispers. "I've seen you, when you think everyone else is asleep...I've heard you--" You stare at him until he finally must look down at his sandals. "That's not prayer," You say. "It's alms. And I won't come with you." The house slaves may live in greater comfort, but they sacrifice what little freedom the field slave has, in exchange. You explain as much, but Iacopo can't seem to accept your refusal. "If you're trying to thank me, do something about how we live out here. Blankets and winter clothes would be a nice start.""You really won't come?""If I have to grovel to the same people that bonded me, that killed my lieutenant--never mind, you wouldn't understand. But it's that good that you go. You'll finally be free of these animals.""I'll make sure to get the blankets and the clothes." He turns to leave."Why did you let them do it?" You blurt out. "You just...you let them. You could have tried to defend yourself, you could've come to me. And I should've..." You can't finish. Richter suddenly comes to mind and you feel somehow ashamed. "I'm sorry." You say."It's alright." "Don't you hate them?""Hate them? Not at all. I see nothing in them, I cannot find in myself. I pity them, because they suffer.""And you don't suffer?"He smiles and shakes his head. "Pain is not the same as suffering." He says, and he leaves.The winter passes quietly. Still no response to the letter, but Iacopo was able to scrounge up winter clothes and several bundles of thick blankets which the slaves take turns sharing. You and the slaves in your crew move into the new barracks, much to the envy of the others. Because of the work and because of your own part in it, the other slaves now look up to you as a kind of leader. For a while, it almost feels like you're among your old squad again. No one fears you anymore.The work during the winter months is light and without even the construction project to occupy them, the slaves are restless and bored. A few of them, who have peeked in on your nightly practice sessions with the rake and the hoe, want you to teach them how to fight.This request, you...>Flatly refuse. Such an act might be misconstrued by your masters as one of rebellion.>Grant wholeheartedly. There's no harm in a little sport and, if nothing else, it will help pass the time.
>>3455392>>Grant wholeheartedly. There's no harm in a little sport and, if nothing else, it will help pass the time.
>>3455392>>Grant wholeheartedly. There's no harm in a little sport and, if nothing else, it will help pass the time.I sense an uprising
>>3455392>Grant wholeheartedly. There's no harm in a little sport and, if nothing else, it will help pass the time.Damn, more time has pased and nothing from the Lt. We definitely lost our waifu, the pain....oh the pain.
>>3455406Have faith anon, most marrying age young men must have died in the war, if by a chance she is still there we can marry her and take her someplace we can be employed as soldiers, I doubt farm life will suit us after all this.
>>3455392>set up training and help.make another barrack
>>3455392>Grant wholeheartedly. There's no harm in a little sport and, if nothing else, it will help pass the time.
>>3455392>Grant wholeheartedly. There's no harm in a little sport and, if nothing else, it will help pass the timewe should pass on what little wisdom that the second lieutenant passed to us
This request, you grant wholeheartedly. There's no harm in a little sport and, if nothing else, it will help pass the time. The training is divided into two parts: conditioning in the mornings and sparring practice in the evenings. A few of the slaves even band together to make some wooden practice swords, complete with guard and grip. The drills and spars inspires a sense of camaraderie among the slaves. Names and personal histories are exchanged. Gone are the shadows that hung over everyone, gone the melancholy and dejection. There is now even the occasional laughter ringing through the fields.As for Archer and his gang, confined to the old barracks and allied with the peasants in their mutual hatred of you and your crew, they antagonize the latter as much as possible. While you've given strict instructions never to use what you've taught against the other slaves--for fear of alerting your masters to these activities--a few fights break out anyway. Your men win these easily and for the moment the opposition goes quiet but you decide to halt the training sessions just to be safe. It is around this time that a response to your letter finally arrives. Iacopo himself returns to read it to you. He looks much better. His scars and bruises have had time to heal and he's put on a little weight but his demeanor remains ever the same. The letter is from the lieutenant himself and is nearly three pages long. He spends the entire first page thanking you for saving his life and apologizing that he wasn't able to get to you sooner. He says that the levies have been sent home, including your squad. Richter was given a small reward for his part in saving the lieutenant's life. Jerod and Briton, who the lieutenant does not speak of in fond terms, disappeared