> Previous threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Retainer%20Quest'The King commanded Nan ZhongTo fortify the frontier land. How his chariots rumbled!How his flags waved!The Son of Heaven has charged usTo guard the unruly borders...'-- Classic of Poetry (10th century BC)You are Meng Hongyang, general, sworn brother of a prince, and now the lieutenant-commander of an army and a fleet - 5,000 of the best men the Southern Han kingdom has to offer, or so you'd like to think. It ought to be more, really. You had hoped to gather more men from the large, numerous forces here at the Leizhou Naval Garrison, so that when you - or rather your superior and sworn brother Wenxun, the Second Prince - launch the expedition against Annam you might have more ships and men to count on. But so far, judging by the quality of the officers you've encountered at the feast - people drinking heavily even before the feast has started, getting all frisky with the girls in public view, and the superiors refusing to rebuke their subordinates - you're no longer so sure that having these men would help you. Still, for the moment, that's not the concern. Instead you're looking at two things - a painting of a beauty, and a sample of her handwriting. You have to say, the calligraphy doesn't look very girlish - there's a certain element of manliness in there, a certain... power? Anger, even. 'I think,' you say, not about to break Wenxun's infatuation too early, 'I think this princess, odd as she might be, is the lady for you.''And you'll be the man to get her for me.' He glances at you. 'Or would you rather get her for yourself and have me look elsewhere? Let's talk as brothers here...'You're reminded of that Han-era song. 'Don't tell me about the kingdom and city collapsing! Where else shall I obtain a beauty like this?'> Duty overwhelms all, Wenxun. > Of course, as a brother, I have my desires too... > Other.
>>28554670>Duty overwhelms all, Wenxun.Also slap him. No seriously.
>>28554670> As a brother, I have my desires too. "But of course, your wishes must come first."
>>28554709>>28554799> Could I ask the reason for slapping him? Is it because he's stupid in thinking you might want a girl, or to make him focus on expedition instead of hot Turkic chick? > Or something else, of course.
>>28554709>>28554846Don't slap. Slapping is for women.
>>28554846Not the anon who posted it, but I just thought it would be funny.
>>28554670>>Duty overwhelms all, Wenxun. I would rather not slap him, but making sure he is focued on the expedition would be good. We also don't need a "girl" at the moment unless they have a strategic mind like us.
>>28554940Of course I say that and it would be just our luck that the princess has a sharp mind.
>>28554870>>28554869>>28554799>>28554743>>28554709What kind of a question is that? Of course - as a brother, but also as a subordinate - your duty to Wenxun overrides a lot of things. Then again, just as you're about to answer, you can't help hesitating. Maybe, speaking as a brother, it would not be totally honest to say you have no desires. 'Of course I want things for my own, Wenxun,' you say, sitting back to try and relax yourself. 'But no doubt duty overrides private desires. I have a duty towards you.''And I towards you, no less,' he says. With anyone else you'd know they say it the way Cao Cao might, merely as a ruse to inspire loyalty; but with Wenxun you have a good mind to think he means it. Maybe that's not such a good thing sometimes. 'It's not like you don't need a wife, you know. You know Father deliberately refused to adopt you merely because he wanted you to keep your surname, to keep the Meng family line alive. So you had better have some heirs, or he'll give you a good kick up the-''Wenxun, stop it!' You stand up and walk over, hand raised, making sure your coming attack is signalled. Wenxun springs to his feet, still grinning, blocks your swipe and launches a powerful straight punch which you deflect. You ward off a low kick, break another one mid-move, and then soon you are exchanging blows in a routine, circling around the room. 'Keep your mind on the war!''I *am*!' He locks your arm before his chest, but you exhale sharply and shrug him off. 'Swords out, I dare you!'> Challenge accepted!> Let's not be as silly as the officers we're decrying. > Other.
>>28555068Fighting dreamers! Pull out that sword.
>>28555068>Challenge accepted!aww yiiss.
>>28555068> Challenge accepted!Well this should be fun and just so you know I couldn't help but smile while reading that last part.
>>28555140>>28555210>>28555216You glance around, quickly locating all the important things - swords, yours and his; also the valuable-looking vase, and that really nice looking rock sculpture. 'Yes, yes. But wait.''Wait what?' Wenxun flashes a smile. 'You scared?''The hell I am! Take it outside! Or you'll bump against something and cry like a little girl.' You run to grab your sword as he does his, and both of you charge for the door only to stop just at the threshold as it swings open. 'After Your Highness.''After Your Excellency.'Soon you're standing in the normal setup, 10 paces from each other, scabbard in one hand and sword in the other. Come think of it, you haven't duelled with Wenxun with a sharpened sword in some time. And seeing as you'd both like to be in one piece for the upcoming battle, maybe... > Request a scabbard-on duel. > Heck, you both know restraint. Blades in the open!> Also, do you go on the attack immediately, or wait to catch the blow, or begin moving?
>>28555417>Heck, you both know restraint. Blades in the open!go on the attack. We have a waifu to brood over.
>>28555417> Heck, you both know restraint. Blades in the open!Go on the attack as a test to see how much he has improved.
>>28555417Our strategy shall be to feint thrusts multiple times, then sweep kick him for a quick win.Also, scabbards are for pussies.
>>28555448>>28555491>>28555539Heck, what are you, 12? Well, no. You're 21. Anyway, the point is, you'll need to-'Are you waiting for me to come to you? I thought we're launching an expedition?' Wenxun strikes a low, easy pose, holding the scabbard like a second blade covering his hips while the sword - well, a dao - stands before his chest. 'You...' well, asking for any concession would just be for women now. Remembering your footwork, you rush up in small steps while smiling, knowing Wenxun, knowing he will attack. Sure enough, you barely cross halfway to him before he bounds out in a straight pace and sweeps at you, once, twice. No worries here. You step to the right, parry his third sideways cut easily, and then you're upon him, cutting from above several times until he is forced to disengage and push your thrust away. 'Now that's more like it!' Speak for yourself, Highness! You don't bother replying except with your feet and arms... > Roll d100. > Feint and exploit his sides. > The way to break a city is to ram down the door!> Sweep from below to destabilise Wenxun. > Other.
Rolled 54>>28555678I stick with what I said before>Sweep his fucking legs out
Rolled 22>>28555678> Go low.
Rolled 42>>28555678>> Sweep from below to destabilise Wenxun.
Rolled 11>>28555678Shit these rolls are mediocre. I for one suggest we bullrush in.
>>28555719>>28555736>>28555744>>28555748>>28555812>>28555829> Oh dear, oh dear. > 54 vs 65: close defeat. You move in, formulating a plan as you go, watching for Wenxun's legs. He tends to get caught up in the fighting itself when you practiced as kids, and to forget the stability of his stance; of course, that was years ago, but you feel quite confident that you can still exploit this weakness. Well, normally, you would be able to. You know what, blame it on the liquor you were forced to drink this evening - yeah, let's go with that. Feinting a stab and then a wrist-driven flurry of slashes, you advance into position to sweep one of his pillars away, but in the excitement of the moment, you suddenly realise you've gone in quite a bit too close. As your blade clatters against Wenxun's scabbard, your right foot shoots out, aiming for his knee; but instead he *advances* so you step in between his stance, then cuts at you. Blocking, you disengage and then catch his blade properly before sweeping out, but Wenxun deftly leaps back and comes at you again with a downward slash. Another chance! This time, though, your sweep misses again, and when Wenxun balances himself on a single foot, it also places all his weight and energy downwards, pressing the blade and your scabbard against your shoulder and forcing you to back off again. This one is a little awkward; your rear leg buckles intentionally, and you sweep upwards to clear your retreat before rolling on the ground and recovering. Wenxun simply stands and points the sword at you. Urgh. Much as you've saved yourself, it seems he's outfoxed you rather... ... also, you realise that someone, if not more people, are watching from outside the courtyard. > Call it here. Honour is satisfied. > Continue! (Write-in with attack plan.)> Other.
Rolled 98>>28555956Throw your scabbard. Straight kick to throat.
Rolled 85>>28555956Continue! Plan Sweep from below has failed.Time to switch plan feint and exploit
Rolled 8>>28555956>>28556014Well shit. On the slim chance I beat this, I'd like to do a bunch of diagonal windmill cuts to unbalance him, then try to sweep again.
Rolled 95>>28556014Throw scabbard as a distraction? I can agree with.Kick to throat? Let's not try to damage the prince.
>>28556014Combat pragmatism? In China? I seriously hope you guys do do this.
>>28556014Okay, I like the idea but the "straight kick to throat" seems a bit extreme. Maybe straight kick to his arm that is hold the sword? Take out his weapon so he can't use it.
>>28556014>>28556051>>28556055> Good spirit!> 98, 95 vs. 69: certain victory! You glance sideways to see that the courtyard gate is slightly open, and that people are whispering audibly outside. 'Don't push me!''Shh!''SHHHH!'... well, so much for being stealthy. They don't sound like men, though - wait, where would women come from, seeing as this is a naval garrison? What the hell is with the discipline here?!'Hey, don't get distracted,' Wenxun says, his blade tip nodding slightly. 'Yield, or-'You charge forward and begin spinning, arm out straight to bring the blade down on him - powerful, if slow, strokes that Wenxun has no problem parrying. As you push closer to him, you get faster, and then your sword suddenly withdraws midway while you lower your body, right leg shooting out to sweep-NOPE, THAT DOESN'T WORK. Your leg is blocked at the knee with a jolt of pain, and before you can recover your stance Wenxun's blade comes forward for you. You block it with your scabbard, but then he lifts the blocking foot and sends it, sole-first, into your stomach, knocking you back into another humiliating roll. You hear Wenxun laugh. 'Oh, please, if you try it once and it doesn't-'> cont'd.
>>28556307Just as planned. Instead of recovering stance, you roll sideways and fling your wooden scabbard at him mid-sentence; while he parries that easily, your wide, upwards sweep that immediately follows is too fast and powerful for him to block. He dodges, and *that* destabilises him properly. Leaning backwards, Wenxun uses the scabbard to right himself, but with that out of the way he can only use his dao to hold your dao at bay, leaving your foot free and arc, more widely still, right for his throat and jaw- You easily manage to stop before hitting him, and rest your foot on his shoulder while he stands still, both his arms far out of position. That's a pretty clear win for Meng. That's also a death sentence for anyone who isn't a Prince's sworn brother, of course. He laughs and shoves your foot away. 'Fair enough! Well thought out, Hongyang!'They're still whispering outside, as he salutes you. > Humility. > Machismo. > Ignore the spectators. > Call them out. How dare they?> Call them out obliquely.
>>28556352> humility> call them out obliquely
>>28556352>Humility>Call them out obliquely
>>28556352> Humility.> Call them out obliquely.
>>28554670Xingzhe! I remember when you did nobleman quest. I was saddened when you stopped running it, i rather enjoyed it.anyways, just thought i'd say hello and thanks for the quest last time around before i go to bed. I'll probably read the archives of this quest and join in next time you run a session.For the Bitches!-Anon
>>28556456> Thanks very much! Do join the next time. I'll announce it at @Stratocumulus1, so follow that for updates. > Also, typing now.
>>28556456Actually, I too remember Nobleman quest, I kinda forgot about it though, sorry.
