“Field Marshall Rummel. I’m not in the mood. Come back tomorrow.”“I will not be dismissed by a mere girl, regardless of how much power has been placed into her hands. My nation and people’s welfare are not subordinate to your comfort.”“Neither are mine to yours. I already know what you want. I keep your army, your air force, your refugees here at great cost. Lord Wossehn complains to me daily about how long now he has been deep in the red. Your people are hard workers, but profitable industry cannot be made for them overnight. Mittelsosalia cannot support two armies, not while you keep a suspect hold on your own monetary reserves.”“I only ask that Operation Alpha Two be delayed for two weeks. We need precipitous amounts of fuel, insurance that the spearheads to take the forward fields are successful, the weather must be clear, everything needs to be just right. We will only have one chance at this, and if we squander it then I am afraid that my army and refugees can go nowhere. I am a Field Marshall, a veteran commander of troops since before you were even born. You vex me with your presumptive lecturing.”“Yet you are here to not so politely request from me what you don’t have.”“I am willing to pay back every favor in full when my country is liberated, but we require more time. Two weeks delay beyond the initial day. That is all I ask for.”“One week.”“The weather will not be ideal.”“I don’t give a damn. Make it work, or pry your fingers off your gold for that extra week. I am willing to die for democracy, but I refuse to starve to death waiting for the battle.”-----
You are Sergeant Anya Nowicki, Retinue of Von Tracht, if only because the pay and benefits were better than just hiring on as a plain mercenary. The uniform was pretty cool, too, enough so that you wore it around everywhere, even when going drinking, like you were doing now. With a pair of pretty men. Not that either of them were your type beyond that, so it wasn’t like that, but hell if it wasn’t something to be a bit smug about anyways.Earlier that night, you’d gone on a raid with one Captain Magnus Edelschwert, who commanded an company of the 12th Armored Cavalry battalion, with the moniker of “Blue Knights.” Miraculously, nothing had gone wrong enough for any severe losses to be taken, and after doing a hefty amount of damage to the Twaryians you had sped off into the night, the prisoners you’d rescued successfully extracted. It was exhilarating, and had made you feel like celebrating. Richter had been shaken out of bed and the Captain dragged along to a bar in Kamienisty. Edelschwert had insisted on one reserved for officers- better deals, apparently. It was a ritzy place, with dangling glass beads shining lights about all over, yellow and red lamps giving the place a warm feel, made warmer by the fireplacess on both walls flanking the main even, a bar that stretched out into a square in the middle of the room while a radio played the typical propaganda and news.“Judge above, girly hair,” You said loudly to Edelschwert, a couple of glasses of brandy already in you, “Get something harder’n piss water, you may as well be drinkin’ fruit juice!” You brushed your fingers against his chest and he edged away, Put some hair’n your chest, why don’tcha.”“I prefer more calm,” Edelschwert said without regarding you.“Psh.” You grabbed his braid of charcoal-black hair and toyed with its end idly, “Friggin’ lightweight.” The braid was tossed over the Captain’s head to hang like a stupid tassel. A turn to your left, where the man you were technically working for was keeping morose and quiet, like he’d been usually. Richter had been weird lately- he went away to have some sort of weird brain shit scraped off him, and…you didn’t think you liked how he had returned. He’d taken a beating lately, with a wound to the eye and another to his cheek and finger he’d taken the other night (you’d have to break Stache’s arm for that later, whether or not he was bullshitting), and on top of forgetting how to fight whatsoever/i], his disposition, his backbone, had melted away, only returning some when he got enough liquor in him. Otherwise, he stammered, he flinched, he acted just…wrong.And you hated it. Yet he was still Hell’s nephew. Still a Von Tracht. Still part of what painfully little of Hell there was left in the world, so you had to protect him. Especially from his dumb ass self.
“Hey, Richter,” you tossed Edelschwert’s braid back as you shifted more over to Richter, “Drink your medicine.”“…Mmm.” Richter sighed halfheartedly, slouching in his seat. “…Sorry.”“Don’t apologize, holy crap,” you muttered sorely, “Hey, tense up your arm,” you pinched Richter’s bicep in your hand, “I need to see if you’ve been slacking off.” Richter sighed at you, and you punched him. Another sigh, but then an acquiescing. “Not terrible, I guess,” you muttered to yourself as you ran your hand up and down the muscle under the leather jacket, “Still scrawny. Did ‘Stache really kick your ass? He didn’t have a scratch on him, and he’s as thin as you are.”“…Don’t have to rub it in…” Richter half sputtered, half groaned, in a wussy series of noises that barely constituted a whine. It’d have made you mad if he was ugly. “I said drink, retard,” you forced your glass to his lips and tipped the brandy into his face, before sliding the glass down the bar. You weren’t gonna get a taste of any of his spit if you could help it. “Barkeep!” you banged the fist of your good arm on the counter, “Two glasses of stuff that burns here! The fluffy headed dope can get a cherry in it!” Two glasses were given. Both with cherries in them, garnishes resting atop a thin layer of red syrup looking stuff at the bottom of glasses of otherwise proper clear spirits. “Hey!” The barkeep had left before you could give him a piece of your mind, so you focuses back on Richter, who was sulking again. “You trained with the Yaegir and the masked guy, yeah? That had to do something. Bit more of that and you’ll get some meat on you.”“…Jorgen chased me around with an axe at me all day…” Richter said, “While Malachi either said nonsense or laughed. I’m not sure I learned anything…but they said I did…” He finally took a long, slow sip of his beer, “…Jorgen told me a story…for why he’s out here…he thought it was really funny…Malachi too…”“Spit it out then, not like riding boots here is being too talkative.” With that snipe you lifted your drink’s cherry out and tossed it in an arc straight into Edelschwert’s beer. “You are fortunate that your reserve of goodwill is still such as it is…” Edelschwert said with a cold glance. “Though I am interested. Yaegirs often return to their arboreal homelands, after all. Their culture does not consider a boy to have grown into a man until they have spilt the blood of an enemy, some tribes going so far as to need them to take a life in battle.”“…Hmm…” Richter leaned on his wrist, then set his had back down like he was finished thinking. “…Ask him if you want to know…I wouldn’t be able to tell it…very well again…anyways…”
“Ask him if the thing they do for marriage is real.” You said, noticing that the glasses of paint thinner you had ordered were only a few fingers deep- you poured your helping into Richter’s. “The thing where, if a guy wants to get married to a girl, he breaks into the girl’s home and force himself on her. Except it’s alright or something, because if a Yaegir girl didn’t want it she’d kill you or whatever.”“I believe what you are referring to is but a salacious rumor.” Edelschwert took another long, slow pull at his ale. “…No, it’s true…” Richter stared away from his drink that had suddenly increased in volume, “…That’s what the story was about…the woman who he was going to marry…had a twin sister…”That had to sink in a moment. “Pfffheheheh.” You snorted, “Snrrrrghhheeheahahaha, what a dope!”“…It’s not that funny…” Richter was being awfully sore for some reason. “Perhaps your acquaintance was making up a tall tale.” Edelschwert, trying to ruin the fun. “Sergeant, of all the things to note upon that culture, though, why that?”“Ha, heh, uh,” you paused, “…No reason. Why?” Edelschwert stared at you. “What? Knock it off.”“There are all sorts of curious characters in your company, Von Tracht,” the Netillian commander said to the air.“Yeah, like your ass,” you snapped back haughtily. “Start talkin’ then, what’s your story? If Richter won’t talk about anything without being dragged out of him, and you keep your yap shut, I’m gonna have to start a fight or something.”“Like you did at the briefing.”“…She did what?” Richter’s attention was gotten.“I said drink, fairy boy!” you grabbed Richter’s face and tugged it towards the bar counter, “God!”“Why don’t you tell us about yourself?” Edelschwert asked coolly, “Do you not want to..?”>…Fine, if you were going to have to do everybody’s talking for them. (About what sort of thing?)>You didn’t go telling your life story to just anybody. Ask him his instead. (With what sort of focus?)>Start a fight.>Other?Past Threads are collected here: https://pastebin.com/UagT0hnhTwitter for announcements and various horseshit is @scheissfunker
>>4052462>>…Fine, if you were going to have to do everybody’s talking for them. (About what sort of thing?)Talk about Anya's time in the Hogs I guess, probably one of the happier times in her life.Also Judge above the next fortnight is going to be hell for Richter isn't it?
>>4052462My boy Richter is looking very miserable and unfortunately he has a lot of reasons to.>>4052474Supporting
>>4052718I really really like this image. >>4052462>…Fine, if you were going to have to do everybody’s talking for them. (About what sort of thing?)Talk about the Hogs. And how they could actually drink, unlike these pussies.
>>4052462>…Fine, if you were going to have to do everybody’s talking for them. (Life with your sister. Life with the hogs. How you got your face scar.)
>>4052462OMG Richter is in a bad way.>Talk their ears off about how great Hell was.
>>4052474>>4052591>>4052715>>4052754>>4052907>>4053124Reminiscing on the past!Writing.>>4052718Gonna croak.
>>4053220Hey tanq what was the initial planned date for the invasion?
>>4054332Which one ?
>>4054335The one that Signy and the Ellowian Field Marshal are talking about above
>>4054332You don't know beyond Signy's vague implication of "a few weeks" when she told you. That was almost two weeks ago.I'll have an update soon, but if I don't, I'll post part of it now and the rest later.
>>4054348Are you in college or work ?
>>4054363Haha. Ha. No, I have a volunteer theater show I'm helping do effects for. However, I do have the full update coming now, very soon.
“…Fine,” you picked reached for your glass…and belatedly realized you’d sacrificed its contents, accepting it with a sigh and sucking the last few drops from it, “If you want to hear my life story, whatever. Best make yourself comfortable, though.”“So long as it doesn’t require any of us to be deep in the bottle.” Edelschwert said like you couldn’t hear his smartass comment.“I was born in some nothing town, in a shit hole country,” you led off, “We’ve all been in Sosaldt, right? Not exactly a good place to raise a kid, or two. Mom tumbled into the place a year before I was born. Never did much after getting there besides…get fucked or lay about in a drugged dreamland. Worst sort of whore. Never knew who made me with her, or my sister, Alina. She didn’t know how to do anything, besides taking money from people and letting them do things to her.”Edelschwert gave you a cool glare. “That is hardly a proper way to speak of your mother of all people.”A shrug. “Am I supposed to give her consolation praise? She fed and clothed me, I guess, and my sister. She was born…I dunno how long after. I didn’t really count years until after she came around.” Mother also sang you to sleep with lullabies, in the old way of speaking, as she said. She knew the words, but not what they meant. That wasn’t shared, though.“…Did you ask your mother?” Richter asked, though you’d spoken about this matter with him before. “…How old you were…”“She didn’t know.” She didn’t know a lot of things.“…Oh…”“We never had a lot of money. I guess it wasn’t so bad, really. Didn’t get what I wanted a lot, but who does?” Most of your early life was blurry now, except a few particular moments. “Then one day I found Mom dead in the garbage dump with her head beaten in. So I had to take care of Alina and myself from then on.” Alina had cried all night that day. Her image of what your family was had been far different from yours.“Hold on a moment!” Edelschwert interjected, “You cannot simply brush on by that sort of matter. Was the perpetrator not caught?”“Nope. People come and went all the time, and nobody’s gonna get chased wherever they went for a little thing like not wanting to pay for getting their dick wet.” You left it off there. Your mother stopped being whatever part of your life she’d been. You and Alina had been kicked out of the house enough so she could get screwed that you could take care of yourselves. Well, you could take care of yourself. “Then a couple years later-““How did you survive? Sosaldt is no place for orphans. They turn to banditry, and are usually fated for an early grave.” Edelschwert pointed this out matter of factly, and Richter seemed uncomfortable for a moment.“Well, I didn’t do what my mom did.”Edelschwert made a disgusted face. “Sergeant, please.”
“I stole shit and pawned it off to the next people who came through. So long as it’s not from your own people it’s alright.” Plenty of traders passed through on their way to Todesfelsen, which was decently close to your home then. “One day a guy came around with a camera. He saw Alina and I. My hair used to go all the way down my back, back then, so did Alina’s. That guy offered us a lot of money to cut our hair and give it to him, same for letting him take pictures of us. In fancy clothing.” He let you keep the clothes. You should have known it was too good to be true, but before those pretty clothes everything was either secondhand or stitched together from scraps. “Then a few months later three shit heads came and kidnapped my sister.”“Unsurprising, for Sosaldt,” Edelschwert waxed, “Glockenblume, I presume.”“They didn’t grab me, so, probably.” You might have been too old for them at that point. Glockenblume was in the trade of grooming children to the tastes of customers so they were perfect when they reached maturity. You might have been…twelve? Eleven? You really didn’t know. Or care. “I found out what way they went, they were good at what they did, but they were the only people in town. Easy enough to chase them.” If you were liked you could have gotten help. You knew better than to try and ask for it. Nobody would help a thief, a pickpocket, a whore born tramp like you. “A small girl against three kidnappers does not bode well. Did you succeed?” Edelschwert asked.“…I met her sister…in Sosaldt…” Richter said, neglecting to mention how he’d raided your town, shot it up, punched you in the face. To be fair, you would have done the same thing. “Ah. So luck found you then. That’s good.” Edelschwert came to a conclusion far too quickly, and you laughed hollowly at that. “What?”“Well, I wasn’t lucky. I tried to sneak into their camp and cut her free, but I got caught. I held off two of them while Alina tried to run away, and the third one started chasing her after a bit.”“You held off two grown men as a child?”If only. “…Fine,” you corrected yourself, “I cut one of their hands with a knife, so they stopped messing around and knocked me to the ground and kicked me half to death.”“At least your sister escaped, yes?” Edelschwert asked.
“I didn’t know.” You hoped she had at the time, as you curled in on yourself, feeling boots kick and stomp on you until you could hardly twitch and not feel pain all over. Everything, whatever happened to you, it’d be alright if she got away. Realistically, you had to travel half a day to find these guys. Alina didn’t have your sense of direction, the survival instinct, she was a sweet girl who people liked. She couldn’t have made it back on her own, you knew deep down. “She was a little girl. I thought she had a chance when the other guy didn’t come back with her. Then the other slavers asked how a little girl had managed to run away from him, and he said she fell down a hill and cracked her head open on a pile of rocks. So they made up for the lost profit by deciding to sell me instead.” When you’d heard that excuse the brigand gave, you had a temptation to not believe it. Why wouldn’t that be how it ended, though? With all your effort for nothing, with your sister’s head cracked open just like your mother’s? It wasn’t like you had been very fortunate or lucky up to that point. Yet it didn’t quite sink in until a few days later that you were alone in the world. You didn’t know Alina had survived until…a whole ten years later.“…So eventually, Heller Von Tracht bought you, you said.” Richter tried to conclude things early, but you weren’t going to finish it like that.“They carted me around a while. Had a rope tied around my arms and neck. I behaved well enough that I only had the neck rope after a bit. Nobody wanted to pay what they wanted for the trouble of getting me instead of my sister. Eventually we ended up in Gusseisenholz, and I figured, maybe I didn’t have to be a slave, maybe I could steal enough and make my own way. So the first thing I did when I met your uncle was pick his pocket.”He was tall, handsome, strong, but gentle. When you crashed into him, he’d asked if you were alright, even though you’d stolen his wallet. He was obviously new to the place, since he had to ask his friend he was with about why you had a rope around your neck. That was Hell and Schweinmann. The pig man, with his big round belly and piggy face, tiny eyes and short fat snout of a nose, had noticed immediately when you picked Hell’s pocket, but you never found out if he’d have done anything about it, for what happened next.“Hell made an offer to buy me.”“…For how much..?” Richter asked.You remembered as clear as yesterday what Hell had said. “Free. Then he marked it up to free, with a beating. Then he kicked the absolute shit out of all three of them.” It had been incredible to watch. He’d moved before they were ready, none of them managed to land a hit on him, and he threw them about like they were ragdolls. They couldn’t have stood a chance if it was five to one, ten to one.