after the battle and he's not heard from them since. Word was sent back to your family and returned. One of the pages is actually in the broken script of your dear sister Carolina. She says that the family is doing well. Your father has fallen sick with a cough but is expected to recover. Your mother frets over your return. Your older brother has just had his first child, a darling little girl. And of course, Silvia, your devoted fiance, is still waiting for you to take her hand. And of all the things in the letter, the words "And she (Silvia) wept the hardest for you" are the sweetest by far to hear. Your sister crafts an expert plea for your return, citing her own desire to see you and hinting at some marriage prospects of her own. The lieutenant follows up on this by saying that he'll be coming for you as soon as the roads clear of snow. As the winter has already passed and the roads only have the light traces of their mark, that could be any day now.You are so overcome, that you embrace Iacopo in a tight hug and kiss him on both his cheeks, even as tears run down your own. "Thank you. I'll come back for you. If it takes me the rest of my life I'll find a way to get you out."1/2
>>3456561"If you but pass on this good deed to others, then it is enough." He says. "No one, but god, knows when the rain will come, so let us provide shelter if we can." He clasps his hands in prayer and you put your own hands over them and kiss them. But god it seems, is also a cruel prankster and his jokes have the most brutal punchlines. It is that very night, as you run your eyes through the letters again, not knowing their meaning but obtaining a measure of comfort from the smell of their ink and from the weight of parchment, that a few of the other slaves in the barracks crowd your bunk and request a short audience. One of the younger ones, Janko, a mere boy who has become something of a right-hand man to you, speaks for the rest. The training, the sense of brotherhood and their accomplishments in the last few months have made them bold. Put simply, they've been planning an escape. They've fashioned weapons to fend off the guards at the border, they've charted out a route to the coast, they've even pooled together some money for the journey. All they want is for you, their chief, to lead them to freedom. And to this you respond...>That you'll have no part in it, but that you wish them good luck.>After some great inner struggle, that you'll help them.>That this is a foolhardy enterprise and they should forget about it immediately.
>>3456565>After some great inner struggle, that you'll help them.
>>3456565>That this is a foolhardy enterprise and they should forget about it immediately.The life of a bandit is not one any good man should endure.
>>3456565>That this is a foolhardy enterprise and they should forget about it immediately.Escaped slaves are treated harshly if this setting is anywhere near realistic, and even slaves who fail to report a revolt/escape may be held just as culpable. Nothing good of this will come for any party involved.
>>3456565>>That you'll have no part in it, but that you wish them good luck.
>>3456565>That this is a foolhardy enterprise and they should forget about it immediately.how many are there? in our crew?I'd like to try and get them free, we'll need good men, tell them that their time will come, but a life of a bandit and escaped slave is no better than here, and here they can train and improve
>>3456565>That this is a foolhardy enterprise and they should forget about it immediately."We can't win. Trained though you may be, those guards are far more skilled than the average disgruntled slave, not to mention better armed, better fed and in larger numbers. Everyone will either die or wish they were dead. If this is to happen it must be far more discreet."
>>3456565>That this is a foolhardy enterprise and they should forget about it immediately.At least tell them they need more time to prepare for their attempt. More conditioning, more sparring, better weapons, better knowledge of the area, and a better plan. Their current plan will only lead to suicide.
>>3456710>how many are there? in our crew?About a dozen slaves. Vs. a half-dozen guards patrolling the border and another two dozen stationed in the castle.
>>3456565Doing this on the winter is suicide, if they want to even have a chance to survive they have to wait until wrthe snow melts
>>3456565>That this is a foolhardy enterprise and they should forget about it immediately.Escaping in the middle of winter with no supplies or winter clothing is suicidal. Tell them they should wait till its warmer so they don't die of fucking exposure in the elements and thus stand a chance of success. Of course, by then we'll be gone but that doesn't mean we cannot train them until then so their odds are improved.
>>3456565>That you'll have no part in it, but that you wish them good luck.Ideally they wouldn't rebel until _after_ we had left and told the LT that the castle might be weaker than usual for reasons. I think we might want to tell them the truth and also say we're training them further.