>>28556406>>28556388>>28556369You glance again at the gate, mentally giving them one last chance to get out, but they don't seem to be aware of that. Indeed, you can hear them talking now, as if the end of the fight gives them licence to speak their mind more clearly. 'That was quick!''Do you think he saw us?'Pffft. You pick up your scabbard, slapped several feet aside by Wenxun - good parry, that - and then salute him, but not without a little wink. He winks back. Well, it'd take a deaf person to not notice those people. 'Well, were we truly alone, I might be inclined to boast about my skills. But since we have many distinguished guests, I think Your Highness is merely being merciful to me. 'Oh, he does know!''They know! Let's go, let's-''Nobody move,' Wenxun says, his voice suddenly stern. 'Come in.'There is a pause before the door opens, and you glance out. There are a few soldiers, but there are also a few other people, commoners dressed simply - both men and women. 'Y... your Highness! Please have mercy!''Where in the world do civilians come from in a naval base? Who are you?''We lowly commoners run the shops and markets in the naval base, Your Highness!' They kowtow. You see some of them are quite pretty, young girls, probably hired to aid sales in a place full of young, strong men. Wenxun glances at you. Markets in a naval base - that's a security threat, and technically illegal... 'What do you think Hongyang?' He says, softly. > Reprimand the vendors. > Let them off; it's the officers' fault. > Have mercy. You're only here for a day more after all. > Other.
>>28556706>Spare the rod>But beat the officers later
>>28556706> Reprimand the vendorsIts not the girls' fault, but security risks cannot be tolerated.
>>28556706>> Let them off; it's the officers' fault.They are the one who should know better than to allow such a thing.
>>28556706>Let them off, it's the officers' fault
Rolled 44, 89, 90, 15, 41, 84, 64, 7 = 434>>28556706Let them off.I have a feeling "if" we dring the soldiers along with said officers we are going to have to instill fear (disipline) back into them.We could dismiss the men from the base and talk to the commoners about the base. We have what we have seen, but it would be interesting to see what the common people think since they have been here longer.
>>28556823Dammit dice!I don't need you at the moment!
>>28556840>>28556823>>28556804>>28556800>>28556767>>28556745> Going gambling somewhere, Brutus? I'm shocked, *shocked*. You glance over the lot of them and sigh. Five, ten... fifteen... *eighteen* people! And eleven of them girls as well. This can't do; Leizhou Base is a naval garrison, not a bloody market town. Then again, if they're here to do business, then it's their livelihood as well... A little memory, of you hugging your father from behind as he rides at the head of a column into the prefectural seat of Fengzhou, by the Pearl River. There had been a bandit infestation, and you had been sitting in the camp, listening in fear as your father fought off two waves of the troublemakers before personally leading an infantry charge. There was already news, probably true, that many in Fengzhou were forced to support the bandits; you can recall the muddied, terrified faces which stared at your father's steed as you clung on. And then you remembered the sheer joy and relief on their faces, when your father - against His Majesty's orders - publicly ordered a fire to be built, and all the records of the bandits' activities burned so that no one in the town would be implicated in their crimes. 'Why, Daddy? They did wrong.''Who doesn't do wrong? But their lives are hard enough as is.' He patted your head as you watched the flames rise, the people rushing into the street to thank the officer. 'We're here to free them, not to kick them around harder. If you can do something without burdening people, Hongyang, always remember not to burden them.'> cont'd.
>>28556957You shake your head a little at that memory and turn to Wenxun. 'Your Highness, they are here because their livelihoods are here. The law should be enforced, but not upon them...'Wenxun says nothing, but merely nods and turns to the people. 'Leave us.''T-thank you, Your Highness! Thank you, Your Excellency!'You can't help feeling a little prick of your conscience, watching them scurry away like frightened rats. 'We must really rebuke the officers. Not to mention Chen Fan!' Wenxun says, as you hurry to close the door. 'To think he has been in command of this garrison for so many years, and submits reports saying everything is fine and talking about the military drills they're holding. We must teach them a lesson.'> Agree with Wenxun. The officers here must be taught discipline. (If so, how?)> Disagree. We have bigger things to worry about, and there are always risks in disciplining the powerful. > Other.
>>28557057Pick one out of ten officers and have him beaten with a switch. One lash for every market stall. Probably fire/execute Chen for lying, too.
>>28557079We have a war to fight, I don't think we should do this. Are we authorized?Such extreme actions have a habit of coming round to bite our ass at the worst times.
>>28557094That's why we're only doing one out of ten. I'd rather have nine scared men for each angry one. Also, this kind of obfuscation on the CO's part is pretty much unacceptable unless he produces a PHENOMENAL explanation that can be verified through multiple sources.
>>28557057They are going to "show off" for us tomorrow correct? I think we let them do their show...and then we take over to really work them. Disipline must be restored.Nothing "too" major should be done at this time, but it will be something we remember.Actually..."our" men are on break Xingzhe correct? How long would it take to gather them up and have them show the others how "real" soilders behave.
>>28557185> Men of Wenxun's fleet, WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?I like this.
>>28557195>Wake up early and organize the men for a "real" show.It's gong to be even better for our men's moral to know they are the best.
>>28557195>>28557185>>28557116>>28557094>>28557079> I'll be off, heading home. But I'll be back ASAP. This is a difficult one. Wenxun has been given a jade-carved Tiger Token, which technically gives him authority over even local commanders if he should choose to exercise it. If the two of you should wish so, you might even be able to treat local officers or soldiers as being in contempt of military law - and everyone knows what is the only punishment that fits that crime. Then again, the Tiger Token is given for a reason, and it's not to go around executing people in your own naval bases. Much less an admiral. Much as you'd like to proclaim the unity of the Southern Han, and the absolute obedience of its subjects to His Majesty and the Court, you know the truth - which is that between them, the high-ranking officers who hold military appointments do have the capacity to make so much trouble for the Court that action against them is unpalatable. Or outright dangerous. 'They must be taught a lesson, no doubt... but I think certain options, such as physical punishment, probably ought not to be used.''Chen Fan's reports over the last few years, taken as a whole, could constitute deception of the court and contempt for military law.' Wenxun is careful to say that only after he's ushered you into the room and closed the door. 'And now that we know-''Then he needs to be punished, but probably not now. We could recommend those punishments, or execute them after the campaign is over. But now when we need their grain...''Damn.' Wenxun sits heavily on the chair. 'Forgot about that.'> cont'd.
>>28557301You look at Wenxun, trying to think of a way. Those men need to be disciplined, that's for sure. But if they can't be disciplined by force - well, not right now - then perhaps the only way left for you is to discipline them by example. Perhaps they're not beyond a bit of humiliation? And anyway, if it turns out they *are* beyond humiliation, at least you know what to do after you beat the Annamese. If. No, Hongyang, be confident - when. 'Wenxun, how about this? I can recall our troops who are on shore leave right now, and gather them tomorrow. Chen Fan's troops are holding a demonstration, and we could use that opportunity to show them how an *actual* fleet fights and sails.'His face brightens at that idea. 'Yes. Yes. That would be a subtler way of doing things...''And besides, knowing what we do of our 5,000 men, I'm sure they'll put on a good show. Remember the formations they've already learned.' 'That's good. That's good. All right, then. Hongyang, go get Guo Xuyou, and the two of you will prepare the fleet.' Wenxun nods. 'And tomorrow, I'll propose a little contest between us. Are you still good with your swordsmanship? Will you mind if I rope you into a little duel?'Sigh. What's new, eh? You nod and head back to your room, send a message to Guo, and he quickly replies saying he will have them all rounded up by the Hare's hour, and assembled by sunrise. Done and done. > Do anything before having a little rest? > If not, we'll skip to morning for next post.
>>28557408>Do anything before restingPractice martial arts, so we can get bonuses in the duel tomorrow. You can still timeskip, of course.
Is this a one time thing, or does /tg/ discuss Warriors Series things often? I'm giving you guys a look-see as /co/ says we're bros.
>>28557488I can get behind this.
>>28557509This has nothing to do with Koei except the OPic. And no, we are not east asian genocide general.
>>28557408Maybe write up a quick little speech for when we have our men ready? Something about "We are sorry for interupting their leave but we saw something that horrified us." Slightly exagerate the state of affairs for the men and say that THESE people want to join us in our grand conquest. Do they deserve to sail with the best of the best?They think they are good, but I say lets put them in their place! We will show them who the best soilders are!. Etc etc.Basically pump up the men for "show".
>>28557468>>28557488>>28557509>>28557513>>28557519>>28557533> Sorry, people. Can you believe I'm still not home? > But I'll be around for some time. This isn't Koei, but it's MORE REAL. (Kinda.)Tucking the notification from Guo Xuyou into your sleeve pocket, you then scribble some notes as to what to say to the troops when you meet them at dawn. You've always known the Xingwangfu garrison, guards of the King and of the all-important capital city and port, to be the best; but this is surely the time to show the rest of the kingdom what a real army is like. After this, you do a little stretching and smile while recalling the details of your little duel with the Prince. Wenxun is good, of course. But you are as good. Maybe even a little better, heh. Heading out into your own little courtyard, you notice the standard complement of poles and swords and broadswords laid out in racks all around, and pick up one of the spears, ruffling its red tassels. King of the Weapons, First of the Skills of War - the spear. With this thing, armies have been slaughtering each other across the Central Plains since time immemorial. You do a few routines of the spear and staff, which wears you out sufficiently that you are about to go to bed at ease. > cont'd.
>>28558350The cheery chirping of a lark rouses you from a nice, restful sleep. Oh man, you don't get sleep like this swinging about on a hammock on board a ship. As usual, you've rolled onto your belly, and stretch happily while turning around and sitting up-WOAH. Your peripheral vision registers a figure, and you turn and reflexively flatten against the wall, looking at it. No, not it - him. It's a young servant boy, clutching a broom in his hands and toppled over asleep on the floor; and when you shake him he quickly springs up and swings the broom at you with such speed that you blocked three blows before trapping the bamboo shaft. 'Steady, boy! It's me! Who are you?'He's got pretty delicate features for a boy, and his eyes go round as he registers who you are. Quickly, he lets go of the broom and falls on his knees. 'I'm sorry, Your Excellency! I mean, your servant is sorry. Please have mercy. I was here just to sweep the floor last night, and was told to sweep your room as well. I mean, your servant-''Yes, yes. Save it with the servant talk.' You return him the broom. 'You're pretty good at sweeping, it seems.''It's a useful skill, sir.' No doubt... > Do/say anything to the boy? That was... that was some pretty fast swinging of the broom. You've got dust all over your sleeves, but more importantly you can discern some routines you did last night. > If nothing, you can go on out to inspect your troops. Wenxun has probably gone off to talk to Chen Fan.
>>28558402"Where did you learn to sweep like this? Almost like a soldier?"
>>28558455You watch the way the boy holds the broom. His hands are pretty rough, but... the broom leans forward slightly in his hand, and being someone who holds spears all the time, you recognise someone who's holding one with ease. But why would a servant boy...?Maybe by servant boy he really means he's a soldier who's doing hard duty as punishment, though sweeping is as light a hard duty as you can think of. 'So, where did you learn to sweep like this? If I didn't know better, I'd think you were a soldier.''Oh, uh... I... I just panicked, sir.'He looks down, and you decide it's not really worth the effort to ask much more. 'Well then, keep practicing wherever you learned it from...'Guo Xuyou, it turns out, is already waiting for you at the camp entrance, saluting the moment he sees you. He's even got the carriage ready - competence, or perhaps sucking up, you can't really tell. Well, no complaints there though. In no time at all you are looking from the rickety wooden platform of a side parade square, down at a body of perhaps 400 or 500 men. 'The rest, officer Guo?''They're preparing the ships, sir. A little scrubbing to clean them up. I told them to do it. But the officers are here.''Good...' you step up front, take out the few slips of prepared notes, and clear your throat. > Roll d100 for encouragement. +10 bonus so far for points already given. If you have some more points, give them; I'll add bonuses as appropriate.