“That’s not buying, now is it,” Edelschwert mused to himself over his beer. “Stealing from slavers is rather dangerous. Some of them are connected to powerful gangs.“He didn’t care, and they weren’t anyways.” Schweinmann had admonished him for that at the time, for the same reason. Hell had a devil may care attitude about it. ”I wouldn’t be here if I could help myself,” he’d said. ”And you wouldn’t be either if you didn’t mind cleaning up my messes. Can’t stand to see cute girls getting wronged.” “So that’s how I got to Gusseisenholz, and the Hogs. They weren’t much at the time. Two tanks and barely enough people to take care of them.”“Hogs?” Edelschwert repeated, “As in, the Iron Hogs?”“…You know them..?” Richter asked.“How would anyone go to Sosaldt and not?” Edelschwert demanded, suddenly excited, “Yet you said…you were related to Hell Gitt? Remarkable. What a strange confluence of fates to bring you together here.”Thinking about Hell again, you couldn’t help but touch your neck under the ribbon you wore. You never failed to wear a ribbon. After all these years, your neck felt naked without one, and Edelschwert noticed the gesture.“Pardon me for asking, but does that ribbon cover a scar or the like?” Edelschwert asked.“Nah. I just like wearing it.” When Hell had taken that awful rope off your neck, it had been all burned and chafed underneath. Hell didn’t like it, so he took a ribbon and tied it around the rope burn on your throat. ”There. Isn’t she adorable, Schweinmann? Look at the little creampuff. She’s like a little present!”“…Tell me about your time in the Iron Hogs…” Richter piped up with initiative for once, snapping you our of reminiscing. “…You didn’t talk much about it…before…”“…Sure, alright.” You didn’t mind talking about that at all. “I mean, the first few years, I just wasn’t old enough, strong enough, didn’t know enough.” You didn’t know how to read or write or do math; Schweinmann taught you all that. Though you were a fast learner, and faster still, because you wanted to impress Hell. To tell him he hadn’t made a mistake by saving you. “The company grew, and so did I.” You didn’t grow nearly as much as you liked, Hell was good at fighting and leading men, so the Iron Hogs grew. Two tanks became three, then five, then eight, then twelve. Vinny Vangheiss arrived with his team of Stormtroopers, and teamed up with Hell. Gusseisenholz took a contract for protection, and the tank force swelled more, as did everything attached to it. That was when Illger came around, and it didn’t take long for him to earn his reputation of being a cockroach- nobody could kill him no matter how hard he got stepped on. Vyzlin too, when the money was getting to the point where not even Schweinmann could handle it all. Holt, the Yaegir lady ranger and scout.
That wasn’t all mentioned, but it was remembered anyways. “Eventually, it’s time for Hell Gitt’s magnum opus. The Southern Cities, the Blood Suns, their allies, they make a bid to head north and make all a’ Sosaldt their country.”“I have heard of this,” Edelschwert nodded, “The Battle of the Eisen River. Hell Gitt’s Iron Hogs drove into the heart of the Southern Cities’ mercenary army and obliterated its core, the army collapsing like a burned out house.”It had been incredible, you had heard, but what you remembered most sorely, was all the tanks, all the fighters, everybody heading off to fight. While you were left at the base, to watch them go, without you. Not strong enough. Not skilled enough. Yet the battle had been costly, and for all the prizes taken and the glory won, plenty of people had been lost too. “It was Hell’s best win,” you summed up, skipping over your vigil at the horizon, “But after that, it was finally my time. More crew was needed, and I was ready. So I got my black and blue tunic, and I was a driver.” Maybe you weren’t, but when Hell had gotten back, you refused to be blown off any longer. You wanted to be in the crews then and there. “First job was easy. Just went and looked scary. Then we went and got blackout drunk, and the Hogs could drink like they meant it…unlike you two! Sheesh, can you at least finish what you’ve got in front of you?” You pounded your fist on the counter, “I swear! I ain’t goin’ on until you bolt that down. Especially you, Richter!” You pushed his double helping of spirits further in front. “No more about it until you bolt that down!”You didn’t expect Edelschwert to go any faster, and he didn’t but you felt pretty smug when Richter immediately knocked back the whole clear glass, though he left the cherry in there. “Pffaaacghk,” he coughed, “…What…what is this stuff? It’s awful…”“It’s got cherry syrup at the bottom, doesn’t it?” you looked at the slow cascade of the thick red syrup back down the side, some of it clinging to the idiot’s lip. “For little girls like you?”“…it’s pepper…it burns…Ghaaggchk.”“Really? Cool! I’ve gotta get another thing of that, then.”“…You need to…haghck…finish telling…about the Iron Hogs…and your scar…”“This?” you pointed at your face, “I was almost there. Anyways.” You straightened up again and collected your thoughts. “So, yeah. My second job. That was where I got this. I told Richter about part of it, but not the whole thing.” “…I didn’t…ghhhack…know it was only your second time out…”“What time out did you get those, then?” you poked Richter in his cheek, where the faded scars of what must have been shrapnel were.“…Maybe my…third or fourth battle..?” Richter had to think back.
“Adorable.” Back to the story. “It was a place not far from Gusseisenholz, out east more. Called Staubigbrucke. The whole company had to go, vets, newbies, everybody. A few gangs always competed for control of the place, but this time, one had gotten way stronger, and it was our job to restore the status quo. Too close to home for a rival to suddenly pop up.” The mayor of Gusseisenholz had put his foot down and offered a hefty sum on top of the normal protection commission to take care of it…or he’d find somebody else. With so much offered and the company’s future on the line if he didn’t spring for it, Hell took the Iron Hogs out, both veterans and newbies, into what would be an absolute mess.You continued. “We went there and it was a mess. There wasn’t enough help to guide the tanks everywhere we needed to go, and the toons had to split to cover ground.” For you, it had been particularly stressful. Forward, back, fast, faster. It all blended together, and only being able to view the world through a small slit and being shouted at so much, your nerves had frayed to pieces. You didn’t think much of disobeying orders to move one time so you could pop out of the driver hatch just to see. “I popped my head out for just a moment to get my bearings one time. It was a mistake.” Your commander had been a Vitelian called Armazzio; a veteran fighter, though outside of fighting he spoke of nothing but utopianist babble. You should have listened to him for once when he ordered you to stay down. “One of the gangsters hopped up on the tank outta nowhere,” you traced your scar, “laid my face right open with a knife. I went right back down again, but my time fighting in that was over.”Horrible, awful, burning pain, across your face. Blood running down your cheeks, and with horror, you realized, down through your nose, down your throat. You screamed and couldn’t hear yourself, your body froze up, and every word that was spoken to you flowed together. Your eyes shut tight, and you flailed against the hands that tried to grab you, to move you from your place, so that somebody else could take the driver position and get moving again.“Yet that was how many years ago? And it is so…well…” Edelschwert hesitated.“I’m used to it, girl hair, you can say it’s nasty.”“Did a doctor not treat it? Close it properly?”“They tried,” you shook your head, “The knife had some sorta venom on it. The wound wouldn’t close, not even with stitches. They could make it better, fix the inside of my nose alright, make the bleeding stop, but it wasn’t going away.”“…Did anybody give you a bad time over it..?” Richter asked. He had been a pal about it when you asked his opinion on your scar. He seemed genuine enough when he said it made you look tough, and cool.
Hell had said the same thing after. In a way you liked a lot better. From a person you liked better. The reminder was still nice.“Naw,” you answered the actual question, “I mean, not stuff that wasn’t banter. Schweinmann gave me a hard time, but not because of the cut, but…because of how I got it. He said I could have fucked over the whole crew because I fucked up. He had me apologize to the crew, the commander, to Hell…” You didn’t mention that you were crying your eyes out with all of them. Schweinmann knew how to say things in ways that stuck in like a dagger, but these guys didn’t need to know you could cry. You preferred the way they thought of you now. The way you had wanted Hell to see you.There was also the fact that, while nobody in the Hogs ragged on you for a battle scar, when the bandages first came off and you saw yourself in the mirror, what it looked like, you couldn’t stop weeping for days. The one thing your mother had given you- some small measure of physical attractiveness, and it had been ruined. It was also a constant reminder of the mistake you’d made, at first, until Hell had told you something simple, but uplifting. That everybody made mistakes, that few people learned anything without making mistakes, and that the only thing you could do with a mistake was wear it proudly, and not try to hide from making any more. After all, he had said, he had made plenty of mistakes, big ones.That was for you to remember, though, and not to tell.“I got this other one here,” you pointed to a smaller scar just below the big one, on your cheek, “From a mortar bomb blowin’ up over my head, in an ambush. There’s one on my arm here too, where I took a bullet, not the one I got in Todesfelsen with Richter- here, help me get my jacket off, one a’ you…”“…Anya, please, your arm…” Richter arrested your attempts to start disrobing.“Fiiine,” you huffed, “Well, I think they’re cool…”“Why are you not with the Iron Hogs any more, then?” Edelschwert asked.“…” You paused. “…I’d rather not talk about it.”“Was it because of Hell Git’s demise?” Edelschwert guessed. Far too good of one. “And here you are with a relation of his, if indeed Heller Von Tracht is the same person like the Coordinator implies. Yet you’re here now?”>Somebody had to keep Richter’s ass out of the fire, didn’t they? You couldn’t repay the favor Hell did you by sticking around where he wasn’t.>The Iron Hogs aren’t what they were anymore. It isn’t the same. You didn’t belong there anymore, so you left. Maybe you’d ended up where you were meant to now.>Make up some bullshit tall tale- a creative way of saying you don’t want to tell. (What?)>Other?
>>4054507>>Somebody had to keep Richter’s ass out of the fire, didn’t they? You couldn’t repay the favor Hell did you by sticking around where he wasn’t.
>>4054507>The Iron Hogs aren’t what they were anymore. It isn’t the same. You didn’t belong there anymore, so you left. Maybe you’d ended up where you were meant to now.
>>4054507>Somebody had to keep Richter’s ass out of the fire, didn’t they? You couldn’t repay the favor Hell did you by sticking around where he wasn’t.
>>4054507>>The Iron Hogs aren’t what they were anymore. It isn’t the same. You didn’t belong there anymore, so you left. Maybe you’d ended up where you were meant to now.
>>4054507>Somebody had to keep Richter’s ass out of the fire, didn’t they? You couldn’t repay the favor Hell did you by sticking around where he wasn’t.>Other? "Besides, Richter might be a candy-ass now, but he's had a couple of moments that could come close to making Hell consider feeling proud."
I return.>>4054531>>4054543>>4054757You can't fit into that particular puzzle.>>4054512>>4054536>>4054977>>4055005Your obligation is to family, not to business.Writing.
Another drink of clear fire had been supplied to you at some point when you hadn’t noticed, and you wondered for a moment if you had another spectator to spilling your guts. Whatever. It was annoyingly full, so you had to work on that as you weighed a response. It wasn’t easy to say for sure. After Hell had died…it wasn’t like you didn’t have people you knew, had fought alongside, but it no longer felt like you belonged, especially after the change in management. There wasn’t any reason to stay any longer, so you’d wandered off to a place that would take you- the only other direction you knew, back towards Todesfelsen, back to that little town where you were born. There, Alina had been alive again, and you couldn’t help but wonder if you shouldn’t have given up on her so readily. If you were a bitch for doing so.Yet Alina said you’d been gone for ten years. She’d found other people, made friends, as she didn’t have trouble doing like you. She was your sister, but…she didn’t need you like she used to, and it hurt.So when another purpose came calling, you’d ridden along, to see where it would take you.“You caught me,” you told Edelschwert after downing half your glass without even realizing it, “I couldn’t repay my favors to ol’ Hell sitting around in the dust, could I? Somebody has to keep Richter’s ass out of the fires he keeps trying to jump in. ‘sides,” you gestured at Richter with your glass and a smarmy, eyes half-closed leer on your mug, “He might be a candy ass, then and now, but he’s had moments that could come close to making his uncle consider feeling proud.”It was ragging on Richter, and while it was funny how he rolled his eyes in annoyance, you had a feeling, from the way Hell talked him up, that familial love might make up the difference when it came to how pleased he was with him. Envious? Well, no, not in the usual way. Residual frustration at him just…not measuring up the same way.“I think,” Edelschwert said, still the most sober out of all of you, annoyingly, “That your measure for where somebody can be proud may be marked too high.”“Yeah? What make you say that?” Another quarter quaffed. “You know who we’re talking about here, don’tcha?”“The expectation that every man of birth must be a legend was what toppled those who were worthy from the throne here, so long ago,” Edelschwert said, with some spite in his tone, “Even a king can be admired, I believe, for doing their best without malice.”
Oh, political talk. That wasn’t ever something you did well. Mostly because mercenaries usually got paid no matter what clowns were in charge, so what did you care? “Whatever. Hey, Richter, Grumpus is coming back tomorrow, yeah?”“Grumpus?”“…Her name for Lieutenant Von Metzeler…” Richter said, “…I don’t think you’ve met him. He’s away for some…business…” He thought some more, “…He’ll probably be back tomorrow. I don’t know when…at least the day after, at latest.”“Speaking of business-““Shut up and drink until you aren’t even thinking of the word business,” you rounded on Edelschwert, “Or I’ll kick your ass!”-----………Oh, this wasn’t the officer’s club. It was in a cot, though, back at camp. That probably meant you didn’t get into a fight.>You are still Anya>You are Richter Von TrachtAnd>…Nevermind, you felt those bruises when you stirred.>Whose uniform was this? (What sort?)>Other?
>>4055402>You are Richter Von TrachtTime to go back to our boy and see how well he’d been doing>Whose uniform was this? (What sort?)It feels like a tight fitting and it has a different smell, the good type of.
>>4055402>>You are Richter Von Tracht>And>>…Nevermind, you felt those bruises when you stirred.
>>4055402>You are Richter Von Tracht>…Nevermind, you felt those bruises when you stirred.Ok boys, let's get back on the wagon.
>>4055402>You are Richter Von Tracht>Why are we holding someone's underpants again?
>>4055402>>You are Richter Von Tracht>>…Nevermind, you felt those bruises when you stirred.
>>4055473Seconding for pantsu
>>4055423>>4055473Supporting this actually
You are Richter, and you...>>4055433>>4055449>>4055490Have been tenderized!>>4055473>>4055846>>4055891Are in uniform of something entirely different. And you have something you shouldn't.>>4055423Are sweat and gunpowder good.Writing!