>>3457282this is actually a good idea, we can train them further but we are going outhopefully they'll understand, without us they would never have this chance
Dumb. Archer knows you helped train the slaves. Archer has an axe to grind. These slaves are ready to revolt with or without you. Once the dust settles, who's going to be blamed? Us.
>>3456565>>That you'll have no part in it, but that you wish them good luck.Also explain our situation and why we can't help them, but continue to train them and go over the plan. Delay their escape to after we leave.
>>3456565>That this is a foolhardy enterprise and they should forget about it immediately.Not exactly forget though. We should either train them more and figure out how to get some better gear or go about it in a more covert way.
And to this you respond that this is a foolhardy enterprise and they should forget about it immediately. You lay out the reasons as clearly as you can, urge them to wait until the weather turns, until they're better trained, better equipped, better informed. But Janko just shakes his head. "Until the weather turns? We're clear winter boss. We have our weapons and we're trained and we know where we're going.""I told you so." The men part to let Archer and two of his men through. And between them, a gagged and bound Iacopo, stumbles to the floor. "Ask about what the priest gave him. He's leaving you. He's been ransomed.""That's not true. Boss, wouldn't do that. He's just looking out for us, that's all." Says Janko. "Right boss? That's what it is?"You're fully up on the bed now. Iacopo's face is bleeding and his left eye has swollen shut like someone had smashed a rotten plum over it and left the pulp behind. "What have you done?" You say. "He's not going with you, cause he's already getting out. And if the rest of you go, then that bumps up his ransom up. Right, "boss"?" Says Archer. "Let him go." You say, dropping from the bunk. Archer spits through his non-existent front teeth. Half the skin on his face sags like it had lost all elasticity, so that you can see the bottom white of his eyes, while the other half sticks tight to the cheek like normal. He can only smile with one side of his face. "Boss, that's not true right?" Says Janko. "You're not leaving us?"You don't answer. Janko purses his lips, like a child who's trying to stop himself from crying. "I was going to tell you...but I didn't know that you were--" Janko cuts you off. He and Archer exchange a look and Archer tilts his head, as if to say, "well, it is what it is". And then Janko takes the rest of the slaves and they retrieve their weapons from beneath their beds--not wooden practice swords, but spears with sharpened points. Killing instruments. You plead with them to reconsider, but none of them can even look at you. "Good luck." Says Archer, as they file out. A few more of Archer's men, waiting at the door, enter and bar it behind them. Then it's just you, Archer, six of his men and Iacopo.Archer doesn't say anything. The sounds of the men outside, the shuffling footsteps and muffled voices, soon fades into nothing. An hour passes in complete silence. Archer's men have formed a ring with you and Iacopo in the center, closing off all exits. One of the men at the window, comes and says something in Archer's ear. "They're going for the north road. Which is good," Says Archer, looking straight at you while he speaks. "That's where I told the guards to wait." 1/2
>>3459269You feel ice in your veins, everything dropping away all at once. You make a move to go at him, but Archer takes out a knife and lays it at Iacopo's throat. "Just relax for a second." He says. "Relax. It's not what you think. Yeah, in a few hours they'll be on their knees and the master will come by and lash a couple of them and maybe kill a few--relax." Knife again, pressing up at Iacopo's chin. "My guess is that he won't though. The master here seems to be, let's say, a business-minded kind of guy. Killing a bunch of healthy slaves for rebelling is like salting a field because of one bad harvest. My guess is he'll just go for the leader.""Your grudge is with me--""God! You just have to be so noble all the time huh? You and the priest both, just a couple of regular peas. Well, whatever you might think, you're no different from the rest of us." He works the knife through Iacopo's ropes and takes out the gag from his mouth. Someone hands him one of the training swords. He snaps it in half and throws the two pieces at your feet. "When the master gets here, he's going to want a ringleader to hang. Now, full disclosure, I'm going to tell him it was the both of you working together--but, maybe one of you changed your mind at the last second. That in itself isn't worth much, but maybe you tried to stop the other one and maybe there was a fight and maybe one of you...won. I'm sure the master, business-minded as he is, won't want to waste a man who was ultimately loyal. Especially if the proof of that loyalty was something he could see and touch." Iacopo, rising unsteadily to his feet, never once regards the two broken bits of wood on the floor but keeps his eyes on you the whole time. "It's alright," He whispers. "Just remember to pass it on." He closes his eyes.And with no recourse left, you grab the weapon on the floor and...>Kill Iacopo>Kill Archer and his goons