Child prodigy get? Neat. We don't have long, but let's ask if he can demonstrate one of our forms from practice. Never hurts to find talent.
>>28558557Ohgodohgodohgod, I'm not good at speeches, someboy saw something inspiring, or at least steal it from something good!
Rolled 60>>28558557"I'm sure I'm know the only one who's noticed how far the standers for *proper* soldiers have fallen this far out in the middle of nowhere. In their folly they think they're safe and neglect their discipline, in favour of sloth. A *true* soldier knows that they can be called to battle at any time, and a *true* soldier knows to always be ready for the call. No amount of admonishment or punishment can show them how to be *true* warriors, so *we* are going to show them how to act and *proper* warriors, and *proper* men!Today, we are here to show them how a *true* soldier fights, not as conscripts, but as a the best of the best, today we show them the worth of king's men by showing them how to properly fight!"
>>28558761>I'm sure I'm not the only onegoddammit.
>>28558698>>28558708>>28558761>>28558770> 60, 70 + 20: great success!'Men of the fleet!' You say, gripping the handrails. Bloody hell this platform is wobbly in a breeze, but you're not about to show that. 'You may have observed how the soldiers of Leizhou have become lax. In security they have become lazy. In idleness, they have become complacent. They call themselves soldiers, but in their folly they have lost the skills that make them fit for the ordeal of war.'But you, men of Xingwangfu's fleet, you now have the duty to show them what a proper warrior looks like. I command you to man your ships with the vigour of tigers and dragons, and to follow your commands and drills like men heading into the thick of arrows and stones. The men of Leizhou's naval garrison need a proper example of what men are, strong men, fighting men. And I am confident you will give them that example.'There's a moment of stunned silence - did you just go on the platform to cuss out your own kingdom's men? But just as you wonder if you've really put your foot in it, one of the young officers raises his fist in the air. 'Sir! We are willing to be that example!'That cry rouses the others, and soon the whole crowd is yelling that in unison. 'Sir! We are willing to be that example!''Good!' You holler at them. 'Right! Good! Then all aboard ship, and await my orders!'The reply is a resounding roar as the men rush for the gangways. You, meanwhile, quickly make your way off the platform. 'This thing needs strengthening, before some admiral falls off it and becomes a burst melon,' you mutter. 'Let's go to the Prince, Guo.''Of course, sir.'> cont'd.
>>28558829It's easy to tell where the Prince and the rest of the officers are; all you have to do is to head towards the main parade ground. From a long way off, you can already hear drums and music and all the noise of war - or at least of being promising there will be war. Chen Fan is resplendent in ceremonial armour, with a polished breast mirror that nearly blinds you when he turns to face you. 'Your Excellency!''Your Excellency. I apologise for leaving the feast early.' Let's see if he responds to that barb. You see that most of the officers are also here, in their full regalia, on the (much sturdier) platform. It's nice to know the inspection platform is well built, when the actual training platforms are three planks away from a collapse. 'No, you didn't miss much I promise.' Everyone else laughs at that, and you take your seat next to Wenxun. The parade itself goes pretty well, actually; the soldiers are well lined up, well dressed, properly equipped, and put on a nice performance of the 3 part spear routine that you are all familiar with. 'Thrust!''HUAR!''Parry and Straight!''HUAR!''Tiger Block and Advance!''HUAR! HUAR!''Pretty fine troops, sir, are they not?' A lieutenant takes the liberty of asking you. 'And, of course, excellent instructors...'You sit there, trying to balance protocol with honesty. Please. Anyone could wave a spear about with half a month's instruction. But whether they *actually* can *fight* with a spear...> Yes, they're pretty good. Kudos to the instructors.> Excellent instructors, you say? I'd like to test that...> Let's move on to another drill. > Other.
>>28558876>OtherCompliment them on how well drilled they are then wait until the end, and in a 'sudden urge of patiotism and fealty' have our men follow their exact routine to show respect to our lord. Afterward we hint to our brother to order our troops to spar, or suggest that our toops intermingle to 'promote harmony and encourage fellowship.' Naturally they shall do this by sparring.
>>28558960You take your time about formulating a response before turning to the lieutenant and the other officers, standing there trying to be nonchalant. 'Of course. A fine instructor turns out the best soldiers, and this instructor must be fine.'Amid the general laughter, you turn to Wenxun, who merely shakes his head in bemusement. The routine continues, meanwhile. If waving a spear about in the right way is easy, then so is hacking at air with a sword and shield; but as the routines progress into ranged weapons, and finally even an attempt at demonstrating horsemanship, you can see the mistakes beginning to pile up. Many of the people detailed to launch arrows don't even assume a proper stance; at least a quarter of them, you realise, are drawing the bows like flying ducks, with their arms alone. Someone fumbles a crossbow shot, and it is only by sheer luck that it's pointing straight up and the bolt thumps harmlessly into the water. No point saying anything now. As you watch, though, you sense someone behind you, and turn around to see none other than Lian Pi, that advisor who was playing the flute in your courtyard earlier. He is hanging his head in apparent shame. Well, as a northerner who presumably has seen proper archery, you aren't surprised... 'Where are our men?' Wenxun whispers, leaning over to you. You wonder if you should summon them yourself, or let the Prince do the honours... you know that, once either of you draws your sword and waves it thrice in the air, the expeditionary fleet will eventually get the signal and sail in to disembark its troops. > Stand up and announce your own demonstration, waving your sword. > Tell the Prince the signal and let him do it. > Other.
>>28559849> Tell the Prince the signal and let him do it.
>Retainer Quest running Friday.>Starting at midnight.Curse you moon time! Well screw work. I was the only one who came in so there's nobody even here to PROMOTE me for reading 4chan.>Let prince signal.
>>28559849>> Tell the Prince the signal and let him do it.
>>28560156>>28560016> Well met!You lean over. 'Wenxun, stand up and wave your sword in the air thrice.''What, just that?''Well, do it however you may.' You nudge him. 'Maybe try not to be too hostile about it.'He nudges you back, and then stands up, which compels all the other officers - and you - to stand and salute. 'Officers and men of Leizhou. You have done... very well, in this demonstration.''We thank Your Highness for his generosity and high praise!''However.' Wenxun stops them. 'However, seeing as we are all gathered here to show our loyalty, courage and skill, it would be remiss of me if I demand a demonstration from Admiral Chen, without giving one of my own. As such...'You smile as Wenxun draws the sword, waves it twice, and the officers stare between the two of you while in the distance a horn sounds one blast, then another. Then you get to your feet as well, as the fleet, positioned just within earshot in the anchorage, proceeds to move into Leizhou Harbour in formation, all drums rolling and flags waving from the decks. As if cowed by the spectacle alone, the Leizhou troops begin to clear to the sides of the square even before your men arrive in it. As the ramps are slammed onto the ground and a horde of your troops charges out, the difference is clear. Your men also have good armour and equipment, but they're nowhere as clean as the Leizhou garrison's. Some of the people splash into water while drawing their backswords, before charging ashore. They're not clean men; they're *fighting* men. > cont'd.
>>28560282Wenxun moves up to the head of the platform, and you follow him, glad to steal the show. Behind you the admirals and officers are also standing, but they are conspicuously silent as the soldiers of the expeditionary fleet line up. 'We are the fighters of the Great Han! We await Your Highness' orders!''Men,' Wenxun replies softly, already knowing what this means. Even without arrangement, the standard signals ought known; as he swings the sword to the right before raising it and pointing forward again, all the men sheath their swords and ready their spears. 'Begin.' It's the same three routines as the Leizhou garrison, and it's the same spearplay. But this time round, no one is hollering any cues as to what the next move is. You simply move over to a nearby drum, pick up the sticks, and sound a loud rumble; and then you get to watch the officers gape as 2,000 men move through the routines. Even Chen Fan looks slightly shaken by this. 'Your Highness possesses heavenly soldiers and godly officers. Your servant and general cannot possibly compare,' he readily acknowledges, when the routine is over. Meanwhile, you can see the rest of the officers looking down, clearly humiliated. And some of them looking visibly frustrated, too... > Call it at this. You've done enough. Get what you want from Leizhou, and go to war. > BTW, Leizhou's garrison stands at 8,000 men, and they have sufficient grain to last themselves for nine months, so there's plenty you can take. > Demand a sparring match with the instructor, just to press your point. > Ask the Prince to read the riot act to the Leizhou officers. > Other.
>>28560337> Demand a sparring match with the instructor, just to press your point.
>>28560337There's only so much face we can make them lose before it becomes an open provocation. Better take their grain and leave it at that. They get the point.
>>28560435but that's so pointless. I think we should just > Call it at this. You've done enough. Get what you want from Leizhou, and go to war. get them to give us 3 more months of food so we have 6 months rations.
>>28560435>>28560459>>28560462You consider maybe asking to spar with their instructor, or to get the soldiers to spar, but it doesn't take too long before you realise that's not a very good idea. Seeing as Chen Fan has already conceded that your troops are superior - not that it's likely to change his behaviour, you suspect - to do too much more would be just quite provocative. Wenxun clearly agrees with your sentiment. As the mutual demonstrations wind to a close, Chen Fan gives a gift of a box of pearls for the prince, and an iron war-fan for you - wow, this is actually quite cool. Even though you haven't the faintest clue how to use it. 'Thank you, Admiral.''Now, regarding what you would wish of us...''The troops can stay in Leizhou,' Wenxun says, which makes some of the officers behind Chen Fan sigh with relief. No actual combat for them, then! This time even the admiral turns to glare at his subordinates. 'But we will need provisions. Three months' grain for us will be sufficient.''Then I am glad to be of use in that regard.'Chastened indirectly, and rather getting the message, the Leizhou officers are quick to prepare your departure; just after noon, all of your stuff is already packed into the flagship. You can go whenever; the winds are a little light now, though. Wenxun sits on his command chair, squinting in the sunlight. > Would you like to do anything before you go? > In terms of personnel, you can recall two people who might be worth talking to: Lian Pi, and that boy who was sweeping your place and knows spearplay.
>>28560528Also, if you choose not to do anything, we will set off for sea, which would mean determining your destination. > No time to waste now. Round the Leizhou Peninsula, minimise stops, and head straight across the Bay of Tonkin for Phoenix Island. > Speed, but caution. Head for Phoenix Island directly, but make use of coastal routes. Being in the lee of Leizhou could make this pretty slow going, though. > Head for more reinforcements or supplies, or to recruit more people, in Hainan, where the Second Prince has presence and experience. > Incidentally, now that you are given an official rank, you are allowed to hire retainers. Someone of your rank and position ought not to hire too many, of course, but it's possible to if you so wish.
>>28560551Personally, I'd like to learn more about that young boy that shows potential of being much more than a mere servant of the broom
>>28560528Are we sure we trust Lian Pi? I kind of remember him being shady as fuck.>>28560551Safe but fast advance. Although we've heard of foolish haste in wars, victory has never been associated with long delays. There's political considerations too. We can't let this campaign staff on while enemies surround us.
>>28560625*Drag on. Questing on phone is suffering.