>>4056052Well, gunpowder doesn’t matter to someone like us and I dunno about the sweat.[spoiler is he’s into that[/spoiler]
”Good job, Richter,” you thought to yourself as you rose up and felt around for the switch to the little lamp in your new subterranean quarters, “Maybe after another night you can’t remember you’ll spool time back to before your conditioning was removed.” Something had been clutched in your hand, and when you looked down to see it in the light, you sighed inwardly, seeing it to be black. Wait, though, caution returned as the underwear was laid out, that wasn’t what Anya’s underwear looked like. You ought to be ashamed of yourself that you’d know. Despite her boyishness, Anya did wear underwear for women. This fabric wasn’t as svelte, the pair was for quite a larger person…just who did these even belong to?With a start you noticed your sleeves were forest-green. This was a Netillian jacket- where did you get this? At least it wasn’t as hard to imagine procuring somehow as this underwear. You hoped that this didn’t become a habit, as you put your boots back on and pushed your way out the door, once you’d made sure that Maddalyn’s scarf was in a safe place, folded up and stored away. Nine o’clock in the morning, by your watch’s measure- nobody had gotten you up. Must have been a slow, peaceful day for once. So far.Up from the burrows you came into a bright, clear winter day, the bright white snow all about forcing your eyes into a squint. As you shielded your eyes and looked about, you felt a punch on your arm, and Anya strolled up by you. She was wearing…was that your jacket?“Hey, I woke up with nothing on below the waist,” she said flatly, “You didn’t steal my knickers again, did ya?”“…I…wha-““I’m fucking with you, dum-dum,” Anya’s face assumed that familiar sneering leer for a moment before settling back into neutrality. “This thing’s really cozy. I’m gonna keep it for a while.”“…How did you get…” You glanced down at your own new apparel, “…How did I get…this…”“I stole it off you, obviously,” Anya said like she was explaining that snow was cold, “I don’t think you could steal anything off Mag, so I bet he gave you his jacket himself.”“…Mag…?”“Captain Edelschwert. His name’s Magnus. I don’t think it fits him, but, eh,” Anya shrugged. “Hey, Grumpus got back here early. Came here with the Cockroach of all people, so that’s another tank with us. I guess Roach’s better than that splotch faced bitch.”Ah. Von Metzeler was back. That was good…even if you were sure he was about as fit for battle as…well, you were. “…Where is the lieutenant…now..?”“Went to hang out with Yva,” Anya waved over in the direction of the cottage, “He talked with ‘Stache for a good hour, but I guess ‘Stache didn’t want to be a cockblock. Anyways, you gotta fill out weekly requisition. I ain’t about to do it for you.”
“…Yeah, yeah…” you sighed. “…Nothing has happened while I was…both training and out…right..? That I wasn’t…told about…”“A couple things,” Anya’s tone suggested it didn’t seem important, “Some shit about the Penals. They’re screwing around in the UGZ-09, and apparently, there’s been some desertions lately. If I were you, I’d expect to be bothered with that soon.” She started to walk off, but swung her foot out, then back, and turned around. “Hey. Do me a favor.”You blinked. “…What sort..?”“When you do requisition, ask for some weapons. Some crates full. Stuff we can have go missing.” Anya crept close and whispered, “The NLF are getting impatient. They want more help, or they’re not gonna trust us no more. They’ve started taking the Ashes as recruits.” She drew back again, face still set. “Help me out, and I won’t beat you for smacking my ass last night.”“I didn’t-“ you said sharply, then thought, and tried to remember… “…It feels like you already did that…”Anya screwed up her face. “Did I..? Whatever. Just…help me out, alright? I’d…uh, really appreciate it.” She had to cough that last part out, and slipped away before you could ask more, though you hadn’t thought of anything else at the moment anyways.First off, the requisitions for next week. As you settled down into the office again, for what it was, you noticed a missive typed out from Edelschwert.Coordinator,Your subordinate’s invaluable assistance has been noted by the sector administration. I have had a portion of the bounty (equal to one half) for the destruction of enemy materiel and the rescue of significant persons allocated to your company. Inform your retinue that she is welcome to volunteer for further operations should she wish. If you can keep your hands to yourself.-Captain Magnus Edelschwert, 1st Company, 12th Armored CavalryDamn it all. This had best be a joke, you thought grumpily, something Anya had planned with Edelschwert to make fun of you. Annoyance melted, though, when you saw the attached bounty- and presumably, local political clout.>Requisition Income Boosted by 2 for local impact>20 RP earned for Night RaidQuite a lot, really- enough that you could ask for much more than usual. Or, perhaps, something unusual. If only you had this, and not the sniper with the magic eye wanting to kill you. Whatever nonsense had happened last night, at least you could forget about that for a time. Maybe you could forget about it for some time with this work, too, so long as you didn’t force the deadline itself out of your head.>You have 31 Requisition points. Spend them how you wish.
Another notice- from the Battalion Headquarters. Apparently sometime in the coming week, the next few days, another platoon of green Ellowian recruits were set to join the company, apparently on recommendation from the High Protector. Six platoons…yeesh. Mixed companies, according to what you’d been briefed on when you first began advising this company, weren’t supposed to exceed a 3-2 ratio of Netillian to Ellowian troops. This would push you to half and half ratio, but then, the UGZ-09 “police” weren’t officially of the company, so they could be…overlooked, to be fair.----->Infantry Platoon Upgrades:New Model Machine Guns (3RP per platoon)- Replaces the W.dB 29 Neue-Machinengewehr equipment of the platoon with the newer and improved W.dB-Grunsen 30 Light Machine Gun- improving combat efficiency to a tune of +5 to general combat rolls.Stormtrooper Spec Squad (6 RP per platoon)- Upgrades one squad in the platoon to be Stormtrooper spec- equipped with body armor and a greater proportion of submachineguns. This combination improves close quarters combat rolls by +10, and reduces damage taken in close quarters by 1.Platoon Munitions Caster Team (3 RP per platoon)- Adds a munitions caster to the platoon command element, which reduces the defense bonus from fortifications to enemies the platoon fights, as well as improving its combat roll by +5. Self-Loading Rifle Armament (8 RP per platoon)- Replaces the basic bolt action rifle armament with self-loading Grunsen Model 1930 Automatic rifles. Improves all combat rolls by +10.>Basic Equipment (8 RP)- Makes a unit combat capable. Unlocks access to other upgrades.Company Additions-Anti-tank Section (7 RP)- Adds a section of Anti-tank rifleman and their supporting elementsAnti-tank Gun Detachment (14 RP)- Adds a platoon of light 2.5cm anti-tank cannon, able to be man transported or hitched to utility cars (cars not included).Munitions Caster Section (7 RP)- Adds a section of 4 munitions casters spread across two teams to the company’s roster.
>Other Upgrades- Other things not listed may be requested, of course, but note that things that a light infantry company isn’t meant to have will likely cost quite a bit more.Cavalry Scout Section (8 RP)- A section of mounted soldiers. Relatively archaic, but nevertheless useful.Motorcycle Scout Section (10 RP)- A light motorized element commonly used in motorized units, but that has been spreading in prevalence with the new importance placed upon patrol of territory.2-ton General Transport Trucks (12 RP)- Light Infantry are not meant to use motor transport, but Netilland has made trucks a priority production for its army. Perhaps you could obtain some, though at a premium…(Grants five trucks, able to transport a full platoon- as well as other things)Extra Fuel (1 RP per additional unit- increase Fuel Weekly Allotment by 1 per 3 RP)- Fuel is in relatively short supply beyond what is allocated, though perhaps you can convince some people to part with more…>Miscellaneous:Extra Armaments (8 RP per platoon’s worth of equipment)- Spare equipment to rearm a platoon completely, or arm a new platoon, or mercenaries. Netillian commanders utilizing private troops is an uncommon but not unheard of privilege, and this requisition does not raise eyebrows in and of itself…Specialized Requisitions (RP Variable- though double of what might be expected if it is unusual for the unit type)- In the border zone, as time has gone on, the individual initiative allowed to commanders has led to flexibility in requisitions. With enough money and clout, the Border Zone could allow many things…>Platoon ReorganizationIf a platoon takes enough casualties (Officially, if it is reduced to 50% , it can be officially written off and the company reorganized, the manpower either distributed to other platoons or sent back into reserves. Just a note for the future, potentially.
Present tank complement as well.I know I described Anya in the jacket and didn't post it, I'm working on it, figured I should put this vote up first.
>>4056407If it isn't from Anya, than who ? >inb4 it's from Magnus
>>4056415>Week 4Judge preserve our boy.>New Model Machine Guns (3 RP per platoon)For 1st and 2nd Platoons>Self-Loading Rifle Armament (8 RP per platoon)For 1st Platoon>Extra Armaments (8 RP per platoon’s worth of equipment) For Anya That leaves us with 9 RP to spend.Now, I would like to see an Anti-Tank Section added.Given the current...circumstances however, if anyone has any ideas on equipment that might help us in our battle against Bertram I'm all ears.
>>4056569Supporting. Man, I really can’t thing of anything that might help besides some protection
>>4056418>Extra Armaments>Anti-tank Gun Detatchment>Anti-tank Section>Extra Fuel x2Does the company already have some trucks attached to it, or were those temporary?
>>4056618Not for infantry use. They're fuelers, mostly. Utility cars are loaned/dispatched from the sector command.
>>4056415>New Model Machine Guns (3RP per platoon)>Stormtrooper Spec Squad (6 RP per platoon)>Platoon Munitions Caster Team (3 RP per platoon)>Self-Loading Rifle Armament (8 RP per platoon)All of it, and it is important, goes to the 4th Platoon. Shit is going down soon, and out Netillian platoons will turn into our enemies. No sense arming them.>Give the 5th Platoon's old rifles to the 5th, then "lose" the 5th's Twaryian ones.>Increase weekly fuel by 2, cause we have more tanks now (6 RP)>Fuel reserve (5 RP)>0 RP left.
>>4056670>Give the 4th Platoon's old rifles to the 5th
>>40564153RP for 2nd platoon replenishment7RP Anti Tank gun section8RP Extra Armaments6RP increase fuel allotment2RP extra fuelThat is 26RP used up if I can do simple math, so that leaves 5 RP to requisition supplies to fight Bertram. For those supplies I would want: one self loading rifle with telescopic scope and flare gun with flares(assuming we don't have one already), extra uniforms, helmets, and any other material we do not have to build vaguely convincing decoy soldiers, and a tree tap that can get some Kalamarz sap.The play here is pretty simple, have our platoons set up decoy soldiers around the border zone, especially the area we will be dueling at. Hopefully Bertram sees this, so he knows there will be decoys when we fight him. Then when we duel we find one of the dummies to cover in blood, or something else presencey, and we cover ourselves in spooky tree sap to mask our own presence, wait until Bertram takes out the decoy and comes over to gloat/confirm the kill and boom, Hells your uncle. If we fuck up the flare gun is so we can shoot it at Bertram to blind him a bit and run away, or to signal to our mortar team to start shelling the forest. We don't have to do that last part though.
>>4056618>>4056936There'll be an Ellowian uprising in a couple of weeks. If we intend to help NLF, all those AT armaments will end up shooting at our own tanks.
>>40564183RP replenishment (priority for restoring 1st 3rd and 4th Platoons to full strength)8RP Extra Armaments (Then give those Twaryian rifles to the NLF)6RP 2x New Model MGs3RP 1x Platoon Munition Casters Team6RP Weekly Allotment+22RP 2 Extra Fuel3RP left over for our personal stuffSome thoughts:Honestly the AT rifle section looks pretty useless IMO; considering the type of armour being thrown at us by Gerovic those aren't going to do jack against say T-16sSecondly I get from this Ellowian invasion the only party going to benefit in the long run is the Twaryians. Let the Netillians and Ellowians beat the shit out of each other and pounce on the weakened victor.
>>4057057Oh yeah tanq so are we getting any temp replacement for Kelwin?Also I think we should also pay that Spout Market a visit to see if there's anything useful against Bertram beside our own personal requisitions.
>>4056418tanq, is it true that some casualties slowly return? Especially if they were injured like 2nd Platoons LT?>>4056670Mostly supporting but I want to bring up two points:1: Lose the stormtrooper spec,I dunno how helpful it will be if it's just for 1 squad as opposed to the whole 4th and we need it for:>Anti-Bertram gear. Specifically: Mines to go along with >>4056936 decoy plan perhaps.That and Richter is awful with guns, best case we can get him a submachine gun or shotgun so he's nice and close with better odds of hitting something. Plus it gives us some spending money on magical crap that might give us an edge. Oh Emma, where art thou? 2: We must always assume that Bertram is watching. He has nothing but time and vantage points to spy on Richter. I wouldn't be surprised if he was the one secretly ordering Anya drinks in the bar. She's also probably a target now. Hell, we may even want to try to get him into camp to talk with him more if he will listen. Doubtful.>Platoon ReorganizationWhen 2nd Platoon inevitably gets pissy about not getting reinforcements or gear we tell them that they are staying off fighting assignments until the situation stabilizes a little bit. Or gets a lot worse.Sort of agree that we shouldn't be giving the Netillians anti-tank gear. Our tanks ARE the anti-tank gear. Ones that we control entirely.
>>4057057Supporting thisAs for >>4056936 was thinking maybe we can get Richter a ghillie suit and smear sap on top of the foliage. His actual hunting skills besides shooting is still there after all so that should give him some stealth at least
>>4056670Suddenly giving 4th Platoon all the new equipment may raise suspicions though. Plus until the uprising actually happens we still have the Twaryians to worry about so we probably still need to spread stuff out through the company first
>>4057131Nothing suspicious here, 3rd and 4th are our least depleted platoons and 3rd already has toys.
>>4057134Just want to point out none of the upgrades are actually permanently attached to any platoon. tanq has allowed us to attach them to any platoon that we've sent out so far.
>>4057136It's still better to have the guys trained with the new equpment
Man, I kinda drifted away when luftpanzer lasted way longer than planned and only recently began catching up. I just finished 52 where you guys used chemo to turn richter into pudding.Absolutely amazing, I love it. It's gonna be a ride to see how the fuck you got him back to the battlefield without turning it all into a sitcom
>>4056936>Literally reenacting the ending of Predator with tree-sap instead of mudI love it
I'll be counting up everything soon, just here to say I'm alive and address a few questions.>>4057120>tanq, is it true that some casualties slowly return?Yes, though it's not a reliable or steady method. It's just to represent anybody coming back from the hospitals without being written off and sent back to reserves. Probably sooner than they should.>>4057075>Oh yeah tanq so are we getting any temp replacement for Kelwin?I believe that option was passed up on initially. You don't technically have to request a replacement, though you'll have one assigned eventually whether you like it or not. It may be prudent to see if you can recommend anybody for promotion or look for a friend rather than getting a stranger from the Netillian heartlands. >>4057120>1: Lose the stormtrooper spec,I dunno how helpful it will beThis wasn't specifically asked, but since it was mentioned for trying to fight somebody likely armed with a rifle, the body armor used by the stormtroopers isn't effective against rifle caliber rounds, especially the relatively oversized 8mm rifle rounds that are popular in Sosalian armies. It is effective against pistol caliber rounds and fragmentation, however.>>4057926Glad to have you back. Hopefully what's happened will be to your...well, I don't know about liking, enjoyment, I guess?