>>3459271>Push Iacopo to safety so they don't kill himAnd if we have time after,>Kill Archer and his goons>Ask Iacopo to help
>>3459271>Kill Archer and his goons
>>3459271>Kill Archer and his goonsThe only thing that is going to pass on are these salty bois
>>3459271>>Kill Archer and his goons
>>3459271>>Kill Archer and his goonsArcher was the leader, we tried to stop him peacefully but....and what kind of plan is that from Archer? why would the leader stay behind while the others escape?no matter, if we can escape this barn quickly we have to warn the others to not go to the northen roadas an strategy, we can approach Iacopo pretending we are going to kill him and then stick the broken wook into Archer's throat, while picking up his knife to deal with the others
>>3459271>>3459269Ah gee, look at that.>Kill Archer and his goons
>>3459804I meanwhat the hell Archer think we are?He betrayed every single person he came in contact with and he expect us to believe that if we kill Iacopo it's for realzies and he won't betray us or tell the lord that we killed his prize knowledgeble slave or something? does he think we hit our head on a rock to believe a single word he says?
>>3459835What? I already said this would happen.
>>3459271>Kill Archer and his goonswhy does this sorta shit keep happening to us. what'd we do to the higher powers to make them so pissed at us. murder Archer first in an appropriately gruesome way to stun the others, then start cutting them all down. We'll pin the blame on the dead.
>>3460348I noticed too, we must have offended the gods
>>3460365Or God, we don't know how religion works
We should start to consider about eliminating threats beforehand in the future.
>>3460439>tfw the cursed byrnie caused all of this
>>3461076But we aren't wearing it anymore are we?
>>3461086It's bad luck tho.
>>3461129Well then we get someone else to wear it then or let it get looted by some shady people... Odds are someone else is wearing it by now so our luck should even out soon enough.
Just a heads up that I probably won't be able to do an update today (trying to all-nighter some important work). I'll try to make up for it tomorrow or this weekend. This arc is nearly finished anyway will probably conclude ITT if it doesn't die. Obligatory, "how's my QMing so far" plug and image request. Thanks for reading.
>>3461209I like itI'm suprised at the no rolls but I'm kind of enjoying being taken a long on the journey rather then falling pray to the cruel god that is rng.I think your writing is very good although it seems like the world is out to get us at times. I hope we get home and have a loving time with our wife.I hope you stick around till the end. Thank you for writing!
>>3461209I don't mind dice so long as its not too frequent, but its refreshing to see a quest go without it.Writing is good and satisfying for the most part, though I wish we had a tiny bit more backstory at the start. I hardly care about returning to our bride to be outside of in-character motivation and goals.
>>3461209I'm really liking it, our punished character is growing and its fun to see the changes it makes on him, from the frightened farmboy, to the responsible leader, passing to the bitter prisioner and now the hopeful prisioner, I'm very eager to see if we manage to get our wife and get a job at soldiering or form our own merc company.
And with no recourse left, you grab the weapon on the floor and kill Archer and his goons. It doesn't even enter Archer's mind that you're not going to obey him or that you're willing to fight 7 on 1 or that, even with those odds, you will win. As you gutted him with the spear and wrenched the knife from his grip, Archer's last thoughts must've surely harped on the bitter irony of giving you the means to his own destruction. The others are caught by surprise, stunned, trapped in the hesitation of those that have never actually taken a life. They aren't trained and so each man goes down without even putting up much of a fight. Iacopo, witness to such tremendous, one-sided carnage, begins to shake. "What have you done?" He says."I saved your life.""And you killed seven others.""Your life is worth more than--""You know nothing about my life!" He screams. It's the first time you've seen the ex-priest lose his composure, there are even tears in his eyes. "I was willing to die. And if my death would have spared the lives of these men, and your life...it was an atonement."But the priest's spiritual quandaries are the least of your worries. Seven slaves dead, your own hands stained in their blood and another dozen slaves heading toward a certain fight with an uncertain outcome. Clearly the best course of action is...>To go after the runaways and try to escape together>To stay here. It's too late to catch up, and you'd only incriminate yourself further trying to do so.