>>28560644>>28560625>>28560609As if sensing what you're thinking, Wenxun looks over at you. 'Considering someone you might hire for your retinue?''Hmm? Well...''You know, it's good that you hire some retainers,' he says, more thinking aloud. Wenxun glances around him in the wardroom before going on. 'After all... if we have to end up in a fight, we will need people - good men, competent men - to man the offices and lead the troops...'Reluctant as you are to acknowledge that possibility, it's there. Wenxun's right. 'You know that retainer in the naval base who seems to do a lot of the paperwork?''The northerner?' Wenxun shakes his head. 'Suspicious.''No, that's what I think too. Why would a northerner run all the way here - and become a retainer? If he's from the Imperial Court up north, you'd think he would be in Xingwangfu instead, not out here... he could be a spy, couldn't he?''And what would the Imperial Court want to know about Leizhou? I think they have plenty more to worry about up north.' You frown. That doesn't ring true and you know it. After all, the Jin Dynasty was only founded due to a disgusting deal between the emperor, Shi Jingtang, and the Khitan barbarians of the Liao Dynasty. In exchange for Khitan military support, he not only declared himself the adopted son of the Khitan 'emperor', but also gave away sixteen prefectures in the northeast of his lands, rendering the Jin practically indefensible from the north. But, then again, that's not your problem, nor Southern Han's. Too far away. 'Well. There's another boy I'd like to see...'You give the request, and after a short wait the boy is brought to you, looking bewildered. His hair is a little messy as he's bundled onto his knees. 'Your Highness! Your Excellency... what's... what's wrong?''This guy's pretty good at the spear,' you tell Wenxun. Wenxun looks very dubious. Or intrigued, you can't tell. > Tell the boy to duel you. > Talk to the boy. (What say?)> Other.
>>28560743I say we ask his name at least. Maybe a bit about him too. But I do think a little duel to see if he has the true potential we saw earlier would be order.
>>28560743>Show me your moves.
>>28560794>>28560857Sounds good to me.
>>28560857>>28560794>>28560875Anyway. You turn back to the boy, who still looks confused. 'So. What's your name?''I, uh, I haven't got a name, sir. They just call me Spring Breeze in the camp...'Spring Breeze? That's a pretty odd name for anyone. 'So... if you haven't a name, do you know where you're born then?''They said I was from the town. They being some of the older people in the camp. I was found here by them, apparently, and brought up in the camp.''I take it they taught you spearplay as well, then?' The wonders of the older generation of veterans. Well, things aren't as they used to be, as usual... Breeze nods, and you make a mental note that you might want to give him a name soon, a proper one. But for now you simply reach for two spears on a nearby rack, one for yourself, the other for him. 'Come on, then.''What? But, sir-''Orders,' you say. 'His Highness wants to see what you can do.''... yes, sir.' He grips the spear, a little reluctantly, but then slides into stance with a certain precision. You do too, and then move forward, thrust thrust sweep. Wenxun's eyebrow rises as Breeze easily slaps both your thrusts aside, then makes use of the sweep to slide under your spear shaft and push up with his feet. You straighten your spear to block him, but he retreats so quickly you can't even catch him with the followup. ... wait, this guy is better even than you thought. > Roll d100 for any combat action, unless you're stopping combat or something. > Go in for the attack. > Defence. See how fast he is. > Other.
Rolled 37>>28560914>DefenseLet's string this out to take his full measure.
Rolled 3>>28560914>DefenseI want see what he can do
>>28560973>>28560985>>28560986Buddha I hope this is roll under.....
Rolled 27>>28560996Eh, it's not. But the way I see it, these shows the kid is indeed fast, so this kinda works out
>>28560996>>28560986>>28560985>>28560973> Seriously... 49, 37 vs. 85: faaaaail. > Also, I'm exhausted and off to bed. But if the thread is alive I'll continue tomorrow morning (moon time). > Thanks for playing, people!Well, no problem. Both of you circle each other in the space, which is ample but not particularly large. That's good for defence - you just need to keep your cool, slap his spear aside and then await your chance. In any case, the spears aren't headed with anything, just a cloth-wrapped metal weight dipped in powder to show any hits. Not a problem at all, Hongyang. Except it doesn't work that way. The boy's footwork... what the hell? Who taught him this? He begins thrusting at a much longer distance than you expected, leaning forward, and while you slap that aside your own spear vibrates with the strength behind that push. When you recover and ready, he is already stepping fast to the left, the spear far out of your twitch range and heading for you. Damnit! You back up and swing, parrying him, but after every one or two strikes he simply sidesteps you, closing and closing. Eventually, it happens; you push one thrust away and attempt to sweep the spear into his shoulder, but he simply dodges and thrusts again, the spear bumping lightly against your abdomen and making you shudder involuntarily. Shit! If this were real, you'd be a goner... 'Bravo!' Wenxun says, jumping to his feet, and going to the boy, who quickly withdraws and falls to his knees. 'No, no, get up. Hongyang, I take it you have a bodyguard now or something?'> What do/say, Hongyang? Holy shit, that is some good spear play. You didn't even last 15 clashes...
>>28561053>85Well shit this kid is pretty dam good. If he is up to it and will stop throwing himself to his knees ever time we talk to him he would make a great bodyguard.Maybe ask the boy if he has met Lian Pi and if he has what he thinks about the man.
>>28561053Adopt the kid. Loyal and good at fighting is almost too much to ask for.
Rolled 59>>28561053I'd be quite the fool for not having one as skilled as him be one, wouldn't I?
>>28560996OK next time we pray to the yellow emperor or something. Buddha is really phoning it in.>>28561142House Meng is in bad enough shape without adopting bastards. After he makes a name for himself maybe, but not now.
>>28561142So... we Dong Zhuo now? Yisssssss.
>>28561372The younger and more desperate he is, the greater the personal value it will be. This translates into loyalty and devotion. Also, I believe Hongyang has been building up his reputation as sort of a cool customer, so this kind of spur-of-the-moment decision will convince others that the kid is something special, to be feared even.>>28561383Well, one can only hope. But this is retainer quest, and I doubt we will be making any big powergrabs soon. Also, we should probably take steps to make sure what happened with his adopted son doesn't happen to ours.Not adding a vote, just defending my previous one.
>>28561526He'll appreciate it. But remember right now we are the Meng. Diluting the family prestige further by adopting a fatherless laborer would seriously endanger our reputation at court. And if I recall they already hate us there.
>>28561053Lets make that kid our personal bodyguard and protégé.If we are asked about his origin, we can embelish reality and say that he was raised by mystical beings in the forest.
Dear QM, I'd love to participate in your Quest more, but Retainer Quest starts when people in my timezone are going to bed.
>>28561142This seems like the nice thing to do. Also, happy this quest is back.
>>28561142>>28564880Guys, don't you think you're getting ahead of yourselves? So far we've known him for *one* day and he beat us in a spar. Seriously, we barely know the kid, trying to adopt him this early is hasty in the extreme.
As you rub the powder off your sleeve, that is something worth pondering. A bodyguard, perhaps... an adopted son, even? Then again, you are all of 21, and the boy must be only five or six years younger than you. Besides, you hardly even know him, other of course than the fact that he's handy with the spear. Much as adoption is a common way of gaining retainers in this day and age - you know that of course - not every person is like Guan Yu or Zhang Fei in their loyal nature. Enough people have adopted sons who then ate them in the last two decades that you don't even need to think back to the glory days of the Tang Dynasty for example. Still. You look at Wenxun, who's dragged the boy up by his rather slender looking arm. 'Oh, of course, Your Highness. I'd be glad to have a bodyguard like this.''A... a bodyguard? What, me?' He seems hardly to be able to believe the news. 'But...''I advise you accept, young man,' you say, and grin. He blinks, then nods. 'C-certainly, it would be a great honour on, uh, on my part!'> Give him a name? Even without adopting him as a son, you can always give him the Meng surname and perhaps consider him a cousin. (Not a brother, though, since you are yourself the adopted child of the King. You can't just add members to the royal house like that.)> Just give the basic idea of a name and I'll figure something out in Chinese. > Also, confirm the course of a coastal sailing route to Phoenix Island? If so, roll d100. > If not, refer to >>28560551.
>>28566462>Give him a name?>initially fought us with a broomJackie Chan
>>28566462Name: Lei Fang>> Also, confirm the course of a coastal sailing route to Phoenix Island? If so, roll d100.
>>28566462I want to give him a name, but i'm terrible with names.Were we going to skip over Lian Pi? After seeing him at the troop "display" he seems like someone stuck in the position he is in. He was at least smart enough to not give away Chen Fan who he was serving.
>>28566840He's a bit dubious though, in his current position. We can come back to him later I guess.
Rolled 51>>28566868True, we can come back to him but maybe have a word before we depart? Anyway, Also, confirm the course of a coastal sailing route to Phoenix Island? If so, roll d100.
Rolled 50>>28566462>> Also, confirm the course of a coastal sailing route to Phoenix Island? If so, roll d100.
>>28566697>>28566907>>28566965> 59, 51: not distinguished at all. > Typing.
Regarding Lian Pi, you're not sure you want him in your retinue, talented as he might be. Well, then again, even if you change your mind you know where to find him, so that's not a problem. 'Spring Breeze is a strange name for a bodyguard,' you say, and motion for the boy to pick up a real spear and stand behind you. Wenxun laughs aloud at the image, but you ignore him. He's just jealous he hasn't got a bodyguard... well, technically not. In fact he's got about 80 soldiers assigned to the entourage. 'How about this. I'll call you Meng Fang.''Fang isn't a great name for a bodyguard either, if you mean fragrance.''Well, is he my bodyguard or yours?' But you laugh to signal the lack of hostility in that, and Wenxun goes along as well, punching your shoulder, before shoving you out the door to order all ships slip moorings. Between you, the plan is to sail along the coast for security before striking west at Phoenix Island - or whichever island presents an opportunity for a base, really. Guo Xuyou, while slightly doubtful that the winds would be too good, doesn't raise much objection to that plan. > cont'd.
>>28567465Unfortunately, as it turns out, his misgivings were justified. At first things seem well, but once in the lee of Leizhou's hills and landmass, the winds slacken; while the lighter junks can easily make way, your flagship isn't exactly a light junk, and soon you're sailing at a crawl and resorting to oars occasionally to make progress. It takes a whole day before you sail past the fishing town at Linglu, and even then it takes forever just to sail *past* that place. This is... annoying. There are a few ways you can handle it, of course. Guo Xuyou, in the vanguard with the light ram-ships, could move on ahead. Or you could insist on staying in formation... > Tell Guo to go on ahead. Rendezvous at Lianzhou Port. > Stay in formation. Tell Guo to slow down. > Stay in formation. Tell the oarsmen to keep at it; you want to keep up with the vanguard. > Also, do any practice or drills while you're caught in this little doldrum? Or do anything outside the daily routine in general?
>>28567480> Stay in formation. Tell Guo to slow down. What kind of drill should be done ideally without wind?
>>28567542Well, combat drills wouldn't really require wind. Things like shooting the trebuchets or hand-to-hand combat.
>>28567480> Stay in formation. Tell Guo to slow down. >>28567542I would say it would be the best time to practise against being boarded and counter boarded.
>>28567480Stay in formation, Guo should slow down. We should start discussing tactics for what to do when we get to Phoenix Island. I'd say we occupy it and fortify it, if it's a good position.
>>28567480>> Stay in formation. Tell Guo to slow down.
>>28567687Combat drills sound good, throught wouldn't it be better to practice shooting the trebuchet when there is wind? I would imagine wind would affect a bit how the trebuchet is aimed.>>28567697That sound good too. Boarding and combat drills.