Anya thinks she looks better than you do in this jacket. Despite being a few sizes too big.I should just start giving myself hard time limits for these drawings. Anyways.>>4056569>>4056612>>4056618>>4056670>>4056936>>4057057>>4057120>>4057121>>4057123So tallying this all up will be messy.There's nine votes here, unless I missed any, so I'll work it like this. Since leaving things off I'll count as a vote against, anything tallied up that's five or more should go through.On week rollover you get another 3 RP- that's not part of current resources though.>New Model Machine Guns (3 RP per platoon) I I I I I l>Self-Loading Rifle Armament (8 RP per platoon) l l l>Extra Armaments (8 RP per platoon’s worth of equipment) l l l l l l l>Anti-tank Gun Detatchment l>Anti-tank Section l l>Stormtrooper Spec Squad (6 RP per platoon) l>Platoon Munitions Caster Team (3 RP per platoon) l l l l >6RP increase fuel allotment l l l l l >2RP 2 Extra Fuel l l l l l >Platoons Replenishment l l lOf course, for a few of these, there was position location too. More votes were for getting 2 sets of MGs, but there was also discussion on at least making sure 4th platoon has a set.There's also the subject of the extra armaments, which will be officially to equip 5th Platoon, and then their former equipment of captured origin can mysteriously vanish.So what'll be gone with is this-x2 New Model Machine Guns (6 RP)x1 Set of Spare Armaments (8RP)x2 Fuel Allotment Increase (6 RP)x2 Extra Fuel (2 RP)Which will leave you with 9 RP. I thought of lowering the threshold to 4 for the munitions casters, but eh, if those are wanted they can be bought with your present amount anyways.As for other things, I'll repost the Individual Requisition catalog shortly, in case you want anything from that weaponswise rather than either going to the Sprout Market as suggested, or trying to look around in general.If I'm wrong on my counts feel free to point it out, of course.
And a repost of Individual Requisition Catalog, with handguns exempted.(1RP) Grunsen Model 1930 Automatic- A weapon revived by the Netillian arms manufacturer Grunsen for trials to decide a new military rifle; though the W.dB 30 won these trials for its ease of manufacturing, the Grunsen was a curiosity reborn and is in limited production. It is a semi-automatic rifle with an unusual twenty round drum magazine, though the guns commonly have ten round box magazines. A modification of a project that converted straight pull rifles to ad hoc machine guns, and the whole thing is quite heavy, although its stockiness gives it durability.(1RP) Messer-Naukwerk "Elk" Autoloader-A commercial automatic hunting rifle that loads from a tube magazine, the Netillian Army bought a not-insignificant number of these weapons as part of military buildup. Although uncommon, they can be found with some units being used by NCOs or similar important individuals trusted with better armament.(3RP) Kalsre Model 1932- A very new rifle from Rourmark weapons manufacturer Kalsre Firearms, with an automatic action that fires quite a powerful round, made for mountain warfare. Long, heavy, and generally regarded as cumbersome, but there is no better rifle for a marksman armed with it as its 8.5mm rifle magnum round (must be specially ordered) has exceptional power and ballistics, guaranteeing accuracy, especially if combined with the normally included 2x Magnification optical sight.(1RP) Messer-Naukwerk Model 1925 Submachinegun-A slightly aged but reliable design, it has a relatively low fire rate for a submachinegun that makes it very controllable even when firing at full automatic. It uses a drum magazine that carries forty five rounds, or a stick magazine that carries twenty five. Strossvald's standard submachinegun, as a side note- Nauland purchases Naukland manufactured variants to fill the demand for weapons where its own industry is catching up.
(1RP) Mies & Peysson Double Barrel Hunting Shotgun- Hunting weapons, either modified or unmodified, not officially issued but finding their ways into armories nevertheless. Cut down versions are popularly used as assault weapons when there is a lack of submachineguns. Underequipped units also sometimes find themselves using such odd armament, usually out of being purposefully ignored or throttled for gear, rather than there being an actual lack of replacement weapons. Non-military usage by officials in recreation such as hunting, as well as a strange fondness for these weapons, has caused custom-made high quality examples of these guns to show up in the catalog.(1RP) MG 25N-A clone of the Kronerwerke MG24B used by the Grossreich of Czeiss still for its sturdiness and reliability, it was the standard light machine gun of Netilland until the start of the Armament Optimization Program. It shares the title of primary squad automatic weapon with the W.db 29 (The present standard LMG- most of your companies' machine gunner armaments, save the upgraded ones, which use the W.db 30). It loads from the top, and its thirty round magazine, while ensuring portability, means that its time firing is limited without a ready assistant.(1RP) Kronerwerke Model 1914 KarRifle- A semiautomatic rifle with a five round magazine, first seeing service in the closing of the Emrean War before being improved upon and standardized near two decades after. While the Reich's main service rifle is not officially used outside of it, some independent gunsmiths have taken to copying it and producing it for interested parties. As the Reich is at the forefront of military technology, there are more of those than one might think.I have managed to not feed myself yet today, so I will abscond briefly to make myself something, then I will get an update out before I have to leave for the evening.
>>4058171Just to clarify do we need to re-vote how to spend the remaining 9 RP?
>>4058184I won't require it. After all, there's no time you aren't allowed to spend RP- it's just that in times besides the beginning of the week you have to wait some for it.That said, it is there, so if you want to try and push for what to do with the rest of it, go ahead.
>>4058218Alright then:3 RP for Munitions Casters3 RP for replenishmentThen the remaining 3RP we keep. Plus our income this week that should give us 6 RP to spend on personal stuff if (when?) anons want stuff.
>>4058233>>4058218I can support this, but I would also want to spend an extra 1RP on the Messer-Naukwerk "Elk" Autoloader. I think it’s better to practice shooting with the gun we take to the duel sooner, so I think we should make that decision here. Also it is a hunting rifle, so hoping against hope there might be some muscle memory from using it in the past.
As you prepared the weekly requisition forms for filing, you made sure to add a request for the spare arms of a whole platoon along with the things actually needed. According to what you remembered of the briefing for the duties of coordinator, the Netillian Defense Council didn’t frown on privately commissioned soldiers- so long as the Kommissariat cleared them, in the case of actual officers of the army. Not ones to turn down willing manpower, the authorities would be happy to release arms with the understanding that, despite the official nature of being used to replace sudden and unexpected losses in materiel, the weapons would fall into the hands of those that would use them for the country, anyways.You intended to replace the armaments of the “5th platoon” with these, before, helping the NLF (and Anya) out a bit by “losing” the weapons the platoon initially had, which were confiscated Twaryian weapons prepared in the unrest at New Jorgenstohn. Unrest that had been thankfully quelled without incident. Two sets of new model machine guns, the set of spare armaments, oh, and you wanted more fuel- both weekly and at the start of this next one. More could be squeezed from Requisitions, you bet, but that was all you wanted for now.Planning for the future was nice when death loomed just in the metaphorical bushes beside you.What next, what next…well, there was getting back with Von Metzeler, meeting with the other Iron Hog…a check at their paperwork told you he was Lieutenant (cute of mercenaries to assign ranks, it must have been an artifact of Hell’s army days to assign them) Karol Illger, with no mention of Anya’s preferred name for him, of course. The tank he brought had been identical to Eakova’s, though his trucks had survived the journey- they were apparently for supply. The Field Workshop truck had been a tragic casualty of an attempt to ambush you a week earlier.Arranging a meeting with Illger would be simple, but Von Metzeler…was currently socializing with Yva. Should you go meet with him anyways, you wondered. See how they were going along? Keep the soulbinder from getting a hold on your second in command’s vulnerable mind? Or would Von Metzeler anger at your presumptions?
Yet your camp wasn’t the only one to get in order. News had come of developments with the Penal troops to the west, both in the UGZ-09 and out of it. In the UGZ, some penal troops had apparently been getting into standoffs and scuffles with the local Ellowian police- your “5th Platoon.” Nobody had died, but a few fights had broken out and one time was dangerously close to having weapons drawn. Naturally, the leader of the Penal Battalion company involved blamed belligerence on the “upstart” Ellowians who had been “irresponsible” granted new authority. Representative Rumell had sent a note saying that the Penal soldiers had been abusing citizens of the UGZ, particularly women. As usual. They were also, according to the representative, engaging in enabling underground drug trade and prostitution. Attempts by the Police (Platoon) to investigate further and perhaps put a stop to things had resulted in them getting stonewalled.Both accounts could have been true. The other matter only had one account warning of it- directly from the Penal Battalion command, as a general message to all in the area. Apparently a few squads of Penal soldiers managed to slip out and go absent without leave, including a Lieutenant who had been freshly assigned. The request was to recapture them- or eliminate them. There was no preference in the method of disposal, as Penal Soldiers who abandoned their penitent duties were condemned to death by the state. You recalled that their families, though left unmentioned, would also be dealt with, if they had any relation. Fairly sizable (and disproportionate) bounties had been placed on the delinquent penals- especially on their officer, a Lieutenant Udebert Machen- as was typical both to incentivize their capture, as well as dissuade desertion.
Such was the news of the day. Were the Judge merciful perhaps Gerovic would be distracted from you for a time, perhaps even moving eastward, where Anya had helped Edelschwert deal quite a blow to an unsuspecting Twaryian armored cavalry company. None of this was particularly pressing-yet. They were matters that could develop poorly should they remain unaddressed, but you couldn’t help but want to focus on ensuring your own future survival. Engaging in more training, planning, procurement of goods to use in your advantage in the coming duel, for the absolute best chance you could get at surviving it.…Though you supposed you did have all the coming week…>Choose what to handle first today----->Meet with the new arrivals. (Von Metzeler and Illger- or exempt one to focus on the other, perhaps.)>The situation in the UGZ-09 had to be resolved. It probably wouldn’t make you new friends, but you either wanted to avoid a conflict, or at least, be the one to strike the first blow.>Find out more about the situation with the escaped Penal troops- perhaps there was opportunity there. (For profit, or for something else..?)>Other?Also, you still have 9 RP- any discussion on what to do with that, if anything, shall continue with this vote.
>>4058355>Meet with the new arrivals. (Von Metzeler and Illger- or exempt one to focus on the other, perhaps)Meet both but if Metzeler is still busy with Yva then just talk to Illger first. There's definitely have a ton of stuff we need to update him about.Also supporting >>4058316 to get that Autoloader.
>>4058171>That pictureDamn Anya needs a nap.Also damn since when were her eyebrows so big? She about to give old Signe a run for her money.
>>4058355>The situation in the UGZ-09 had to be resolved. It probably wouldn’t make you new friends, but you either wanted to avoid a conflict or at least, be the one to strike the first blow.Let Metzeler enjoy his time back how he wants to. He will probably come to find us ourselves later on.I want to get all the business out of the way so we can focus on training, something we should probably tell Rondo about when he gets around to us.
>>4058355>>Meet with the new arrivals. (Von Metzeler)I think our best chance to survive the duel is to ask von Metzeler to try convincing Yva to help us again. Hopefully when she sees how bad off he is she'll feel worse for us, and von Metzeler can also vouch for us being a good person and how much worse off everyone would be if we were gone (hopefully). So first off we should see how he's doing, explain to him that we're going to be murdered in a week, and ask for his help. He has a week to week to wear down Yva's resistance but the sooner he gets started the better.
>>4058355>The situation in the UGZ-09 had to be resolved. It probably wouldn’t make you new friends, but you either wanted to avoid a conflict or at least, be the one to strike the first blow.>>4058473 Sounds like it's worth a shot to try at some point soon, but maybe not right away. Better to let Von Metzeler fall back in on his own and approach us when he's settled, imo.Also supporting >>4058316's suggestion to purchase the hunting rifleAlso also, keep a mental note open to try and find out where we "acquired" this random underwear from, god damn.>>4058171Cute stressed puff
>>4058355>Meet with the new arrivals. (Von Metzeler and Illger)Also >>4058316
>>4058355>Meet with the new arrivals. (Von Metzeler and Illger- or exempt one to focus on the other, perhaps.)
>>4058355>Meet with the new arrivalsWe need status report on Metzeler. We don't have any tank commanders to spare.
>>4058392>>4058473>>4058497>>4058503>>4058739A host must needs see to their guests.>>4058429>>4058485The Ugz boots.>>4058233>>4058316>>4058485>>4058497Procure Platoon Munitions Caster, and 3 RP Replenishment.Writing.>>4058400>Also damn since when were her eyebrows so big?I thought they were the same as ever, then I looked back over time.I please the fifth.
A few more matters added to requisition, as you thought. A munitions caster team for a platoon, replenishment of casualties…apparently, Lieutenant Abetz had sent a message early this morning saying he’d come back with the healthiest company members who had been wounded. It would fill up the rest of 2nd platoon, tying everything up nicely. The last matter was a personal one, concerning arming yourself for the coming duel. Yes, your shooting skills had rotted into garbage, but that was no excuse to skimp on equipment. The piece that had caught your eye in personal requisitions was a Messer-Naukwerk gun, the same company that designed several weapon in Strossvald, as your memory served. For what good it was for information on weaponry. This rifle was an automatic loader, a fancy hunting rifle in origin, but procured en masse by Netilland because of its semiautomatic capability and five round capacity. As a hunting rifle, accuracy was still a necessity. Expensive? Perhaps if you were buying it with your own money. Necessary? Insofar as you needed every advantage you could get. While finishing up with your requests, you thought about how you needed to get Anya a new gun, as per agreement of a past contest you lost. The idea that had come was to get her a machine gun, heavy and bulky…yet if she were to adapt to it and attempt to master it anyways, that would be so much the better, even if the opportunity to poke fun at her size would flounder.Requisitions done. The folder was handed off to the first staff officer you found, before you made a point of going to address the newcomers first…after a healthy half-flask of liquor was downed so that you could speak a sentence without pausing. The Fear made it so difficult to concentrate, to the point that your own body had trouble obeying you at times. It was far less a hassle when alone, when indoors, but when speaking to another person? Half the time you were pausing and staring like an idiot. That wouldn’t do at all if you were about to speak with the newly arrived mercenary officer.That would be the priority, even if you were more interested in Von Metzeler for several matters. He hadn’t woken you up to speak with you, so he likely didn’t feel a particular priority. Let him talk with his…whatever Yva was. Maybe it was hypocritical to imply that when you so disliked implications about you and Anya, but no soulbinder was above suspicion. At the very least, it would be more pleasant to start with speaking with a human this early after waking up.
Illger was a gangly, boney man whose uniform hung loosely upon him. Combined with his long, greasy black hair, he had quite the bedraggled look about him. Despite his apparent penchant for nearly getting killed, or being suspected of being dead, his face bore not a mark on it. Perhaps his unflattering nose, sticking out of his face like a broad knife had been rammed through the back of his skull, was punishment enough on that front.“Hey, buddy!” Illger was surprisingly friendly, though it wasn’t like you had any clue as to his character. Anya had known him for years and didn’t seem to think anything of it. “Why’d you go and ditch us, man?” He gestured to your eye, “Man, I’m glad Eakova caught up to you. If you’d been seriously hurt, Cyclops would’a ripped up the contract. She doesn’t have to know about this though, right? And hey, I won’t rag on you too much, we’re here well enough, right?” Illger had a grin on that was awfully suspect. “Though uh, since we’re friends, you wouldn’t mind if,” he leaned close to you ear, “Can you lend me some money? The pay goes to the company, and all-““Hey Cockroach!” Eakova walked up beside Illger, and yanked him away. “He’s supposed to pay us, what the hell are you trying to go and owe him money for?”“That’s not the proper way to talk to your commanding officer, is it?” Illger asked, trying to brush off Eakova, “What happened to the Field Workshop, huh, Red Britches? What’re we gonna do if we get a breakdown, hope the Netillians’ve got parts for the cracked up mods that Smitty stuffed these full of?”“…I just wanted to check on you people, see if there’s anything that needs to be taken care of…” you managed to get in between while Eakova was searching for a response.The redheaded Twaryian made a face, and sniffed in your face. “…Little early to be drinking, isn’t it, skinny?” She blinked, and swore under her breath for some reason.“…Better this way, trust me. Lieutenant Illger? Is there…anything you want to report..?”“Not really. What do you think of my offer?”“Shut up, Roach,” Eakova interrupted Illger’s attempts to borrow money off you, “Hey, uh, Lieutenant Von Tracht, right?”“Uh oh,” Illger leered at Eakova, then you, “She wants something.”“I said shut up!” Eakova whirled on her superior and pushed him away. “Hey, so, uh, your guy that just came back…”“…Lieutenant Von Metzeler..?” It couldn’t have been anybody else, but you had to confirm.“Yeah, yeah, see, I asked around about him, heard some things-““…Didn’t you call him retarded..?” you recalled her language quite clearly.