>>3462444>>To go after the runaways and try to escape together
>>3462444>To go after the runaways and try to escape togetherto warn them that the north is no go
>>3462444Quickly run to them, tell them not to go north because the guards are waiting for them, and then run back and pretend that we had nothing to do with the escape attempt at all.
>>3462444>To go after the runaways and try to escape togetherlmao Iacopo thinks we did it for him
>>3462653Supporting. This is the only real option
>>3462444>>To stay here. It's too late to catch up, and you'd only incriminate yourself further trying to do so.
Clearly the best course of action is to go after the runaways and try to escape together. Iacopo decides to remain for reasons that are clear only to him and god, and resists all your efforts to try him convince him otherwise. You run as hard and as fast as you can, but you're no Richter. You arrive too late. The slaves have all been captured. A few of them are injured and Janko himself has been knocked unconscious but none are dead. The guards are not only armed and armored, but a few are mounted. And once they spot you--which in the slowly creeping light of the dawn was inevitable--escape is futile. You're rounded up with the rest of the crew and one of the slaves is even idiotic (or malicious) enough to call you boss right in front of the other guards. Back at the barracks the lord has arrived and has taken Iacopo in custody. Iacopo once again tried to take on the blame, claiming that he was the leader of the rebellion. The lord struck him once across the face with the flat of his palm and told him not to speak for the rest of the deliberations. The guards deliver their report, mentioning that Archer had tipped them off, that they had caught you coming from the direction of the barracks, that they had overheard one of the slaves calling you boss, and that Archer had even mentioned you by name. The lord is immediately interested in you. You'd never actually seen him up close--not even in the battle. He's around the same age as your father, white hairs fan above his ears and his face and body seem to be a physical expression of his success and wealth. His cook, at any rate, must be the best in the kingdom. His eyes are steady and the color of ruined copper but his brows are expressive and move wildly when he speaks. "You killed these men alone? Unarmed?""I was armed," You say. "First with that, then with this." You nod first to the half-broken piece of wood sticking out of Archer's stomach and then toss the knife (which you had hidden in your boot) at the lord's feet. The lord picks it up and studies it--it's not even a real knife, just a scrap of metal with a piece of cloth wrapped around one end to serve as a handle. "So you kill seven able-bodied slaves--surrounded, mind you--and you come out unscathed, with not even a scratch on you. Who are you?""I am as you see me.""Who were you?""I was a..." You can't bring yourself to say farmer anymore. "A levy." You say."I should hang you," He says. "I should hang the lot of you. What a colossal waste of resources. What a loss!"You take a last look at your former crew, young faces, old faces, all bowed to the earth and...>You feel nothing. Let them hang. But you have the letter and the promise of ransom and you'll pay your way out.>You feel a kinship stronger than even the longing for your home. If it means the men will be spared, you'll take full responsibility
>>3464323>You feel a kinship stronger than even the longing for your home. If it means the men will be spared, you'll take full responsibilityJust like Second lieutenant would do
>>3464323>>You feel nothing. Let them hang. But you have the letter and the promise of ransom and you'll pay your way out.
>>3464323>You feel nothing. Let them hang. But you have the letter and the promise of ransom and you'll pay your way out.We told them they were dummies. They made the wrong choice. Let's not die for their sins.
>>3464323>>You feel a kinship stronger than even the longing for your home. If it means the men will be spared, you'll take full responsibility
>>3464323>You feel nothing. Let them hang. But you have the letter and the promise of ransom and you'll pay your way out.Perish not for the sins of fools
>>3464323>>You feel a kinship stronger than even the longing for your home. If it means the men will be spared, you'll take full responsibilityIf there' should one thing we don't like, it's two-faced backstabbers.