>>28567542>>28567697>>28567713>>28567767>>28567818There's no dispute about this, no matter what Guo says about the speed of his ships. Wenxun's not about to sacrifice the cohesion of the entire formation to save a day or two of sailing time, so you give the order for the vanguard to slow to the speed of the main fleet. This provokes some grumbling from Guo, though he executes your order promptly. But as your junior officers in the vanguard soon report, the crew in the ram-ships are also agreeing with Guo on this. Then again, that's why they're the sailors and you're the commander, isn't it? But even both you and Wenxun are beginning to feel the frustration on board your own ship, especially as the clouds which covered your voyage to Leizhou clear and leave you at the tender mercies of two hot, sunny days. When the third day looks to be shaping up into a hot day as well, and you suggest a combat and boarding drill, the news is met with not a little whining from the ranks.'It's a hot day, and the oarsmen are already tired from having to work really hard,' one of the senior mates takes the risk of reporting to you. 'It seems that if you order them to do a combat drill, sir, they might get quite frustrated.'> Hold off on the combat drill, let's make for Lianzhou first. > They won't be grumbling when their drill knowledge keeps their brothers and them from dying! Battle doesn't wait for cloudy days. Carry out the drill! (roll d100)> You can modify either order with additional actions or orders, if you so wish. > Other.
Rolled 67>>28567893Continue the drill. Our men are professionals, they've already shown this. The should know above all that combat can come when least expected and often when you're at a disadvantage.
Rolled 21>>28567893>> They won't be grumbling when their drill knowledge keeps their brothers and them from dying! Battle doesn't wait for cloudy days. Carry out the drill! (roll d100)
>>28567893Command the senior mate for his courage.We should hold off until the conditions are more favorable. They are already tired and frustated, lets not make things worse.We could offer them to do this drill in exchange of an additional day of leave when we reach next port.
Rolled 97>>28567893Commence drill. Anyone who is found tarrying is to be given three lashes.
Rolled 97>>28567893> They won't be grumbling when their drill knowledge keeps their brothers and them from dying! Battle doesn't wait for cloudy days. Carry out the drill! (roll d100)
>>28567995>>28568000>>28568005>>28568007>>28568018> Commence drill seems to be the consensus, but there's two interesting opinions on managing the crew. > Do you rule the crew by incentive (one day extra shore leave at Lianzhou)?> Do you rule the crew by coercion (five lashes for anyone caught tarrying)?
>>28568018>>28568007The dice has chosen.
>>28568049let them have a day off the did good on showing the garrison forces up on short notice
>>28568049>> Do you rule the crew by incentive (one day extra shore leave at Lianzhou)?
>>28568049> Do you rule the crew by incentive (one day extra shore leave at Lianzhou)?Really, they will need that day after the drill we will put them through.
>>28568079>>28568082>>28568099The senior mate's report to you (Wenxun is taking a rest, it's your shift) is concise, and quite brave. You'll make a point of that. 'Officer, I thank you for your courage. That you'll stand up for your men is admirable.''Thank you, sir.' He sounds hesitant, as if waiting for the but. Well, of course there's a but, you don't intend to take his recommendation. You get to your feet. 'But I cannot do as you request. It's not that I'm heartless. It's war that's heartless. If we meet the enemy and have the advantage of them, or if the enemy chooses to attack us on a stuffy, sunny day, are we supposed to tell them to wait for more pleasant weather?''N-no, sir, definitely not. We are to fight them where we want and where we must.''Then you have my answer, officer. Since we have to fight no matter the weather, then we have to train for fighting no matter the weather.''Certainly, sir.' He's clearly disappointed, but biting that back. 'But, if I may make another daring request, perhaps if the soldiers are to be, uh... if they are to be rewarded...'He makes a good point. After all, the men had their shore leave interrupted by a midnight order at Leizhou, and they did their job admirably nonetheless. 'Yes. I will give them back their evening of shore leave lost at Leizhou, and add another day to that. Two days of leave on Lianzhou, once the Wind Goddess consents to carry us there. Will that do?''Certainly, sir! Thank you sir!' He salutes, and then hurries off. > cont'd.
>>28568239> Double 97s: Brilliant success! > Also, a rundown of the fleet's skills: > You know the basics of the Fish-scale formation, a close-order formation emphasising all round defence and lines of fire.> You know the basics of the Crane-wing formation, an attack order emphasising breaking enemy fleet columns and defeating them in detail. By the time the combat practice gets arranged, it is already noon. Wenxun gets up, and you move to another fortress-ship which serves as the boarding boat, while Wenxun commands the defence ship. Over the afternoon, as the sun batters down upon all of you mercilessly, you repeatedly order your formation to close and lay the boarding ladders and ramps, and Wenxun repeatedly gives orders to repulse the boarders. The resulting fight, as hundreds and hundreds of marines swarm around on the decks beating each other with sticks, is surprisingly vicious, and several times you have to call a halt and scoop up the people dropped overboard. Indeed, at one point a flying arrow (padded, of course) strikes you square in the shoulder. Well, if that had a real head, you would be a goner! But the fact that you're out there commanding the operation gives heart to your troops, who prove surprisingly enthusiastic once the red mist descends on them. 'Right, it's sunset. Time to hold back.''Sir, the crew say that night is cooler and they want to practice more.'... Sure. No fighting this time; the men repeatedly drill grapple and boarding and repulse, until it is almost the Hog's hour. Then you call a halt, and collapse into your hammock... > Your men's morale is Excellent. > Your men have gained confidence in boarding and close-range combat. > Timeskip to Lianzhou incoming. Roll d100.
>>28568428> If you wish, you can exchange the confidence in close range combat for an additional level in the Crane-wing formation. It's either more confidence in their general ability, or a greater level of expertise in a certain combat routine. Your call.
Rolled 22>>28568428> Timeskip to Lianzhou incoming. Roll d100.
Rolled 46>>28568428>> Timeskip to Lianzhou incoming. Roll d100.>>28568448I prefer confidence.
>>28568448I like confidence in close range.
Rolled 75>>28568428>> Timeskip to Lianzhou incoming. Roll d100.
>>28568459>>28568493>>28568507>>28568535>>28568547> 86, 75: phew. The winds pick up later that night, so that you actually arrive in Lianzhou a little ahead of schedule, in the morning rather than at noon. But even from a distance, as land closes and your men cheer, you have a hunch that something seems... off. Guo Xuyou, who's ahead of you and has a much better view, is quick to confirm your hunch with a pigeon message. 'It seems Lianzhou has been attacked,' it says curtly. Wenxun blinks when you show him the letter. 'Attacked? What- oh, don't tell me.''It could just be pirates,' you say. As you get closer, the damage becomes clearer; indeed, fires are still burning around some of the destroyed piers and warehouses, they it seems they've got the fire mostly under control now by endless lines of people pouring water around the port. By the time Wenxun and you get off the ship, the local defence commissioner is already waiting. 'Your Highness. Sirs.' He's a young man with a beard that seems rather out of proportion to his age, going right down to his collar. Impressive. 'Last night, a force of about ten or fifteen light ships sailed in and attempted to take over the port. We fought them off, took several heads, but lost eight men in the fight. While escaping, they fired the piers they could reach.''Damn!' Guo mutters. 'If only we had arrived in time!'You could interpret that as a subtle slur against your command to keep in formation, of course... > What do/say? Wenxun's gotten the men to help with pouring water and putting out the flames. So much for shore leave!
Rolled 20>>28568739There is no way to know if the light ships would have arrived in time. We should focus on what we can do to help them now.
>>28568739"Hm. Perhaps if we were to station some of our men to keep a closer watch... I would only be too glad to partake in this endeavor. Brother, what say you?"
Rolled 4>>28568739No reason for shore leave if its been burned to scorched earth.Find some volunteers to track down the attackers, but no more than 3 of our fastest ships. We want the to fan out a bit and find their base of operations or failing that, the heading they were under to infer an educated guess.By no means are they to engage the enemy unless they can all find and simultaneously overwhelm a single ship apart from the rest of the enemy fleet. Prisoners are useful, but uninjured men and intact ships are worth more at this point.
>>28568739Would it be possible to catch up with the attacking ships? If possible we should track them down as fast as possible.
>>28568864>>28568846>>28568833> Just to elaborate on the situation a little more. Upon further questioning, the commissioner tells you that they've captured a few prisoners. They haven't talked to them yet. When you ask when the ships left, he estimates it was about a quarter past the Ox's hour. Uh... damnit, it's already the Dragon's hour now, three hours hence. If they were light ships riding what little wind there is they might be long gone. Then again, you do have light ships too... > If you need to know anything more you can ask the commissioner. Meanwhile, as the fires are being put out, the men begin to gather, waiting for you to give the release command. Thankfully, it seems the damage has been slight; Lianzhou has an additional stone wall between port and town, with the happy result that the town has neither been raided or burned. All the restaurants and music halls and bars and brothels are still there, which you suspect is probably all your men can think of right now... > Give the release command? You can ask for some people to stay, of course.
>>28568739If the attack was last night and it's only morning we can still catch the raiders if we hurry! Onword!
>>28568928Ask for volunteers to catch the raiders with our light ships
>>28568928If we have prisoners, and they're likely long gone, release the men. They're likely exhausted and need the rest or we'll be facing an underequipped force with a tired one, and be far worse of in that clash.Between our interrogations and the fortress commanders experience, we'll likely know just where they came from and what we can expect.
>>28568928ask for volunteers to follow the raiders
>>28568928Ask for volunteers, but only those in good condition. Even if they find the enemy fleet, they must be strong enough to be able to outrun them back to us. Our numbers mean everything against this raiding fleet, best not to lose our quickest ships this early in the operation because the crews couldn't row fast enough to escape and relay the message.
>>28568972>>28569008>>28568942>>28569043You ask for volunteers to catch the raiders. Three light ships' crew will do. Wenxun seems a little doubtful, but he goes along and asks as well. It takes a long while of cajoling before you manage to get enough men to crew three light ships, and assign them each to spread out and search for the raiders. 'Hongyang, the commissioner just said there were 15 or 20 of the pirates,' Wenxun says. 'Sending three ships against them is suicidal.''That's why they are not to engage under any circumstances. If you see them, trail them, and then return and report. Do you understand?'Those men nod and run off. Then you give the release order, to general cheering; the crowd of men disperses into Lianzhou. Well, so much for *your* shore leave. Now there's work to do again. The prisoners are brought up to you in chains while the two of you are served tea and some cakes in the main hall of the Lianzhou magistrate's office. The magistrate, who also looks pretty young for his appointment (then again who are you to talk), stands aside as the men are forced on their knees. You can smell them from fifteen paces away. 'Who is your leader? Who has ordered your raid? Speak!' The magistrate steps forward and yells at them. One of them looks up and spits on his robe, and two guards kick him to the floor and continue kicking him. Neither is sparing any strength; after losing eight men to the raiders, it's no surprise they're enraged, but soon the floored man is spitting blood as they hammer away at his abdomen. 'Yes, yes, yes, STOP!' Wenxun yells. > What do/say? You can hear him yelling in Chinese. But then many an Annamese speaks Chinese too.
>>28569142>What do/say? You can hear him yelling in Chinese. But then many an Annamese speaks Chinese too.I think those men need a little bath. Since they came from the sea, I am sure they would appreciate a nice little seawater bath.