“I-I call everybody names, I didn’t mean it,” Eakova hastily waved that concern away, “He’s your friend, right? Look, I mean, I know I’m not much to look at, but, that don’t mean I don’t got it, right? Set me up. Help me out.”“…” You squinted at Eakova. “…I don’t get it…”“And you criticize me for asking for money,” Illger grabbed Eakova’s shoulder and pulled her away. “At least I’m not asking for a wingman.”“I’ll pay you back, alright?” Eakova wasn’t to be dissuaded, “I’ll uh…I dunno, I’ll think of something, or you think of something.”>…No. You weren’t about to try and pair your second in command with a mercenary, let alone one in your technical employ. Utterly ridiculous.>You’d be paid back? Maybe it could be arranged…(For what “payment,” and how?)>Tell her that she’s not his type. He prefers glasses. And long hair.>Other?
>>4059706>Tell her we already have tried to set him up once and he didn't like it.>Wish her luck>Tell her that he prefers glasses. And long hair.
>>4059706>…No. You weren’t about to try and pair your second in command with a mercenary, let alone one in your technical employ. Utterly ridiculous.We didn’t forget how you treated us, bitch. Say “no” politely and tell her to think of her words better.
>>4059706>I don't understand, what is the "it" that she supposedly has?
>>4059794Care to explain ?
>>4059706>…No. You weren’t about to try and pair your second in command with a mercenary, let alone one in your technical employ. Utterly ridiculous.>And she's not his type anyway. She should try coming back with either a bookworm look or a stick up her ass.
>>4059834She said she's "got it" but she never said what "it" is and she still hasn't said what she wants us to help her with or what it has to do with von Metzeler. Why do women have to be so confusing?
>>4059940>She should try coming back with either a bookworm look or a stick up her ass.Doesn’t she already has the stick ?>>4059944Yeah dude. After learning about him, she went from calling him a tard to wanting his D. Life isn’t fair.
>>4059736>>4059740Good luck...>>4059743>>4059940...with jumping in a well.>>4059794Unsure if it's a put down or no.I don't have rehearsal tonight so I'll roll this off in half an hour, even if I'd rather not for this particular thing.
>>4060861To make things faster do us, I’ll change mine to>Tell her that she’s not his type. He prefers glasses. And long hair.But keep my comment about her need to choose her words better next time.
>>4060861>Unsure if it's a put down or no. It is
“…You have it going on..?” you tilted your head and put your hand on your chin.“Huh?” Eakova looked confused, “I mean, you know, I’ve got a decent figure, don’t I?”“…I know what you meant. I just don’t see it…”“Oh, go to hell,” Eakova rolled her eyes, “Will you help me or not?”Frankly, you questioned your ability to play matchmaker. Hilda hadn’t taken well to Von Metzeler when you tried to divert her attention. Though Von Metzeler hadn’t refused, and to put it gently, Eakova wasn’t nearly as…you hesitated to call Hilda ugly, it was cruel even if it was true. Homely? Eakova wasn’t as homely as Hilda had been, and Von Metzeler hadn’t minded trying to entertain her. Though Hilda either smelled pity and reacted poorly to it, or the barriers she threw up at people had tested Von Metzeler’s patience too much.“…I don’t think he’s your type…” you went straight for the blunt and honest route, “…I don’t feel very motivated to be your in when you’ve done naught but insult me…though I’ll say that he’s fond of glasses, and long hair…”Eakova’s hand reached up to her scruffy red hair, and she frowned, scowled, and pretended like she was adjusting her headband. “Hmph. Fine, I don’t need your help. I can do it just fine on my own.” The woman sauntered off sulking, hunched over with her hands in her pockets.“…What’s with her…” you asked Illger, “…Why’s she smitten with him all of a sudden..?”“Ehhhh,” Illger shrugged and made a sound of unconcerned ignorance, “I can guess, though. He was actually pretty chatty on the way up, but he did talk about himself some. Weird way, like he didn’t really want to all the time but had to. Some of our boys talked with the boys already here, and the word’s here too, ‘specially from his crew. Guy’s a sword fighter, with sabers. One of my guy thought himself a pretty decent swordsman, but the guy didn’t want to have a spar at all. Wasn’t no phoney from what he talked about though, apparently. I guess you already knew that though, eh. Eakova though, see, if she likes anybody, it’s swordsmen. Swashbucklers, duelists, the like. If the people here talked about the same thing he did? Shit, no wonder she’s thirsty. You know he was a duelist? Like an underground one.”“…I’ve heard…” You didn’t intrude into Von Metzeler’s private life much, but apparently it wasn’t so private. Though…with the obliteration of his memories that came before the Academy, it might be one of the few aspects of his identity that he could grasp.“Wouldn’t talk at all about anything else, was what was weird. Ask somebody where they were born and usually they don’t mind sayin’ more than the country. Like, I know what country you’re from, right?”
“…I ought to see him…” you started to break away, “…Was there anything else..?”Illger tried his smile again. “Lend me money?”“…I’ll see you later…”-----The dawn had come up on smoking ruins, though any bodies had been cleared away or taken to the field hospital now, leaving the Captain to survey a clean aftermath. A night raid had managed to slip through negligent security with a large amount of tanks, dealt serious damage to the unit based here, and absconded with Netillian officers who had been captured. A serious failure, and one where fingers were pointed every which way to find blame, but such wasn’t why the Captain was here.“Ruined, absolutely ruined,” the armored cavalry commander moaned, a captain like the visitor, but of notably less prestige. “They never attack at night, let alone with armor, and…and there is no armor of that quantity in this sector, I would have known! This is absolutely terrible!”“Terrible indeed,” the Captain walked ahead into a motor pool full of wrecked vehicles. He chose to be gentle with the man, rather than point out how many defeats Twaryi had suffered because of arrogance like his. A trait that would have to be ameliorated if the East was to find victory on this continent. Twaryi would need to cease being astonished that the heretic could bring such defeats upon them, there were certainly plenty in history to not be surprised anymore, save for hiding it from oneself by willful ignorance. “Serzhant, do you suspect what I suspect?”“What would that be, Captain?”“The reports included one of a white vehicle, yes?”“That is what was said,” the cavalry commander still lamented as he looked over the motor pool, “A mercenary?”“Perhaps. However, Serzhant, I do believe our mutual friend has been busy. They own a white vehicle, though, I wonder why they were here..?”The armored cavalry commander caught on immediately. “They were from another sector entirely? Yours? How important were those prisoners? They did not seem worth such a…such a display of force!”“Your losses are not total, are they, Captain?” the Captain asked his fellow of rank.The man put his face in his hands, “There is but one damaged platoon left. We may as well be combat incapable. At least the new equipment survived.”“I will help you,” the Captain ran his hand over a damaged hull, “I will have to see the others, but given the quick nature of this raid, at least some vehicles appear to be badly damaged, but not total write offs. You may as well apply such to every vehicle here, even the burnt out hulks. That should led you save some face in your report, and I can give my approval that your company is largely in need of repairs, not replacements. A much softer landing for this hard news.”
“Ah, ah,” the commander let relief wash over him, “That would be…be most kind of you, sir.”“Indeed. Though, I think we can agree to a fair exchange for that favor, now can’t we..?”-----Yva was the one who answered the door when you knocked, though you could see past her in the common room, was your wayward Lieutenant. Yva looked suddenly tired and cross upon your arrival.“Whatever it is can surely wait for later.”“...No…” you heard Von Metzeler say from inside, though he didn’t look to the door, “…Let him in…”Yva gave you a cold glance, then pulled the door the rest of the way open before returning to the center table in the tight fit of a room, trusting the guest to have the proper manners to close it the rest of the way in this sort of season. The small iron stove had red coals glowing through the door grate, and hot water in a kettle was steaming slowly. From the smell of the room, it had been used to brew some smoky scented tea.Von Metzeler finally looked up at you as Yva sat across from him again…did you look so weary as well? “…Something has…happened to your eye…”“…I’ve had work done on it. It’ll be better in…” A month? Two months? You weren’t sure. “…Sometime. It’s alright…Where did you get this tea…?”“…I bought it along the way…” Von Metzeler said, sipping at his cup, “…It is of the homeland…though it brings back naught…to my mind…” He seemed to struggle to meet your eyes- a feeling you knew well. “…Lieutenant…why did you leave…back in Sosadlt..?”“…A long story…” you looked over at Yva, who was enduring the inconsistent stop and start speaking with surprising tolerance. “…Though I do not think we should speak of it…publicly…”“Ah yes, I dare not intrude upon forbidden knowledge,” Yva intoned in mock lightness.“…I have spoken with her…of the cond…conditioning…” Von Metzeler coughed out, “…Fear not in…speaking freely…” He glanced at Yva, “…I will not be…sending her away…”>Then you’ll talk later. You aren’t comfortable with “speaking freely” around a Soulbinder, no matter how innocent they look.>You supposed you took no issue with an audience. So be it, you’d “speak freely.”>Other?Also>Anything you want to talk with Von Metzeler about?
>>4061451>>You supposed you took no issue with an audience. So be it, you’d “speak freely.”>Anything you want to talk with Von Metzeler about?How was the trip and where did they meet Bertram when did he disappear
>>4061449Aw shit, we should've painted Eakova's tank with a proper camo long ago.Can we at least paint the mercs now?>>4061451>You supposed you took no issue with an audience. So be it, you’d “speak freely.”We won't tell her anything she doesn't already know, and if her presence helps Metzeler like Maddy's helped us, all the better.>Say that we left because we wanted to return faster, and because we felt that we need to DO THINGS to restore ourselves.>Ask how Metzeler feels, ascertain his combat and commanding capabilities.>Recommend drinking and scarves.>Also ask what exactly they told Bertram.
>>4061451supporting this >>4061473
>>4061451Oh by the way, how do we go around rewarding our retinue? I think Anya has earned some kind of an award at this point.
>>4061484reward good work with even more work, tell her about Bertram, she'd be pissed we didn't, considering were supposed to be blood pact/bound/whatever
>>4061451>>You supposed you took no issue with an audience. So be it, you’d “speak freely.”>Ask him besides his memories did he give up any of his other skills>Is he able to command right now?>Inform him the Major said the stuttering should go away on his own but alcohol and anger helps apparently>Must as well tell him the whole story about Bertram now
>>4061492Also can't wait to see the latest round of crap Gerovic's going to throw at us
>>4061488>>4061492And also add this questions and tell about Bertram’s duel with us
Morning go, though my afternoon and evening will be completely occupied. Mostly doing nothing. Oh well. inb4 implying that's different from the usual.>>4061472>>4061473>>4061479>>4061488>>4061492Refuse to send away any one armed nerds. And conversation topics.Gonna write.>>4061473>Can we at least paint the mercs now?There's nothing to say you can't, but their white paintjob is camouflage given the current snow cover (their default pattern is chocolate and and). Netillian tanks are conveniently dark green, rather than painted in a particular pattern. Your own tanks are still blue.>>4061484>Oh by the way, how do we go around rewarding our retinue? I think Anya has earned some kind of an award at this point.I presume you mean like a medal or commendation, not the rewards of buying her jewelry, food, and weaponry.The High Protector has technically given her a military decoration! One she has refused to attend a ceremony for. As far as Strossvald is concerned, you aren't actually at war, and will deny fervently that you are actively taking part in combat. Therefore, for the time being, any requests to the homeland will be delayed if not denied.
>>4062025Well we definitely have to at least buy her food and weaponry. She basically carries this outfit right now.
“…Fine…” You walked, slouched, over to the stove, “…I will not hesitate to speak freely then…I will take some tea for myself…” It was a sort you recalled distantly, but you had never bothered learning the particular differences between similar teas; you just liked them, generally. Let the academy cadets call you lacking in taste if they like. “…This may take some time to tell…”You began from where you left the Iron Hogs escort, though trimming the fat was a necessity. Not exempted was your need to restore yourself- to prove to your own being that you were not shattered beyond repair, that you were cracked, but unbroken. Despite that, you had to admit where you had faulted, how you had been injured badly, indeed, nearly killed. Initial treatment had been only mentioned in passing. There was no need to mention the spinster surgeon, nor the evidence of the Ellowian Army’s remnants clinging to life so near the border to the former nation.“…Foolishly brazen…” Von Metzeler said critically, despite your justifications after telling the story of your journey, “…Imagine if your fiancée learned of your…vainglorious attempt…at a class…classical…Von Tracht suicide…”“He is engaged?” Yva sounded genuinely surprised.“…There is no need to bring her into this…” Especially not with Yva around. Wait, Von Metzeler knew of Maddalyn’s sorceries…he would be smarter than to share such, you hoped. Though if this was the first he mentioned of her, maybe there was no reason to be concerned. “…I had to…” you stubbornly insisted, before continuing on to the events of the week you had been here, as well as what had happened in both of yours absences. The new threat of Gerovic, why there was a new Twaryian tank in the motor pool, Kelwin’s wounding, the change in administration in New Jorgenstohn, and even what had happened just last night. The raid, not…after.“…A fierce opponent, this Gerovic…despite holding back…yet I fear…I will be of no help…” Von Metzeler looked at his hands on the table, a dull and tired expression marring his face, “On our way north…there was a skirmish…deftly handled…but…I could not drive…drive down the urge to…run and hide…”“…Can you command..?” An important issue, though you knew the answer to your query already.“…” Von Metzeler held his head in his hands, “…I would not do so…with confidence…I must not be…the weak link…Yet I must try…”“What you must do,” Yva scolded, “is not endanger yourself and others out of pride. By rights you should be home, not here.”“…There is naught for me at home" Von Metzeler lamented, "…not now…”
Von Metzeler’s memories had been all but stolen away, save for the past several years, seemingly. Was there more, though? “…Was anything taken besides your memories..? Do you know..?” You asked.“…I was speaking of such with…With Yva…actually…” Von Metzeler grimaced as he took a hand from his head, “…Pardon me…it is frustrating to…speak this way…”“There is no trouble with it,” Yva reassured him patiently, eyes closed and back straight.Thankfully, you had some advice for that. “…I asked the Major about that…She said the stuttering should go away eventually…but in the short term, alcohol works well…” Some of the advice might have been subjective. “…Alternatively, if Yva has a scarf or something…”“…Why would…that matter if she did..?”“…Well,” you recalled Maddalyn’s scarf, soft silk and still imbued with the scent of her perfume, “You could smell it…”Yva and Von Metzeler stared at you.“…Well,” you tucked into yourself a bit, “…It helps me.” You dared not mention how hugging Anya had driven it away.“…I would rather you…cease such ridi…ridiculous presumptions…” Von Metzeler crossed his arms and looked down sorely.“…Excuse me for trying to help…” You muttered, ”…as I said, some small measure of drunkenness helps…” Getting angry and frustrated also seemed to distract the fear, but you felt no need to encourage that at present.“…I would need…to be quite drunk indeed to sniff a woman’s clothes…”“Rondo.” Yva said levelly, “That’s enough.”“…I apologize…” Von Metzeler said to the table, “…As I was saying…I was discussing the matter…with Yva…and…I had much time…to think about it…the conditioning seems…to set its roots in…something valuable…according to Yva…I would have surprised myself…”“…Did you hear the voice? Asking you questions..?” you asked Von Metzeler.He nodded. “…It asked what I was…then said I was not…and then I…was not…” Von Metzeler stopped a moment to rub his forehead and try to sit up straighter. “…As I said…I believe that…it takes root in…something valuable…like a poisoned well…the thing must be emptied…before it can be cleansed…Like your ability to fight…has been cleansed…”“…But it’s not gone forever…” you added, as a reassurance to yourself.“…Of course not…yet that means nothing…when it is gone for the present…”“…Did you have to sacrifice anything else..?” you asked.Von Metzeler shook his head. “…Nearly two decades of life…if that is not a steep enough price…I know not what could be…”Now came time for something you’d been thinking of for some time now. “…On your trip up…did Hilda’s brother meet with you..?”