>>3464323>You feel a kinship stronger than even the longing for your home. If it means the men will be spared, you'll take full responsibility
>>3464323>You feel a kinship stronger than even the longing for your home. If it means the men will be spared, you'll take full responsibilityPlot armor please work
>>3464323Call them idiots that should have listened to us and stayed put, why trust Archer? He was a piece of shit.Can we speak our version of events to the lord? And tell him that we have no desire to orchestrate an escape since we are are being ransomed? Assuming he knows about the random part. It was Archer who plotted this.
>>3464323>You feel a kinship stronger than even the longing for your home. If it means the men will be spared, you'll take full responsibilityTell him that they are fools, but our fools, we take responsability because we trained them as a form of exercise but that emboldened them, Archer took advantage of that and decieved them to have a chance to gain favor with the lord and kill us at the same time, since we are the ones responsible for his disfigurament.Its not stronger than our will to go home but its the right thing to do.Farewell Silvia, may we meet in the nect life, since this one saw fit to punish us endlessly
>>3464323>>You feel nothing. Let them hang. But you have the letter and the promise of ransom and you'll pay your way out.Also explain to him that the escape attempt wasn't our idea and we tried to discourage them.
>>3464323>You feel nothing. Let them hang. But you have the letter and the promise of ransom and you'll pay your way out.We aren't getting hung for these idiots.
>>3464323>You feel nothingWe tried to warn them.
>>3464323>You feel nothing. Let them hang. But you have the letter and the promise of ransom and you'll pay your way out.We told them this was a bad idea.
>>3464323>You feel a kinship stronger than even the longing for your home. If it means the men will be spared, you'll take full responsibilityHe'll never leave us to be ramsoned after we killed 7 slaves, that rescue by the Lt was gone the moment we killed Archer.
>>3465350Also, the lord is not going to hang us, we just proved far more useful as an instructor or soldier, and farmhands are way more easy to come around than those with our skills.Maybe another way to go home.
>>3438306Excuse the intrusion, do you prefer the titlecard on the current OP or the one the previous thread for the quest timeline?
>>3464323>You feel a kinship stronger than even the longing for your home. If it means the men will be spared, you'll take full responsibilityYou guys are being cunts. You tried to flee after having told the other slaves that they shouldn't do that exact thing. Now, after having thrown yourself into the same boat as them when we could have stayed and proven ourselves as a possibly loyal retainer, you want to use them as a get out of jail free card. Dick move.
>>3466324Quest timeline? Anyway, the previous one is the official OP. I only used this one because you apparently can't reuse images while the other thread is still on the board.
>>3466324I like this one better, but I guess you can rotate between them
>>3466378Thanks for the tiebreak. I'm gonna close the vote here so I can write the update.
>>3466378Fuck off faggot.
>>3466382Thanks and the is the timeline >>3466511
You take a last look at your former crew, young faces, old faces, all bowed to the earth and you feel a kinship stronger than even the longing for your home. If it means the men will be spared, you'll take full responsibility. The lord is merely amused by your sense of loyalty but promises he will not hurt the slaves. They weep when lord orders you to kneel. And when the lord draws his sword and you close your eyes, Silvia's face appears as a fragment of memory, a pair of lips, a disembodied gaze, an unreachable, unattainable abstraction of beauty. You are not like the 2nd lieutenant who had made peace with himself and could smile through to the end. But neither do you cry. The sword's edge braces the bottom of your throat. A second mercy--a nearly painless death. But then the sword falls away. "Seven dead." Says the lord. "And you really killed them?" You say nothing, for the lord is only thinking aloud. He sheathes his sword. "Tie him up. He'll recoup what he's cost me." And thus at the precipice of god's embrace, he turns you around once again, places his hand gently on your shoulders, and pushes you back into the merciless world. The lord gets more than seven slaves worth from your sale, far more than he would have gotten even from your ransom (which when you mentioned it, he merely laughed and dismissed). You are sold not to another lord or nobleman, not to toil in fields nor keep a house, but to a Charon, a so called "keeper of the dead". Your life is now forfeit for the sport of kings and queens, peasants and provincials. You will now die in one of the many Arenas scattered throughout this kingdom. You are now a gladiator.TBC in next thread
>>3466659damn, will we ever see Silvia?, kek, at least when the Lt. comes to look for us he will know of our destiny, maybe he'll tell our family
>>3466659Thank you as always for running.