>>28569198'They smell terrible,' you say, calmly drinking your tea. 'I think maybe we should give them a little seawater bath. Drag them to the dockyard.''Yes, sir!' 'Hongyang, watch it,' Wenxun says, but you figure you should let him stay out of this. Instead, you just go alone with the guards and prisoners, and watch as they dunk the people into water head first while yelling at them. It is a long while before you get any result. 'Fine! Fine! I'll tell!' One of the prisoners yells when he is pulled out of the water, sagging in the guards' hold. 'We are... we are bandits, working on the orders of the Annamese. They told us to raid Lianzhou. We said no but they said they'd reward us.''What the... sir?' The commissioner turns towards you, but you are fixed in your place. Wait. If the Annamese specifically told them to attack Lianzhou... is that in anticipation of your arrival? And if that's the case, how on earth did the Annamese know you were coming here? You've been compromised. The horrible thought occurs to you. Somewhere, somehow, you've been compromised. And now Chen Tingji knows what's coming for him... > Sit still and wait for the ships to return. > Cancel shore leave, round everyone up. Onwards to Phoenix Island!> Sit still even after the ships have returned. This might catch Chen off guard. > Other.
>>28569386Lets hear what else he can tell us.Let formulate a new plan with Wenxun and Guo.
>>28569443> You'll have to ask questions before you can get answers. (Write-in)
>>28569386Tell him to continue as he no doubt has more to tell us.We should talk to Wenxun about any planning, but I think we should stay put and wait for the ships to return.
>>28569471In that case, lets ask what kind of rewards did the Annamese offer, who contacted them and where is their base located.He will probably lie, through.
>>28569471After the raid were you told to meet them somewhere? When exactly were they approached and told to raid us? What kind of reward did they offer? Who exactly told them to do it? Did he have a name? Where are the pirates based out of?
>>28569557>>28569508You come close - man, this guy smells repulsive - and ask him the questions, one by one. 'Were you told to meet them somewhere?''No. No, they said they'd come to find us after the raid. In the evening.'Now, that's an opening. 'So you were told this several days ago and told to raid us?''Just two or three days ago. They said Lianzhou, specifically.'Damnit - you didn't even have fixed plans to go to Lianzhou two or three days ago. If Chen Tingji was indeed behind this, he must simply know the coast very well, and that Lianzhou is one of the biggest ports west of Leizhou. And from that he guessed you'd be calling. This man *is* a good strategist... the pirate says he didn't know any names, and that they were based off the islands to the west - part of that same chain where Phoenix Island is. Those isles are technically disputed territory between Southern Han and the Annamese rebels, but then since there's only a few fishing villages there, neither side has really seen the point in fighting over them. Indeed, sometimes they work together to smoke out the bandits and pirates. This is definitely an escalation. But wait, if the Annamese are waiting to meet the pirates after the raid... oh shit, those ships you sent out!> cont'd.
>>28569713Your fears are quickly confirmed by that evening, after the pirates have been thrown back into jail. Two of the three ships return and say they have seen nothing of the raiders; one of them followed the coast westwards, while the other struck out south, anticipating perhaps an open-sea anchorage. The one that sailed out between the two of them doesn't come back even after sunset, when you said they should turn back... Damnit. It's now past sunset, and the magistrate is preparing a banquet for the distinguished guests, though Wenxun isn't in the mood either. After a while he goes out. 'I'm going out for a walk,' he simply says. Meng Fang, your new bodyguard, stands beside you. 'Um... is something wrong, sir?'> Damnit! What do/say now? > Also, go for any entertainment? It doesn't seem like there's much you can do for the ship that got captured, not right now anyway...
>>28569729Argh. Say it's nothing major. Go out for some entertainment. Feel like some music now.
>>28569729>> Damnit! What do/say now?One of our ship got captured by the enemy because of a rash move on our part.> Also, go for any entertainment? It doesn't seem like there's much you can do for the ship that got captured, not right now anyway...We need to stay sober and alert in case something comes up. Lets plan ahead for the incoming enemy fleet, however small it may be.
>>28569729Don't tell Meng Fang yet, just say you're worried about the slow progress. It's hardly something he could hold against us at this point. If he proves reliable we'll let him into our confidence in due time.Swear everybody involved to secrecy. There is no spy. Everything is fine. Go party for a while. We need to smoke out this mole show them what /tg/ does to supporting characters that don't tow the line.
>>28569729Though we did lose one of our ships, at least it was one of the small war junks/sloops/whatever their scout vessels are called and not one of our ram or fortress ships. Our strength is still intact.We have they're heading and and an idea of what their goal is, which seems to be the annexation of those islands, likely for a source of food for the enemy fleet and an area to raid out of/run back too.If this is true, we may need to rethink our current goals and what we can do to hurt them most. Eliminating their presence in the Pheonix Islands will hurt Chen Tingji the most, and leave us with a friendly port/fortress to use as our own.Continuing on our current goal of torching the Anamese coast should be easier now that they have a not insgnificant force in the islands, along with pulling Chen out of the islands to reinforce his home bases.The question is, which do risk our forces on?
>>28569849There may be no moles among us. The mole could be anyone in the court or in the other Admiral army.
>>28569915Either way we don't want it known that we're on to them. If the campaign fails we can let them think we blame ourselves before initiating a ruthless purge.Just warning you now op, if it's somebody we were particularly fond of prepare to see some messed up suggestions.
>>28569839>>28569841>>28569849You look at Meng Fang and motion for him to sit, which he does, still holding on to the spear and placing one hand on his lap. 'Don't worry about it, man. It's nothing.''Is it really nothing, sir? You look quite concerned.''Well, I ought to be. It's an expedition we're running, and progress is a little slow.' You have no intention of letting Meng Fang know too much. He's not the spy, if there's a spy in the fleet at all; he couldn't have transmitted any information while on board. Besides, you can tell he's loyal. You kind of just can. The talking itself is making you a little relaxed. 'But well, that's the wind's problem I suppose.''Sir, sometimes the faster you try to get somewhere the farther you miss.' He blinks, then covers his mouth. 'Um, that's just something a master told me about the spear.''No, no, you have a point... oh well.' You get up. 'I think I might make do with some entertainment as well, to be honest. It's been a few days on board ship without any music other than people hollering out of tune. Are you coming along?''I-if you don't mind, sir...''Come. You're the bodyguard. Guard me.'> cont'd.
>>28569970In the KiKu sense of the phrase yes.
>>28570061So...tender loving with handholding and cuddling afterward?
>>28569965A quarter of an hour later, and Meng Fang is standing rigidly at the entrance of the room where you are currently being entertained - an old lady to pour tea for you, a singer with her hair tied into two buns, hands waving slightly as she croons and struts from one side of the room to the other, and two girls beside you, one with a lute and the other with an erhu. Honestly, Meng Fang is on the wrong side of the room. Since you're in it, he should be outside of it. But then you don't feel threatened, and in any case no one dared to ask you to shed your sword at the door, what with yesterday's raid. The weapon lies just beside you, easily within reach. He seems quite bewildered by the performance. 'Gentleman client, sir, are you sure you don't want the-''No, I'm not drinking this evening. I need to stay awake.' You knock back the tea - it's a little watered down, which is a pity because the leaves are good. The girl is now singing about the story of Zhou Yu and Xiao Qiao, meeting in a flowery garden - a nice song, but not quite so appropriate for today. You turn to look at the two musician girls. The lutist, in particular, is a charming-looking one, her eyes narrowed in focus but also in pleasure. It's pretty clear she likes the music. > Keep listening. You paid for the evening. > Ask the lutist to pour tea for you instead. > Stop the music and talk to some or all of the women. (What about?)> Other.
>>28570163> Ask the lutist to pour tea for you instead. Ask her how she finds the music while she pours the tea.
>>28570163>Keep listening. You paid for the evening.Why interrupt, she seems to be enjoying herself. Besides we're saving our self for some tender meido loving. Unless she was the spy, in which case tenderest loving.
>>28570275Don't be ridiculous. People in the town can't be the spies, they don't know we're coming either.
>>28570163>keep listening. You paid for the evening
>Ponder how the famous generals of the past would handle this situation.Zhou Yu.... I wonder what he would do in out position? We're up against a foe that outnumbers us, and unlike Zhou Yu, we don't have the advantage on the water. A fake defection maybe? Too obvious. How about we let some corrispondence to Chen get 'intercepted' by the enemy. If we could lead the Anameese to believe that he's going to defect, they'll push him even further away. With their distrust of him, they could easily believe that he'd change side, and we could have the enemy drive them into our open arms.Hmm, how about we let it slip this naval campaign be a disguise for a secret mission, rather than straightfoward raiding. We should try to act as supiciously as possible, to make them think we're up to something.
>>28570163>> Keep listening. You paid for the evening.
>>28570317I meant Xin'nu. We did tell her quite a bit, and she had access to our quarters.
>>28570332>>28570317>>28570275>>28570261>>28570346>>28570351You feel like maybe you should let the lutist pour tea for you, if only so you can talk to her; but then she's so into the music it seems a little impolite. Well, since you've paid for the duration, you might as well enjoy the music too. Nonetheless, as the songs go on, you simply get lost in thought, drinking your tea mechanically as the old lady fills your cup. 'Gentleman client, would you like-''I said, no liquor!''No, sir, I meant the sweet tofu.' Oh, right. You look at the black bowl and the white, wobbly tofu. That one you can take, that's nice. Hmm. Zhou Yu and Xiao Qiao. Well, never mind Xiao Qiao. You think about Zhou Yu's little stratagem for tricking Cao Cao into executing his two most competent admirals, and then about Chen Tingji. Certainly, he is in the same position now as Cai Mao and Zhang Yun were - competent, skilled, certainly smart enough to foresee a stopover in Lianzhou (assuming there wasn't a spy somewhere), but distrusted. You'll need to find a way to make them distrust him more. Maybe some 'intercepted' letters? Or maybe force him into a position where he'll take dubious actions... hmmm. Wait, the music's over. You look up and see the girls with their instruments ready, and the old lady nodding. 'You do like that tofu, I see.' Wait, you've eaten two bowls already? Damn! 'Would you perhaps like to speak to any of the girls here? Or what sort of entertainment might you like, sir?'> More music, please. And maybe with more players too. > Talk to the girls here now, get the older lady out, relax a bit. > Let's ask if they play any games. > Ugh, you might have had enough for the evening, let's leave. (Bit of a waste of money though.)> Other.
>>28570439>> More music, please. And maybe with more players too.Come on, we have a lover of music here.
>>28570439>Play a game.Let's see just how multitalented these girls are.
>>28570439Man, you knew just what I was aiming for. I specifically came up with that with Cai Mao in mind, but I had no clue about Zhang Yun.
>>28570502Ancient china right? We could start a game of OD&D. Roll 3d6 6 times for your stats, in order.On a slightly more serious note, what kind of game did they play at the time? MahJong?
>>28570558Probably Weiqi and Xiangqi predominantly.
>>28570558My guess would be Go.
>>28570610>Imperialist running dog detected.
>>28570663My internal war with calling things by their proper name, waged war with how much easier it is to remember 'Go'.Since my memory is terrible, with names in particular, I'm going to go with the name I'm confident I remember, and won't horribly botch.
Should we only go for strategy games or try something a bit... different?Games of skill or luck perhap?
>>28570439> Game. Let's go with Go.
>>28570834So much eastern barbarian in this thread.>>28570439But yea challenge her to a game of strategy to see if she is worth our continued time. If she's just another peasant serving girl, well, aint nobody got time for that.