Von Metzeler shook his head. “I cannot say I remember him…A stranger accompanied us north…and aided us several times…even in the pair of skirmishes we had…you seem…sure of who he is…”“…What did you tell him..?” you asked.“…I did not speak with…with him much…the escorts and I…did answer him…when he asked where we were going…We thought our camaraderie was growing with our familiarity…that he could make a worthy ally…then he disappeared…”“…He appeared a pair of nights ago.” You did your best to bite down on that sentence. “He attacked me, and injured me…” a gesture to your broken little finger, splinter, and the bandaged cut on your cheek. “…Then he challenged me to a duel…to be accepted by the end of the week…because he feels that I dishonored his sister, Hilda…that I am the cause of her misfortunes…I did my best, damn him…”Von Metzeler blinked at you. “You are in…no position to accept…not with a hope of winning…Did he say if it was…to the death..?”“…Ha…” you let out a single choked hoot, “…I would be surprised if it wasn’t…in addition, if I bring anybody with me…to help…he claims he will kill them. If I bow out…he will come here and pick off those around me…I refuse to let my weakness be the cause of another’s death..!”“…So you throw yourself…upon a funeral pyre…to spite Lady Von Blum…” Von Metzeler said darkly, “…This is a duel…made in bad spirit…to mock and torture you…not out of vengeance…” He set his hand on his chin again. “…Perhaps though…I am to share in the blame…were I more persistent in courting…the poor woman…perhaps she would not have had…such happen to her…” He pinched his brow, then rested his head on the back of his hand. “…You do not intend though…to merely die…do you..?”>Of course you didn’t, but die you would, if you didn’t have help from one who could not…You need Yva’s help.>There was no intent from you save to win, but to make your chances as good as they could get, you had to spend the time you had preparing, training- so if it was not too much to ask, you needed him to take over your responsibilities…some of them, at least. (Draw the Scion. Richter will be exempt from combat duties.)>Assure him that everything would be…well, you had a chance that was not zero. You had plans. You’d won harder battles, and arrogant you may be, you could prove that same man was still around to come out the victor in another battle…>Other?
>>4062488>>Of course you didn’t, but die you would, if you didn’t have help from one who could not…You need Yva’s help.
>>4062488>>Of course you didn’t, but die you would, if you didn’t have help from one who could not…You need Yva’s help.Tell him it's either that or we go beg Poltergeist
>>4062488>There was no intent from you save to win, but to make your chances as good as they could get, you had to spend the time you had preparing, training- so if it was not too much to ask, you needed him to take over your responsibilities…some of them, at least. (Draw the Scion. Richter will be exempt from combat duties.)We have spooky trees that we can take bits of to hide from Bertram’s spooky sight. He does not know we know this, nor will he be expecting us to not appear to his magic eye. We have advantages in this fight we can use to win. Ask Yva to help, sure, but don’t resign to thinking there no natural way to win this fight.
>>4062488>Of course you didn’t, but die you would, if you didn’t have help from one who could not…You need Yva’s help.Only good chance is summoning Poltergeist >>4062644The natural ways are slim and we need something more
>>4062488>There was no intent from you save to win, but to make your chances as good as they could get, you had to spend the time you had preparing, training- so if it was not too much to ask, you needed him to take over your responsibilities…some of them, at least. (Draw the Scion. Richter will be exempt from combat duties.)We already know her price for her help, is to enter the Wizard World War and I cannot accept that, because everyone here, including Maddy, will get drawn in.
>>4062488>There was no intent from you save to win, but to make your chances as good as they could get, you had to spend the time you had preparing, training- so if it was not too much to ask, you needed him to take over your responsibilities…some of them, at least. (Draw the Scion. Richter will be exempt from combat duties.)
>>4062488>“…So you throw yourself…upon a funeral pyre…to spite Lady Von Blum…”Fuck!Damn it!Even when half-retarded Von Metzeler is quick with the pointed jabs!Fuck it! I don't care if it brings the Wizard War down on our heads. With our proximity to Poltergeist Richter was a bad move or two away from it darkening his doorstep anyway!Richter can't fucking die. There are too many people counting on him for him to be risking his life like this. It's an out of the frying pan, into the fire, type of situation, but good damn I refuse to put our boy in such a risk.Even if surviving whatever bullshit Bert throws at us on our own would be better for us in the long run, it's not worth the risk of up and dying! It's not just Bertram's spook vision that's the problem, even IF we get around that shit he's still a pre-op Richter level marksman and possibly an even better fighter.What galaxy brained play can we do right now to even the odds against that, besides selling our souls to a higher power, whether that is to a Wizard War or the Milk Major, who we still haven't talked to about this whole mess?Even now after spending that last few nights training with Malachi and Jorgen, we've been given no indication that the training has shown any results besides their vague assurances.It's not that I don't believe Richter can't pull this off, but god damn it we need to stop bullshitting and come up with a solid plan to secure at least a solid chance at victory or we need to just cave and get some bigger guns involved.
>>4063161The sensible bet is asking our beetlejuice for help, since like we are tired of pointing out, Bertram not only has a good aim, but he a better cqc than pre-op Richter and even with the few ways to avoid his eye won’t really solve the rest of our problem. Unless we get only good rolls, better expect a Commander funeral quest.
>>4062488>>Of course you didn’t, but die you would, if you didn’t have help from one who could not…You need Yva’s help.She'll probably turn us down so we probably need to go visit the guy in our dreams again
>>4062488>There was no intent from you save to win, but to make your chances as good as they could get, you had to spend the time you had preparing, training- so if it was not too much to ask, you needed him to take over your responsibilities…some of them, at least. (Draw the Scion. Richter will be exempt from combat duties.)I simply don't believe Yva will help us. She refused most vehemently before.
>>4063530Was it because she couldn’t or she didn’t wanna help ?
>>4063539I think it was she couldn't help without forcing Richter to ally for her side in whatever this thaumaturgical clusterfuck actually is.So partly a warning, partly a threat, partly an offer.
I cant remember, was the Demiphantom attracted to us in someway before, or to Maddy? Releasing it might just have it haunt us again.
>>4063720It was to Maddy.
>>4063720>>4063725If by before we sealed it away then I guess you can say it was tired to Maddy since she created it, but I'm not really sure what you mean by that.The Demiphantom is currently "haunting" Richter, who sealed it away in that factory with a magic seal that is now tied to him and now it's only way to contact the outside world.It trying to yell at Richter to release it results in Richter sometimes fainting and getting sent to a place between the real world and the Naval, where Poltergeist's spook shack is.Fainting randomly out of nowhere can be VERY inconvenient, but Richter mitigates these episodes by chewing on black flower. That also, however, keeps us from talking to Poltergeist. If I remember correctly we stopped taking black flower for that very reason so we can talk to him about this situation among other things, but the dreams have yet to come.We have no idea what would happen if we release it, just that if we do Poltergeist will take it off our hands, do something with it, and in return for a BIG favor. One he's refused to let us use in other situations because they weren't "Important enough".
Oh the Super Bowl's today.>>4062585>>4062663>>4062594>>4063258and >>4063161 I think?Pls tell your magical girl to help me.>>4062644>>4062746>>4062909>>4062950>>4063530>>4063802Nah, I got this. But who am I? Not the zombie, that's for sure.Writing.
>>4064500Yva seems more like a QB than a Madoka though.
>>4064590Being a commander is suffering
To tell the truth, you weren’t nearly confident enough about your chances. On one hand, you didn’t need nor want to be part of any more sorcerous nonsense, but on the other…you didn’t want to die. Ironic perhaps, but the impersonal nature of war between nations was far different from dealing with a personal vendetta. Yet, the price of guaranteeing your health and safety…it was too much. There wasn’t even a fantastic chance Yva would even accept, with or without Von Metzeler’s pressure, should he deign to press her. Last time you requested she had refused utterly, so your best chances were to make yourself as ready as possible…and perhaps visit your dreams, as it were, for counsel; for aid. Poltergeist still hung his favor over your head- surely saving your life was a worthwhile exchange for that monstrosity that Poltergeist desired.“…I have no intention of doing anything but winning…” you said with bravado as fragile as a glass ornament, “…I have to make my chances as good as I can, though…I do not intend to spite Maddalyn anywhere. To do that though, I need…to train myself. To prepare. So…if it is not too much to ask…for you to take over some of my responsibilities..?”Von Metzeler frowned deeper than before. “…I do not have…confidence…in myself to do it…Yet I cannot be a bur…burden…can I..?”“…I’ve had much in the way of help…” you felt no hesitation to admit that, “…The Junior Lieutenant and Sergeant have been quite helpful…and we have more mercenaries now. I think things…will be fine…”“…Hm…” Von Metzeler leaned down on the table, “…I will do my utmost…are there reports…to peruse..?”“…In the command office…” you said, “…I won’t ask that you start right away. In a few hours…you did just get back, after all…” You rose again and headed for the door. “…Later, then. Welcome back…”Time to get back to Malachi and Jorgen. Yesterday all that had occurred was for Jorgen to chase you around swinging and throwing his axe at you, while Malachi mostly either cackled at you or attacked you when Jorgen decided to take a breather. It was purportedly to try and “bring a killer to the surface,” as Jorgen put it, but so far it had felt like it wasn’t working. It was a fantastic way of terrifying you; Jorgen claimed that all Yaegir men went through this ritual, the rakeita, in their boyhood. When you complained that you didn’t have years to become a Yaegir, Jorgen had told you that to speed up the process, he was actually going to try to kill you.If it was a joke then it wasn’t a funny one.
Eventually Jorgen and Malachi decided you’d been tormented enough and set you to striking a tree with a hefty, weighty stick while they told stories. That was when you heard Jorgen disclose his apparent reason for not returning to the forests of the north, his shadowed homeland. Yaegir courtship was odd, violent as some might imply was suitable. Somehow you knew where it was going when Jorgen described his wife to be as having an identical twin sister, but you tried to parse things through the northerner’s thick accent regardless.“Soou I gehtehn dehr, ehye, ehn erhm! Ehrm!” He made an extremely suggestive motion with his pelvis, “Dehn wahn ehm’ douhn, Isseh, “Ehlahvouu, Mila,” ehnshehsess, “Ehm Hanna!” Hehhahahaha…”Anya had thought it was pretty funny when you told her last night. It just reminded you of how shockingly alike Maddalyn and her sister were. Then got your mind focused on your fiancée all over again.Suffice it to say, your loader had been so embarrassed from accidentally sleeping with his wife’s sister that he fled the north rather than face the woman he’d spent years with, going south again to serve the Archduchy again.“…What…” you had panted between clobbering a tree, seemingly pointlessly, “…You’d rather die than see her..?”Jorgen shrugged. “Yauhrshremps noughtter, eh? Youhrno wehtter?” A different point of view, you’d say.Well, you thought as you left the cottage to head back for camp, maybe you’d feel something awaken today…or the next day…hopefully, sometime before you faced Bertram once more.-----…On your long journey back again, you had met a fortune teller in a dusty Sosaldtian town. The mercenaries had gotten into a nerve wracking firefight with local brigands, killing a couple and driving the rest away, and were staying at the settlement for the night rather than risk another ambush by the same band in the dark. A caravan was in the same place, and much like anywhere else, they had mystics with them. Exempted from watch duty, you had gone to take your mind off of recent events…and off of itself. Off of the ever present feeling of things creeping just out of sight, like being in the dark all alone with scratching on the floor, all of the time.The mystic was a young girl, perhaps thirteen years old, with what was presumably her grandmother watching over her as she practiced what could be called a trade amongst the Vyemani. Both of them were dressed in heavy beaded cloaks and charms, geometric patterns running up and down their apparel, the cards they plied being antique painted lacquer work upon wood. It wouldn’t have surprised you, given the wear upon their edges and corners, the fading upon the faces, if the deck was an heirloom.“Your card,” the small Vyemani girl said, dealing one card, then four around it in a cross.
“Pick any, save the center. Fate is of twin aspect. That which is chosen, and that which is not. The center is your anchor, your card is your being.” She looked to her grandmother, uncertain if she had recited the verse correctly. You wouldn’t have known- you merely touched a card. You had never been superstitious, but recently, you’d had every reason to become such. The girl slipped a finger under the card you pointed to and flipped it over. “The Scion,” she recited, “Aspect of the Knight, Triumph of Duty. You are important? Or have an important cause?”You shook your head. You just didn’t know. Most of your life was now blurry shapes behind a curtain. Maybe your cause was important, maybe you were important. Only the past few years were clear, and they felt like they had happened to a different person, like you were a silent invisible witness, and then you woke up as this person, named Rondo Von Metzeler.The center card was flipped. “The Hearth. The place of reunion, communion, respite. A meeting in your future, not a confrontation…”Well, you already knew that.“Er.” The girl noticed your lack of response, “A few pfennings, and I can give you another reading, if you like.” When you had acquiesced, more out of generosity than of interest, She had replaced the center, and flipped it. “Ooh, the Tribute! Luck and riches are on your path, sir. Aren’t you lucky?”…You had enough entertainment then.The foretold reunion had come, of course, and gone. The true test would be to see if luck and riches would fall into your lap.Richter Von Tracht had just departed, you taking on responsibilities in his place for his coming duel. A poor decision, by your measure- without another to win the duel for him, you placed his chances at the better end of “hopeless.” That would not be cause to deny him his wishes, though. You owed him a debt all the same.You had to inquire about how somebody had ruffled through your belongings and stolen a pair of your briefs, when you got the appropriate chance. A few hours free time had been granted upon Richter’s departure. Perhaps time to turn about and invest into taking initiative into duties. Maybe time to relax a bit more. You were in pleasant company, after all. Yva apparently didn’t stray from the cottage much, save for…unspoken of ranges out, often at night. She had been quick to be accommodating- maybe something to be reciprocated for.>It was improper to let Yva rot in this dusty old hut all the time. Take her out somewhere with your free time. (Where?)>Head to the HQ Office and catch up on what was going on, immediately. The sooner you started again, the sooner you’d be riding properly in the saddle once more. (OOC you know this is to do with the UGZ and the Penal Battalion, of course.)>You’d spent enough time with Yva for now, but not enough time getting settled. Go investigate something else/meet with another person. (Who?)>Other?