You smile at the old lady, then look at the girls, who smile back at you as well. It is a rather rare thing to get this many pretty ones in a relatively small town like Lianzhou. 'I'm inclined towards music, ma'am. But I'm also inclined towards a game... might any of the girls in this chamber, or outside, perhaps have a talent there as well?''Oh, you've asked the right question, sir!' She smiles, covering her mouth with her handkerchief. 'Zu'er, our singer, is good at guessing fists.'Pffft. Guessing fists - what kind of game is that? Besides, you aren't drunk enough to play silly games like that. 'I see. How about something involving a board?''Ah. Then you have to go to Ji'er,' she motions, fortunately, at the lutist. 'She is quite skilled at the game of Weiqi. Shall I bring out the board, then?'You nod, and the next thing you know, Ji'er is sitting opposite you, the board between you and two bowls of seeds. The others have cleared away, leaving just Meng Fang and another girl to pour tea. Ji'er seems quiet and shy now that she hasn't got a lute, smiling demurely as she picks the seeds and considers the board. 'Um... sorry, sir,' she mutters, before putting down a seed. Click. Click. Click. 'Sorry, sir.' Click. Click. 'Sorry, sir...' Click. 'Don't apologise at every move,' you say, but when you look over the board, it seems she might have something to apologise for. While it's still early days, you can see the incoming entanglement; Ji'er is intent on bringing the fight to you quickly. > Accept the fight. > Dive for open space, yield your current formations. > Attack her at another point. > Other. > Also, talk to her if you like.
>>28570961>> Accept the fight.
>>28570961>> Accept the fight.> Also, talk to her if you like.Don't talk, but give her a glance that shows her that she piqued your curiosity.
>>28570961> Dive for open space, yield your current formations. This isn't chess, we don't want to get tied down in a grinding game of attrition. Strategic momentum is the name of the game.
>>28570961> Dive for open space, yield your current formations.
>>28571142>>28571057>>28571023>>28570989Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. 'I'm so- oh. Sorry about- oh.' You glance up at Ji'er, who can't help stifling a little laugh as she stumbles around. Waaaait a minute. Is she really being awkward and shy, or is she trying to distract you? Certainly her formations are solid. You intercept one of her extensions, but then she threatens one of your eyes, and you have to fend that off. You threaten a seed of hers, but Ji'er simply moves on elsewhere in the fight, continuing to keep you in a battle. Damn. You are being induced to fight, when it's only fifteen moves in and there's a ton of open space on the board. You know what? This isn't worth it... Raising your white seed (to think you let her have the first move, too!), you frown. No, never mind the formation. You place the seed at a distant point, to occupy a corner space, and this time Ji'er glances up at you. You look into her eyes, and in the moment before she averts them you can sense the same focus in her lute as in the game. 'That... is a good move, sir.' She smiles again, slightly. Neither of you talks as you build up more formations. Both of you have secure bases now, free from the risk of capture, and are spreading out gradually. It seems you can out-build her if you try. But then if you attack her where she's vulnerable... you think you can see some points of pressure. > Attack. > Build. > Other. > Talking is still permissible. (Heck, it's permissible at any time.)
>>28571197> AttackAlso say something like, "Who taught you how to play? You must have had an excellent teacher."
>>28571197>> Attack.Give her a smile and ask where she learned to play like that.
>>28571197If it's still early enough in the game, burn a few stones to probe. Otherwise keep attacking. She's too good to count solely on outbuilding her.
Rolled 10>>28571197Build. Keep the advantage for then we meet again.
>>28571212>>28571245>>28571258>>28571274You look up at Ji'er's face as you hold the stone and then lean forward, moving it over her corner. Her eyes widen slightly, and then when you put the stone down with a louder than usual click, you can spot the flicker of a smile on the corner of her mouth. Oh yes, lady likes the aggressive style. 'Another good move, sir!' She says, but the speed with which she replies seems to show that this isn't the case. Well, your attack was kind of formulaic, so maybe that's what she's referring to. 'Just one against your many, Ji'er.' You lean forward again. Having taken the fight to her so openly there's no way you can back out of this one easily now. 'Who taught you to play like this? I always thought I was reasonably skilled, but it seems I've been proven wrong...''When I was four, sir, Mommy sold me to train for being an entertainer. Weiqi was one of the things I had to learn.' Click. Click. Click. 'But I've always like this. You are really good, sir. Sometimes I... sometimes I have to pretend to be dumb so that customers will win.''But this time you're playing properly?' Please say you're playing properly, or this is a little humiliating. Thankfully, Ji'er nods with a certain honesty. 'Good. That's good...'Within about fifteen more moves, the little attack has turned into a sprawling fight, carving down one side and one corner. She's really matching you move for move, and to be honest, you're... you're kind of out of ideas. Think, Hongyang, think! You glance up at Ji'er, noticing the little beauty spot on the side of her nose, and the pert nose itself. No! Later! Think!> Roll d100 for insight. > If you have any insightful things to think about other than ogling your cute opponent, say so and there might be bonuses!
Rolled 88>>28571419>> Roll d100 for insight.Distract her by giving her a compliment.
>Just tried to lure us into a trap>Obvious responce is Attack, Attack, Attack!/tg/ - subtlety incarnate
Rolled 43>>28571419Rolling to avoid shamefur dispray.We can still try to bait her into overextending on a certain front and then try to engulf her.
>>28571419Think about the pattern of attack she might be using?I don't know, I've never played this game myself.
Rolled 49>>28571507Whoops, messed up the dice roll
Rolled 25>>28571507It's really impossible to say without seeing the board. From what op's describing it's a real horror show for us.We could try to complete the broken ladder if we're chasing her on the fight we started. Risky gambit but it might be all we have.
>>28571487>>28571491>>28571496>>28571507>>28571522> 88 vs. 96: close, close! Maybe you can try something... 'ah,' you mutter, raising your white stone again and envisioning the trap. Perhaps if you can induce her to waste some stones pursuing the position in her corner, or to try and trick her into a ladder fight... 'it's rare to see someone who looks as good as her Go game.'Ji'er, to your surprise, blushes fiercely when you say that, and her hand tightens audibly in the bowl of seeds. 'I... thank you, sir.'Heh. Well! Click, click, click. Right. This is it. You place one stone behind enemy lines, supported by just another stone - a weak position, but one that could easily turn strong. Ji'er blinks when she notices that, as if she's seen that bit of the board for the first time. Yes! Looks like you're about to-'That's an excellent move, sir...' she looks up at you, through her lashes, a rather charming look. But then just as you're congratulating yourself, she- wait. No, wait! Click. 'Grrrgh!' If this were an important match, you might spit blood dramatically. As it is, within three moves, you have to sweep a seven-stone formation off the board, and with that hold on Ji'er's position removed, your position swiftly collapses. You last another twenty or so moves before conceding defeat, and she smiles and claps before remembering who she's playing with. 'I'm sorry, sir, I don't mean to!' 'Now, now,' you sit back and try to hide your disappointment with a smile. How the hell did you lose? 'I... I could make it up to you...'> What do/say, Hongyang?
>>28571790> 96 was the behind screen dice roll, if anyone's wondering. It's the way things are, I'm afraid.
Rolled 20>>28571790>'I... I could make it up to you...'Ask how with a sly smile.
>>28571847no we already have the maid back at the palace waiting for us
>>28571868I prefer that one. She's a good musician and a terrific Go player.And we can have more than one.
>>28571847Second this. "A lost game is a lot to make up for."
>>28571790"I would hate to keep you away from your duties. What did you have in mind?">>28571868>Meet an incredibly gifted polymath.>Assume the only thing she has to offer us is sex.Stay pleb.
>>28571790>Damn we get our ass beaten in everything lately it seems.We aske her to join us in our quarters for a latenight drink
>>28571890to each man his own I prefer the maid you prefer the lute player.
what are the odds she's a honeytrap?
>>28571790Ask her to join our retinue. We could use a good musician to help us relax, as well as a formidable opponent to test our wits against.Waifu later if wanted, her real talents are useful regardless of gender.
>>28571961Are you suggesting that she is a spy and assassin from Annam or one of our opponents in court?
>>28571990I was thinking from Annam
>>28571990All the more reason to recruit her. If it's really concerning to people we can feed her false information for the time being and see what comes out the other end of the pipe.
>>28571790>>28571790She can make it up to us.Try to phrase the situation we are in currently with the board game. Something like "I played a game where this and this happened. What would you do in this situation?"
>>28572049A interesting idea I have to say.It would be interesting so see what she says.
Make it up to you? You stare at the go board. Asking for a rematch when you're tired and annoyed - and you *are* a little annoyed now, even if it's a nice young woman who's beaten you at Go - wouldn't end well; at least you know that. But... Smiling a little, you push the table and board away and then sit back a little. 'Make it up to me, Ji'er? How might you choose to do that?'Meanwhile, behind her, you see Meng Fang grip his staff (spear's outside) tighter. Ji'er blushes, and then shuffles to sit properly. 'I could... perhaps play the lute for you, sir?' 'Sir,' Meng Fang interjects, 'Um... may I be excused?'What does he think you're about to do? And, uh, is he correct, because you aren't sure yet. 'You ought to be standing *outside* the room in any case, Meng Fang, but please do if you so wish.' Ji'er glances a little to the side as he leaves, and then sidles over to beside you and picks up the lute. 'Have you been in Lianzhou long?' You ask. 'Since I was twelve, sir. I'm seventeen now.' She begins tuning the lute. 'Seventeen and trapped in a little house of music, in the middle of nowhere, sir. It would take me another three or four years to buy my freedom...' When she's finally done, Ji'er sits close to you and softly hums a tune that turns into soft singing. Oh, come *on* - the Peacock Flies Southeast? That's kind of a sad song...> Request a happier song! > Ask to recruit her. > Sidle up. > Other.
>>28572049Add that our opponent was known for his great strategies? I could dig it.
>>28572082>> Ask to recruit her.
>>28572097I am not sure it would be wise to bring a woman on a ship full on men.
>>28572082> Ask to recruit her. Well if we're going to play at being Zhou Yu we need to get ourselves a Xiao Qiao.
>>28572082as some anon said we can deal with waifus later >try to recruit her
>>28572082Give her a test and if she passes we recruit her.
>>28572082> Ask to recruit her. Fuck yeah we have a skilled young spearman and if we get her we have a nice cute girl with strategic mind.We will make ourselves a super team !
>>28572142Only if she knows the capital of Assyria?
>>28572175or the wingspan of a swallow
>>28572175If we are going to recruit her for her strategic mind it should be something to do with that.Maybe use something we once faced as an example? We did have some navel experiance after all.
>>28572229Hell, maybe even use our current situation but cover up the details a bit and see what she would do.
>>28572217don't you mean air speed of an unladen swallow?
I envision us having this really coy relationship with her where we phrase all our military questions as Weiqi analogies, even though both of us really know what's going on.
>>28572229>>28572247Yeah, give her a simplified tactical/strategic problem and see how she takes it.Maybe subtle flirting.
>>28572229it needs to be within her possible knowledge though, can't ask naval strategy if she hasn't been on a boat before, etc.
>>28572263African or European?
>>28572229>>28572247>>28572265That sounds pretty good to me.
>>28572286I-I don't know, Oh FUUUUUUUUUUUU-
>>28572296this is the third time this scene has just popped up in the middle of a quest I've been in
>>28572360Intriguing. maybe you'll attract other scenes from various sketches in the future.