>>4064789>A poor decision, by your measure- without another to win the duel for him, you placed his chances at the better end of “hopeless.”Preach Metzeler.>Head to the HQ Office and catch up on what was going on, immediately. The sooner you started again, the sooner you’d be riding properly in the saddle once more. (OOC you know this is to do with the UGZ and the Penal Battalion, of course.)
>>4064789>You had to inquire about how somebody had ruffled through your belongings and stolen a pair of your briefs, when you got the appropriate chance.That’s explains it, but why did Richter went for someone that’s wasn’t close ? alcohol and it’s mysteries >>4064789>Head to the HQ Office and catch up on what was going on, immediately. The sooner you started again, the sooner you’d be riding properly in the saddle once more. (OOC you know this is to do with the UGZ and the Penal Battalion, of course.)
>>4064789>A poor decision, by your measure- without another to win the duel for him, you placed his chances at the better end of “hopeless.”Damn you Von Metzeler!Can someone! ANYONE, have faith in our Richter!>Head to the HQ Office and catch up on what was going on, immediately. The sooner you started again, the sooner you’d be riding properly in the saddle once more. (OOC you know this is to do with the UGZ and the Penal Battalion, of course.)
>>4064842>Damn you Von Metzeler!>Can someone! ANYONE, have faith in our Richter!Let’s be real dude, without outside help, we only have a chance with only rolling good rolls
>>4064846Can't wait to show up to the duel and have all the DCs be like 10
>>4064789>>Head to the HQ Office and catch up on what was going on, immediately. The sooner you started again, the sooner you’d be riding properly in the saddle once more. (OOC you know this is to do with the UGZ and the Penal Battalion, of course.)
>>4064846Fucking Malachi and Jorgen would tell us if this was a waste of time right?They wouldn't fucking train us wrong as a joke and then watch from a distance as we get our ass torture to death, right?
>>4064935Bertram has years of experience and skill over Richter at this point not sure how one week of training hard is miraculously going to change things
>>4064944>Bertram has years of experience and skill over Richter at this point not sure how one week of training hard is miraculously going to change thingsAll I'm saying is that Malachi and Jorgen wouldn't just send Richter to his death. If they thought he had no chance they would tell him that it was a fool's play right? Unless they had some plan in training him that would give him a good shot at winning, they wouldn't bother or at least ask that Richter reconsider.There has to be more to this training if we aren't allowed to actually see it and they seem so sure it's helping.
>>4064935Given that it’s a duel, I don’t think that Bertram will torture us and instead will just outright kill when given the chance. Also I don’t they’d train us wrong given our relationship with them
>>4064981The whole point of this thing for Bertram is so he can get his jollies off playing a twisted game of cat and mouse in the forest. He'd probably only go for the kill after Richter has been thoroughly beaten or when he proves more trouble than it's worth.Regardless you see my point. They aren't training us wrong and they seem to have faith in Richter.Or at the very least that he's improving to some degree.
>>4064965>they wouldn't bother or at least ask that Richter reconsider.I don't think we told them about Yva so as far as they know we have literally no other choice but to fight. So what is there for Richter to reconsider? I think they're just training is because it's the only thing they can think of and it's better than just leaving us for dead, not because they think it will be enough for us to win.
>>4064789>You’d spent enough time with Yva for now, but not enough time getting settled. Go investigate something else/meet with another person.Krause, of course. Our best friend.
>>4064789>You’d spent enough time with Yva for now, but not enough time getting settled. Go investigate something else/meet with another person. (Who?)Krause, even if it's just to say hi. Or hell, he can come with us to the HQ and help Rondo get familiar with this fustercluck.
>>4064789>Head to the HQ Office and catch up on what was going on, immediately. The sooner you started again, the sooner you’d be riding properly in the saddle once more. (OOC you know this is to do with the UGZ and the Penal Battalion, of course.)We'll probably meet up with Krause anyway by doing this
Holy shit...Guys were fucking idiots!We've been sitting here trying to come up with a way so Bertram's magic eye can't properly see Richter, but why don't we use that to set an ambush instead!
>>4065902Ok so one of the more throughout plans I've seen around here was the idea that because it takes a while for the presence to dissipate from cute bushes an the like that it would make good cover for dummies or places for Richter to hide.But why not instead of using this trick on Richter, we use it to sneak some dudes into the fight!
>>4065907Because Bertram is a good sniper and he will se help incoming. He told us to not try that and I’m quite sure we’ll end up ruining our friends if we try that.
>>4065907Because doing it one-on-one is clearly a plot limitation. You know, like working for Liemanner was.
>>4065911Wasn’t it because he had Maddie ?
>>4065921Liemanner having Maddy was an in-story limitation. We circumvented it.Liemanner being a bunch of fucking clones was a plot limitation. We veered off the plot and were punished for it. There's no circumventing something like that.
>>4065924I get it now. Bertram being a good marksman and knowing the place of our duel will make it impossible to sneak someone in and thus, is a plot limitation. Gotta pray for gaster’s help in this combat.
>>4065908Bah! I guess you're right. Fucking Bertram and his special eyes! Serves me right for thinking I was onto something.Well since we're back to square one anyone else got any ideas?
>>4065955I am the >>4056936 guy so I'm still a proponent of using decoys in some way. It doesn't have to be so complicated with setting up a bunch of dummies and such, but at least having some bloody shirts we can hang to draw fire should help. Also we might be able to borrow Anya's munitions caster, and while shooting explosives at Bertram will probably just make life harder on us, setting down some smoke cover that we can actually use if we cover our presence with the magic tree stuff will probably be useful. Tear gas also could help to flush Bertram out of an area we cant confidently shoot into.
>>4066023The only part of that plan that seems odd to me is how we're gonna get the decoys out there to begin with?Bertram said he'd be camping out in the forest we'd be dueling at didn't he? He'd see everything we'd be trying to do easily and just study which targets are false or not.You say munitions casters wouldn't work, but maybe bringing some hidden explosives might?Tear gas or smoke cover comes with the problem of getting people to shot them, and I wouldn't put it pass Bertram to just turn tail and start shooting up our camp at the first sign of external forces.
>>4066023Like >>4066071 we can’t sneaky build the decoys, we’re limited to magic sap and extra ammo/grenades>inb4 we get a shit roll while throwing a grenade and end up exploding our face
>>4066071There are two working methods on the decoys, first one is we just have the men set up sniper bait decoys all across the border zone as a way to combat Tywarian snipers. We can commandeer one and soak it in something presencey to use as bait during the duel proper. The second idea is we just take rags or shirts imbued with some presence and spread them around as we frantically evade Bertram to provide some false positives to his eye and slow him down.I will say that prepping obviously beforehand probably won't work, any teams we send in will probably get shot, or worse, Bertram will commandeer the decoys instead.
One of the reasons I figure we need some extra RP is for trap supplies, like a landmine or trip wire. Anything we can use that maximizes Richter's hunting skills as opposed to his wretched combat should be exploited.If anything, we need to try and form a plan based on the real or perceived limitation of Richter not shooting or fighting at all.
>>4064792>>4064825>>4064842>>4064877>>4065859To Headquarters!>>4065408>>4065569Say hi to Krause.Writing.>>4065911There is absolutely nothing limiting you to only having a one on one duel. The vote immediately after the duel was accepted (by vote) even presented the option of not doing it alone. The vote before this one, was a vote on doing it alone or with help, and there has been plenty of time given not only to plan, but to potentially change your mind. I have tried whenever possible to allow a reevaluation of circumstances when new information or resources have been acquired- there would be no sudden inability to do the same here.The conclusion that you are only allowed to do this duel exactly as has been stated by somebody with extremely malicious intent because it is mandated by a plot is an extremely confusing one to me.I don't take offense at criticism, I find it very important for growth, but assuming you're being locked into a box by the plot when there have been multiple votes at alternatives, the plan to go about it is subject to preparation and change up until the trigger is pulled, and information has been deliberately withheld from characters to prevent them from taking initiative with said information, it would be very puzzling to then place the blame on what occurs from what has been very purposeful self isolation on the plot.To reiterate, you are allowed to try anything so long as you have a way to do it or make yourself able to do it. The obvious caveat is that you need to convince a voting majority to agree to execute that plan, and that there is not a guarantee that it will work the way it is expected to and that chance will be highly likely to be a factor. If you wish to take issue with the latter being a possibility, then so be it, but I would consider it a personal failure if it wasn't obvious by now that I wouldn't drop boulders on your head to spite you all.
>>4066313Okay, I might have been traumatized by Liemanner too much. I admit it.
>>4066126>>4062644I think a lot of people might be forgetting that Bertram only has one special eye, not both. So he can presumably see perfectly normally with his normal eye and doesn't only see in presence vision like Maddy does. So I don't think rags or shirts would work as decoys to slow him down since he would be able to see that they're just rags or shirts as well as anyone else would. Additionally even if Richter does try to camouflage himself in kalamarz branches it would only be as effective to Bertram's normal eye as a regular person hiding in some tree branches. And since Richter isn't any special expert on camouflage and Bertram is a skilled sniper who presumably has quite some experience with identifying targets in difficult terrain, I hardly think that our knowledge of the kalamarz trees' presence properties can be considered an "advantage." At best it can be used to nullify just one of the many, many advantages Bertram has over us in this fight. Which in my opinion isn't a basis to think Richter can actually win.
>>4066455A good point that most forgot
>>4066455Also as long as we can't shoot for crap it's going to be a major problem. Like our DC when competing with Anya was like 20 and that's shooting at static targets at relatively short range.
“…I will start my…duties early…” you said to Yva, rising slowly to your feet. “…Will you…be all right..?”“The same should be asked of you,” Yva rose too, and moved between you and the door. “Will you not rest longer? You are not being demanded immediately.”“…I have…already rested a week…” you put your hand on Yva’s arm, felt the place where her true body was joined with an enchanted prosthetic. “…I cannot rest forever…” Thoughts returned to Richter and his duel. “…You cannot help him..?”Yva shook her head. “It is not my place to decide. Once, great disaster came about because my sort chose to try and control fate to our whim with our power.”“…But you have…defied fate to ease suffering…”Yva sighed slowly, mouth set into a small pout, “That is after the battle has ended.”“…Then perhaps…”“Let us not speak of that now, Rondo,” Yva put her hand, the one that was still hers, upon yours, and took it off of her. “That aspect of my identity needs not be a part of me, when around you.”A nod. “…I understand…” If only you were so certain of what you were. “…You needed water…for a bath..?” That had been spoken of in idle chatter between the two of you.“I am able to get it.” Yva said quickly, yet you wouldn’t be denied.“…I will have it done for you…I’ll see you…in the evening perhaps…”“Tomorrow,” Yva shifted uncomfortably, “I intend to bathe in the evening…”Curse the mind for wandering. “…Ah…my apologies…well then…” with a wave exchanged between you, it came time for you to finally exit the cottage, into a winter chill that nipped at your face. Duty called once more, whether you were ready or not, and you would simply have to try your best to do what was expected of…a noble. A knight. Why? You could not recall where such feelings had begun, only that they were what you were, so all you could do is follow them, lest you lose yourself.
On your way to the headquarters office, you were accosted with an unexpected encounter.“Uh, hey,” the voice of a woman coughed, and when you turned your head, you saw one of the mercenaries that had been sent along with you and Richter, walking cautiously towards you. “You’re Von Metzeler, yeah?”She had unruly short red hair, with a bandanna over her head kicking her bangs up, and some manner of discoloration that rendered one half of her face more pale than the other, like splotches of lime bleach. Her jacket had its two…no, three buttons undone, for some reason. It was improper- perhaps she hadn’t noticed and needed to be reminded. You’d seen her before, but you didn’t remember anything about her- not even her name.“…I am Lieutenant Von Metzeler…” you answered her. “…Did you…need something..?”“Well,” the woman thought a second, “How’s it going?”“…I am well…was there anything…you needed..?”“Oh, that’s good,” the mercenary’s eyes flicked side to side, “I heard you’re a sword fighter? You like swords?”“…I have to be going…” you started to walk again, “…Ask again later…I have work to attend to…”“Later when?” the red haired mercenary asked, keeping pace with you. “Uh, I’m Frances, by the way.”“…Later…” you said, not thinking of setting up a schedule for small talk. “…I do have to be going…”“Sure, sure,” the mercenary nodded, “But, you want to maybe, talk and walk?”“…We have been doing that…” you said as you came up upon the burrows where the headquarters had been partially transferred, “…I have work to do…as I said…”“…Yeah, alright.” The mercenary stopped, and behind you, she muttered, “Fuck’s sake.”What a strange thing, you thought as the staff officers greeted you in the headquarters. They still knew you, even if you’d never been that talkative with them, and you were quickly brought up to speed on the situation, and what you were expected to take care of…or at least be aware of.
There was a situation brewing between the UGZ-09’s new police force, the company’s official yet also unofficial 5th Platoon, and the Penal Battalion soldiers who also patrolled the UGZ. Reports were mixed as to who started what, but there was clearly unrest between the two groups. One for abuses against their countrymen, the other for perceived lack of “staying in their lane.” A few times had come where the two groups had men come to blows, nearly drawn weapons, and it was only a matter of time until it came to a skirmish.You were well aware of the abuses of the Penal Battalion men. Rather, amongst some of them. Enough to matter. Netilland did not have the same military laws against abuses of civilians as Strossvald did, especially not in regards to Ellowians. The Penal Battalions were made up of both political criminals and actual criminals in disciplinary service, yet they were apparently encouraged by Kommissariat representatives to “let loose” on the occupied population. This meant beatings, extortion, rape- you knew the UGZ well enough to know why the Ellowians gave the Penal Soldiers a wide berth. Such abuses of power were not overlooked- they were explicitly covered for by their superiors. It was more than understood that if the Penal Battalion was in sole charge of maintaining order in the UGZ-09, it would easily have erupted just like UGZ-07 did. 5th Platoon trying to obstruct such abuses was not going to end well, not without some sort of action. Action that would be your responsibility, should you take it.>If there would be a fight, you’d want your people to come out on top, at least. Reinforce the 5th. (With who?)>There was still time for diplomacy. Go meet with the local Penal Battalion Company commander, maybe you could come to a new understanding.>This would have to be solved with an aggressive action, a preemptive strike. Perhaps arrests. Perhaps expulsion of the penals from the UGZ. (What sort of plan, and who/how to execute it?>Other?
>>4066548Who are our options for the first one ?
>>4066548>>If there would be a fight, you’d want your people to come out on top, at least. Reinforce the 5th. (With who?)4th Platoon
>>4066558Whoever you have listed here->>4056418>>4056421Though you can call in some help from friends too, if you have anybody in mind, naturally.
>>4066560Going with this
>>4066560If we do the 4th then violence will erupt pretty quickly as the Penal heads won't respect the authority of an Ellowian units mixing in with UGZ police. So we should have a "shit has gone bananas" sooner rather than later.I do support it because it will help integrate the 4th for the eventual uprising and betrayal on the horizon.But also>Other?Let's go talk to Maenesko(?) about the situation. And let him understand that violence is imminent.
>>4066548>>There was still time for diplomacy. Go meet with the local Penal Battalion Company commander, maybe you could come to a new understanding.I think we should at least try feeling out their commander before resorting to anything drastic. If fighting does break out the people of the UGZ will suffer either way, and it's unlikely to provide a permanent solution.
>>4066455That's why the plan called to fight him at night whrn his normal eye can't see shit.