Despite yourself, you lean a little closer to her, until you can smell the scent of her hair and clothes. She's singing soft and low, perhaps in order to induce you to do this.. well, she *is* an entertainer after all. 'Hmm,' you mutter, and she twitches slightly in your direction. She's stopped singing, but her fingers continue to strum the lute, playing the doleful tune. 'Yes, sir?''I was wondering about your knowledge of Weiqi. Could you perhaps solve a problem for me? A problem of the board?''... I might...' she sidles even closer, until her shoulder is nudging yours. You're pretty sure this place is an entertainment house, not a brothel, but then... 'I am playing against a strong player, and his positions are scattered. But when I press against his weak point in the corner, he aims to drag me into a fight on unfavourable ground, too far from my support. I don't know any longer if his scatteredness is a weakness or a strength, now. What do you think?''Scatteredness is a great strength for the skilled. It means he can go nowhere without aid...' Ji'er shakes her head. 'But if you press on a certain point until you have an undeniable advantage, then at least you face him on even footing...'You know, that makes sense. Phoenix Island - the Annamese probably have naval positions everywhere around it. But you will have to fight hard, and win one battle. And then... deep in thought, you nod and look at Ji'er, already slightly leaning against you. 'Does my advice make sense?''I am considering having you in my retinue,' you say, softly. Her eyes widen. 'What... really?'> What do/say to seal the agreement? > Lascivious acts and comments are (un)WELCOME. Wink. Nudge.
>>28572387maybe. I won't rule it out they tend to just came out of now where
>>28572434I will not force you to come with me, but I am offering you to become part of my retinue.
>>28572434Be completely serious with her and say yes really. Drop all flirting and ask her if she would like to come. Besides that tell her we would not ask anything of her that she did not wish to give.
>>28572434"Yes, really. Unless, of course, you wish to stay here for the next five years in the middle of nowhere. I'm sure it has its charm, but there's be a lot more excitement where I'm going."
>>28572495I like this but might want to be a little less blunt
>>28572529Would you like to modify it then?
>>28572434Time to be completely serious.A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but at this moment we are heading out to someone dangerous. She can join us if she likes or maybe she likes the house of music, in the middle of nowhere.
>>28572552I'll give it a try "Yes, really. Unless you wish to stay here and watch as history is made or you can join us and be part of history in the making."
>>28572600A little pretentious I think, but that's just me.
>>28572529>>28572495>>28572493>>28572470>>28572465> Okay, I'm off for lunch, and might be back soon. Thanks for playing!You raise your hand gently, but instead of pulling Ji'er into an embrace you right her and then turn her to face you. She blinks and puts away the lute. 'I mean it, of course. I'm being quite serious.''But... where are you from, sir?''Would you care?' You smile. 'I am heading into danger, so if you feel yourself hardened enough, you may join me. Or you could perhaps stay here for another three years or however long it might take to buy your freedom. Alternatively I'll buy you out.'Ji'er looks down at her lute, then at her hands. 'Danger...? Oh, my, are you from the fleet outside Lianzhou Port right now?'You can't help smiling. Damn, she's seen through that in a flash. 'Yes. Would you perhaps like some danger? Some place in the history books?'She replies with a move you didn't expect - pushing the lute aside slowly, she then comes right up to you, pressing against you in an embrace. Well, that's one way of saying yes. You wrap your arm around her and pat her shoulder. 'Thank you, sir, thank you!'Ji'er might not be much use in the open infighting at court, but you do need every strategist you can get... > Timeskip to next day, or end of shore leave? You promised two days' shore leave. > Alternatively, do something in Lianzhou. Anything you'd like to do? Stuff to buy, perhaps? > Also, it's time to plan the attack against Phoenix Island now. By the maps in your mind, you're just two or three days away from there right now, and just a day from the eastern end of the island chain that leads to it. > The island apparently still has its half-completed fortifications, but is now occupied by some fishermen. There's fishing villages around, but you're not sure about the military presence...
>>28572660Get appropriate attire for our retainers, that can be covered in timeskip, I just want to make sure their good. Other than that, not much
>>28572660Hey, how about we get our hands on some fishermen clothes and send in some guys in disguise?
>>28572660>pat her shoulderFor god's sake man children read this!
>>28572660>> Alternatively, do something in Lianzhou. Anything you'd like to do? Stuff to buy, perhaps?Get an attire for our new retainer.Use the days of leave to plan the attack with Wenxun, Guo and Ji'er.
>>28572660Ask the farther ranging fisherman about what they may know about any naval presence on/near Pheonix Island. We may get lucky and be told about some back entance or a route to the island that will hide our approach.
>>28572716I'd mention the 4chan rules page, but how many actually read it?
>>28572844>not gettin the sarcasm
>>28572906>not getting my sarcasm either
>>28572660Time skip to end of shore leave!It's time to plan
>>28572739This but without Ji'er, I don't think we should let her in the circle so quickly...
>>28573216I'll agree to that, but only if we are good on our own. An outsider's perspective is good to have when your mind is stressed and only focused on certain points.
> Heavens. Okay, I'm back!Since Ji'er has accepted the offer, you immediately buy her out of the house; after some tearful goodbyes, it is past midnight by the time she is brought onto the flagship. The officers on duty immediately notice her, so you quickly assemble them in the wardroom. 'This is Ji'er. She is a musician I've hired,' you gesture to her, and then gesture to them. 'Now, I know that having a woman on the warship might be unusual. But as a new member of my retinue, she has every right to be here by my orders. Now, if she tells me that any crew member on the ship has been behaving lewdly to her, well, you know the consequences.''Yes, sir!' You can hear them whispering to each other, though, as you find Ji'er a cabin next to yours. 'I hope you don't get seasick.''Not as far as I know, sir...'The next day, you go out to get robes for Ji'er and Meng Fang, and buy some blue coloured robes - the favourite colour both of yourself and your father. Then, with that settled, you go back to wait for Wenxun and Guo Xuyou. While the latter arrives quickly, the former comes back evidently hungover, wincing as he sits heavily at the table. 'Well. We know what we'll need to do when we set sail now,' he mutters. 'At least the wind is favourable.'That much is true - a fresh easterly breeze has finally picked up, and looks to be continuing for some time.> Advocate a fierce, direct attack on Phoenix Island, bypassing the islands. > Advocate an indirect approach, focusing on defeating an Annamese fleet. > Advocate a stratagem of your own (Write-in). > Put forward a ruse (Write-in). > Other.
>>28574958Spread a quarter or third of the fleet out in an arrowhead formation to make it look like you're compensating for small numbers in a full-frontal assault. This will hopefully be enough to draw out their main battle fleet and not just auxiliaries.What we do with the rest of the ships is up to others. Remember that this strategy is a short-term one. If this campaign has been building up to an attrition navy war, then do something else.
>>28575020Maybe go for the second biggest port near the Phoenix Islands?
>>28575020So long as Hongyang gets the larger of the two battlegroups.
>>28575171>>28575114>>28575020As the map is spread out on the table, you squint at the bit where the islands are. Damn, this is one of the disadvantages you already have. None of you has a very detailed map of the area; and scouting out the islands might well gain the unwelcome attention of the Annamese fleet, if they're patrolling the area. 'I think,' Wenxun says, 'seeing as the only place we know of these islands is Phoenix Island itself, we have to be careful about scouting them out.'You take over, explaining the plan to split up the fleet into two, or more groups. That would have the effect of making your fleet look a lot larger than it is, while also allowing you to scout out more information. 'But, sir, what if the Annamese find out one of our battlegroups? United, we are a big battleforce that can take on a squadron of the Annamese easily; but if we scatter ourselves like they're scattered, then we can be defeated in detail. Chen Tingji is a dangerous opponent, and he will expect us to carry out a course like this.' Guo Xuyou says. 'Then what do you suggest, Guo?''Perhaps, if we bypass Phoenix Island and strike straight for the Annamese coast, destroying their fishing villages and towns... that might throw them off guard. It would also make supply easier for us.'Hmmm. You look at the map. Certainly, that part of the coast on the northeast of the Wisteria River is densely populated with fishing villages. But none of them is a suitable position for a base, and of course the mouth of the Wisteria River itself is where the oldest prince met his end... Wenxun seems open to either option. 'If we attack the Phoenix Islands, I take it Hongyang will lead the main battlegroup,' he says. Well, that gives you an incentive... > Override Guo Xuyou. > Yield to Xuyou's opinion. > Other. > If you override, give your reasons.
>>28575307>Override Guo XuyouTwo things: First, if the king is as good as he says he is, then he's not going to be attacking us in single squadrons. Second, Vietnam has a loooong coastline. If we are going to be working all the way down it, then it would be advisable not to skip one stretch or the other, thus giving the enemy space to attack from behind.I don't really have any strategy to offer besides what this anon said>>28575020. But doing an incomplete job very often spells death for an outnumbered force.
>>28575307> Yield to Xuyou's opinion. I want to give him a chance to prove himself. Make sure that he knows that's we're going for hit & run shit, I don't want to get bogged down in a slugging match.Our goal should be to keep our forces concentrated, and to hit any area they've left open, if they decide to reinforce said area, we switch to a new opening.As the wise Master Kong (didn't) say, float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.
>>28575390No wait, Phuket, I have an idea: If there's anything valuable down that Wisteria River, then we should go after that. This is of course assuming our larger ships can maneuver around it, though.
>>28575424I agree with this guy, we must avoid a decisive battle fleet vs. fleet, unless we have a massive advantage of some sort. I'm >>28575460 btw.
>>28575307> Yield to Xuyou's opinion. While I would like to continue to the Phoenix Islands I remember that scatteredness is their strength. If we can win one battle that is all we need to have our foot in the door and better yet it will be a victory in the exact spot where others have failed.
>>28575390>>28575424>>28575460>>28575474>>28575520> All right, last post for today. > Thanks everyone for playing! Watch the twitter for updates. After long thought, you look at the map and wonder if perhaps Phoenix Island is much of a point. Sure, it might be worth taking a look at; you could easily go and look at it. But then if you focus on one area, and allow the enemy to focus on you... that game last night with Ji'er seems to prove the point. If you hadn't dived into the open space, you might have been trapped and destroyed in the very first fight. While Chen Tingji's fleet is scattered and poorly provisioned, they must have kept powerful forces around the Wisteria River and the Red River, the gateways to their capital. Now everyone in the Southern Han knows about that treacherous landscape known as the Dragonfall Bay, where your navy was last shattered. ... not particularly eager to go there. 'Guo Xuyou has a point,' you end up conceding. 'If we focus our forces on an immovable spot, then we can be surrounded and destroyed. But if we keep moving, we stand a chance of breaking them in detail. But first, it might be best to deal as much damage as possible to their coastal settlements... and to scout out their coast.''Then we are set.' Wenxun says, slapping the table. 'We will divide into three battlegroups - east, central, west. We turn on the coast and raid our fill. If an enemy fleet comes, we disengage and head for Phoenix Island. It's about the same distance from our areas.'That makes sense... you look at the map again. Hmmm. 'Hongyang, which area are you choosing?'> East. It's the closest, and you will probably be expected to be in a support role in case the Annamese fleet comes. > Central. This is the heartland of Annam's coastal defences, a high risk, high reward area. > West. This is the farthest, and you are probably freest to raid, though it's unsure what the potential gains might be - this area is the least known.
>>28575953I'm tempted to either take East or Central.East because we would then be in a position to help out in case the navy arrives.Central because of what it says on the tin: High risk, high reward.
Just a heads up, suptg is working again.
>>28576555> Excellent, thanks!
>>28575953Take the Central.
>>28575953Take East. Plenty of areas to raid for our fleet to cut it's teeth and the glory of rescuing Central should that oppurtunity arrise.Dat feel when the QM uses my battle strategy >>28569909
>>28579082Besides, Wenxun needs this victory, not us. We should support him if needed, because to win support from his brother, he needs the greatest victory, not a mediocre one. The best retainer never steals from the lord.
>>28579082True, I say we should take East then
>>28575953>> East. It's the closest, and you will probably be expected to be in a support role in case the Annamese fleet comes.