>>4066548>There was still time for diplomacy. Go meet with the local Penal Battalion Company commander, maybe you could come to a new understanding.But don't meet with him ourselves. We're not in a condition for that. Send someone who doesn't stutter.
>>4066560>>4066606>>4066646>>4066823Reinforce them. With more dirty lowlanders.Also have a chat with the smelly fish person.>>4066936>>4067380Fighting is good but have you tried afternoon tea?Writing.
I had a dream this morning that I watched a really low budget, comedy stage play adaptation of Panzer Commander Quest. 90% of the play was Anya almost beating people up and a lot of actors in plain clothes with tank turrets for heads fighting eachother Remembering tanq volunteers at a theater only made it funnier
Frankly, violence seemed inevitable, but perhaps it could be deterred with a large enough injection of reinforcement. The larger an opponent, after all, the more hesitant an assailant was to square up for a fight. The additional benefit of a larger force being much more likely to win a potential altercation was not lost on you, though it would hopefully not come to that. A staff officer did question your choice of deployments when you handed them in to be processed. “Fourth platoon to the UGZ?” the young man stared at the typed missive, “Won’t that cause trouble?”“…Trouble is already happening…I trust them to best handle it…” you explained yourself, though your tall and broad figure, despite the slump in your shoulders, was more convincing than any words you could summon could be. “…I will also…speak with the administrator…for UGZ-09…Sublieutenant Maenesko…”Von Tracht had spoken more with Maenesko than you ever had, but you knew plenty about him, including that he was sympathetic to the conquered people he minded over. Once a navy man, his stubborn sticking to his old rank a sign of some pride in such, he had been an influential figure in allowing UGZ-09 some measure of autonomy, even if it was officially still his administration. Fifth platoon was the police force organized by the Ellowian decision makers in the UGZ, and as Maenesko had no authority over any of the garrisons or troops in general of the UGZ, his sympathy for the people couldn’t often be acted upon outside of procurement of supplies or funds. That said, it was not as if he flew a flag that was not that of his home. Given Von Tracht’s and Sergeant Nowicki’s ties to insurgents, one would see the value in finding sympathy wherever one could, but you recalled that Maenesko disapproved of rabble rousing within the UGZ itself. A meeting with him should clear any air concerning that, you figured, whether it was a plan to avoid it or to prepare for it.Fourth platoon deployed immediately, and you went with them, keeping to yourself and collecting your thoughts. The memories you lost had been precious, but old. The UGZ was as familiar as ever, from normal duties there, taking Yva around in it, but most significantly, from the times you disguised yourself, prowling the dark with your saber at your flank, as you carried it now, though on your opposite side, and a more flamboyant one with your family’s name. A meager attempt to not be found out immediately. For some reason you had a hesitancy to wear it in the past, but now…the past may as well have flown away into the horizon.Why had you patrolled the night? It was a diversion, yes, but perhaps it was also frustration with the role you were currently playing. The assistant to the conqueror, oppressor of the downtrodden. Such did not fit your vision of a knight. You also may have been inspired by a pulp novella series, but you’d never admit such a thing.
It was a funny thing, to be inspired by something you’d forgotten. You remembered well enough the title, the line of books, but not their actual contents. You must have read them before the Academy. Your quarry in the night have been those seeking to do violence to the denizens of the city, but those you dealt with tended to be domestic criminals, rather than Penal soldiers. Penal troopers tended to move in groups, not in dark alleys, and however talented you were as swordfighter, you were only one man. That said, you had certainly kept an eye on their activities. They would swarm brothels and cheap food places, smokehouses and drug dens. The UGZ was no tourist attraction; it did have respectable places to visit, as a city would, but the penal troops weren’t interested in them whatsoever.A palpable tension was felt as soon as you and fourth platoon approached the gates, and the penal troops manning it leered at what would be immediately clear was Ellowian troops, with their grey striped helmets and black trousers; the same apparel the “police” would be wearing. Fourth platoon marched stoically on despite the suspicious glares from the penal troops, for the center of the city where Maenesko’s headquarters were fenced off from the rest of the UGZ. With Fourth Platoon’s entry, there were now near one hundred sixty armed Ellowian troops; no number to simply brush off as something easily dealt with or overwhelmed. You expected a wait when you arrived at the administrative center, but evidently, you marching in with eighty troops under Lieutenant Wielzci had lit a fire under everybody’s asses, and you were shown in to Maenesko’s office promptly. It was messy, cramped and cluttered with all manner of documental detritus, and within the veritable fortress of paper stacks and office supplies was the stout, tired looking Sublieutenant Maenesko, whose eyes were looking over a letter as he addressed you, gaze flicking side to side.“Lieutenant Von Metzeler,” he said, “I haven’t seen you or the Coordinator in some time, though things have been ordinary enough hereabouts.” He pushed aside the letter and looked fully at you, eyes dull and sleepy. “There wasn’t a request for reinforcements. Did you just feel like causing a stir?”You shook your head. “…There was word of…tensions with the penal troops…I sought to…protect the police…and check the…check the power of the…penal battalion…garrison…”
Maenesko cocked a blonde eyebrow at your stumbling speech. “If you are unwell, I would have accepted a letter,” he glanced to a pile of pages, “…Eventually.”“…I thought to see…the UGZ as well…” you hadn’t accounted for a long waiting line to get Maenesko’s attention by mail, so it was a good thing you came directly. “…the fifth platoon…mentioned various…troubles with the penal troops…”“That has been troublesome, yeah,” Maenesko yawned, “What the penal troops are up to isn’t unusual for them, but they’re not used to being interfered with. Some of the policemen are obviously not content with the status quo, but the fact of the matter is, they have nothing to gain from doing so. Do you know what will happen, Lieutenant, should open conflict break out? If the commander of the penal troops believes he is being interfered with? The Kommissariat might notice something they don’t like, or worse, they will see justification for unofficial reprisals, that will not be investigated. If matters fouled any further I would have asked the council to disband the police force, even.”“…Perhaps this threat of…force…would keep the peace…”“Playing chicken with penal troops isn’t a safe gamble,” Maenesko countered tiredly, “At the very least, increased troop amounts makes it much more difficult for anybody to, say, randomly and suddenly apprehend and detain all of the newly minted police. An official Kommissariat investigation could do the same, but they are busy sorts, and slow to respond to unprofitable ventures, or anything relatively quiet. Discretion being the better part of valor, I would ask that you meet with the troops nominally under your command, and plea with them to keep their heads down, and do what they have been authorized to do. To patrol and mind their own populace, not the garrisons.”>They wouldn’t be happy to be told to stay in their lane, but you supposed there was no other choice. You’d try to calm your side down. Fewer would be harmed that way. (Withdraw 4th platoon as well)>It would be unjust and ungentlemanly to allow savagery to simply continue unimpeded, no matter the station. If getting interfered with would upset the penal command, then that was too damn bad. Interference would even be encouraged.>You saw no reason to not stare down the penal battalion troops in this coming standoff. You simply would have to be found blameless, and merely reacting to their aggression. You wouldn’t interfere- but 4th platoon was here to stay.>Other?>>4068509>90%That's a lot of tomboy wrestling!
>>4068748>You saw no reason to not stare down the penal battalion troops in this coming standoff. You simply would have to be found blameless, and merely reacting to their aggression. You wouldn’t interfere- but 4th platoon was here to stay.
>>4068748>>Other?Considering the increased tension and border skirmishes with the Twaryians we have determined that the UGZ is too poorly defended and a vulnerable target from external attack. Thus we believe that the penal garrison should be redeployed to construct and man defenses outside the UGZ walls. We have brought our 4th platoon to bolster the strength of the 5th platoon, the two of which we believe should be sufficient to handle policing duties within the UGZ in place of the penal troops. I'm sure Maenesko will agree that one can never be too careful when it comes to defending against Twaryians, even if it means the UGZ will have to go without the excellent and helpful policing skills of the penal troops.
>>4068748>>You saw no reason to not stare down the penal battalion troops in this coming standoff. You simply would have to be found blameless, and merely reacting to their aggression. You wouldn’t interfere- but 4th platoon was here to stay.Also what >>4068782 says plus bring up the fact that the penal troops should have their own problems to worry about like those deserters.
>>4068748>You saw no reason to not stare down the penal battalion troops in this coming standoff. You simply would have to be found blameless, and merely reacting to their aggression. You wouldn’t interfere- but 4th platoon was here to stay.>>4068782Also this, the DMZ is a shithole. Trying to cut down a poplar tree causes an international incident.
>>4068748This absolutely: >>4068782That dastardly Gerovic OBVIOUSLY dreams about attacking UGZ-09 every night.
Today's pretty chock full, I mean, my prime writing time has been occupied this whole past week, but I've got an appointment today too. I should be updating in a few hours, but just a heads up.I'll call the vote now though.>>4068767>>4068821>>4068895We'll wait and see what happens.>>4068782>>4068895>>4069351However, due to recent developments, external security is more valuable than internal patrolling. And don't you have bigger problems? Let us handle everything.Will write when available again.
Alright, new metal in my mouth now. Writing.
“…I will not be…withdrawing my new commitment…” Maenesko had no direct authority over the soldiers themselves, and a tired annoyance crept on to his face before you added a conditional. “…However…are the Penal soldiers…necessary to keep here..? Perhaps the 5th’s…commitment will…allow them to focus on…other more imp…important tasks…”“You’d have to convince higher command of that, same as if Captain Pferlowe asked for your commitments to suddenly become absent. I can tell you that he is not interested in withdrawing his people.”“…There has been…an increase in Twaryian incursions…the UGZ is under threat…clearly…”“I have heard. None have come near here, though. You’ve done fine work dissuading them from raiding places like the UGZ, but, I have the privilege,” he said the word with dry sarcasm, “of sitting in on sector management meetings. That includes threat assessment. They’re quite satisfied with fifth battalion, first company’s performance, you know. The losses are acceptable, and disasters have managed to avoid manifesting. Frankly, unless reports are played up more, they think things are just fine the way they are. As for Captain Pferlowe, I can tell you that he and a few others have investments in the UGZ that they’d loathe to lose because they had to sit outside the UGZ instead of inside it. He certainly doesn’t want to go out and provoke the Twaryians into doing any more than they are now. Their section of the border is quite relaxing, by the by.” Of course it was, you thought. Meanwhile, your commitment of 4th Platoon to the UGZ was a weakening of the reserves for combatting Gerovic, in a situation that you’d heard was already not favorable.Maenesko sighed and leaned back in his chair, a shrug in his expression if not his shoulders. “It’s a good justification. Just not convincing at the moment. Either higher command or the Captain himself needs a good scare. Or some sort of pressure, I suppose. If you had a friend in the Kommissariat, for example, that would be extremely fortuitous. Considering disciplinary units are under the thumb of the Kommissariat, a good word from a high up Kommissar would convince him to cut his losses.”“…I am afraid I…have no friends in…the Kommissariat…” you had to admit.
“A thing we have in common,” Maenesko sighed, “Though there’s some pride to be had in that I think. Regardless, unless something changes, the only thing you’re doing by flooding the UGZ with more lowlanders is potentially making things rougher on the citizens. Employment and enrichment, steps towards some measure of prosperity are what are most helpful so long as the Penals are here, not efforts towards autonomy and preparations to settle the score, or get revenge. I appreciate the help your unit has given us, Lieutenant, but if the situation deteriorates I won’t be able to help you.”“…I understand…” It was disappointing nevertheless, even if you wouldn’t have expected the troublesome parties to just agree to stop being troublesome.“Also,” Maenesko stared down at you, his head tilted up in resting against the chair, “I probably won’t be able to tell you when it happens. Not quickly at least. I’m always swamped in this, and it’s hard for me to get news about goings on. If the Citizen’s Council doesn’t keep me informed for whatever reason, I’m in the dark. So if you’re planning on doing something, do it quick. Within the next few days, or don’t bother. They’re bold, Lieutenant, but bold men are a poor fit for the situation they’re in.”“…Yes…” What was it like to be bold again? You felt like you couldn’t remember, for how difficult it was to imagine. The doldrums your head were in felt inescapable. “…Good day then…”-----Returning to camp, interesting news awaited you when you went to see Frederick Krause again.“Rondo,” he said lowly, sitting on a crate with his hands together and looking sideways, “One of your folks’ hounds is here.”You blinked at him. “…Pardon..?”“Oh. Sorry, it’s easy to forget.” Frederick cleared his throat, “Your family employs all sorts of shady people, but I recognize this one. Don’t know why he came to find you, but you ought to not keep him waiting.”“…Is it a problem..?” you asked, doing your best to search the mists of your recollection for a hint on who that would be.“Well, no, not for you. You’re the firstborn, after all. The heir.” …Did you have siblings..? “Definitely wants something though. Go on, unless Gerovic runs up at the head of a tank column with a gun in one hand and his cock in the other I probably won’t be going anywhere.”You’d be fine with that not happening anytime soon, metaphorical or not. With a nod and a wave, you went in the direction Krause was looking, hoping that this “hound” wouldn’t ask you anything you couldn’t answer.
The man was loitering by a parked car, not one that spent any time outside, by the lack of snow upon it save the wheels. A cigar stuck out of a crooked mouth with a pointed jaw, a short and spiky black beard sprouting from his chin, every other part save his eyebrows shaven clean. His eyes were bright despite the shadow from his neat, brimmed hat, which was khaki like the long coat he wore.“Really had to pick the middle o’ the fuckin’ boonies, huh, milord,” he took his cigar from his mouth, “Haven’t seen you in a while. A few years, maybe. How’s it going?”“…You wanted something..?” you avoided the question.“Man, straight to business. More of your father in you than you’d ever admit, ‘swear. Anyways, got a message from pop, speaking of. Family’s sick of you being a bachelor, ol’ boy. They want an answer on who you wanna shack up with or they’ll pick for you. They don’ care who, they’re all either rich or got influence. Hell, for all I hear they care, pick one and ruin the others anyways, but you gotta get married.”“…Er…” you couldn’t for the life of you recall any of the people you’d been offered to betroth. You knew that it was a thing, but for some reason, you hadn’t acted on it.“Look kid, I know you don’t want to, but you don’t tell your pop no, not if you’re an honest working man like myself. I don’t get paid to go back and tell them you’ll think about it.”>Whatever. You could care less. Tell him to pick one and be off.>Say you’re already taken. If father (whoever he was) didn’t like it, you’d elope and he could…do whatever?>It might sound silly, but couldn’t you get a refresher? Descriptions? Who has the most land? You honestly forgot who any of the noble ladies were…>Other?
>>4070735>>It might sound silly, but couldn’t you get a refresher? Descriptions? Who has the most land? You honestly forgot who any of the noble ladies were…
>>4070735>It might sound silly, but couldn’t you get a refresher? Descriptions? Who has the most land? You honestly forgot who any of the noble ladies were…Our little boy's growing up!
>>4070735>It might sound silly, but couldn’t you get a refresher? Descriptions? Who has the most land? You honestly forgot who any of the noble ladies were…
>>4070735>It might sound silly, but couldn’t you get a refresher? Descriptions? Who has the most land? You honestly forgot who any of the noble ladies were…We really need to talk to Krause>Other?Hypothetically if we had already found a wife, how would the family react?
>>4070735>Say you’re already taken. If father (whoever he was) didn’t like it, you’d elope and he could…do whatever?Poor Rondo. This is a shitty situation even without memory loss.
>>4070737>>4070754>>4070755>>4071387Oh God, I don't know any of these people, do I?>>4071207...What if I already had a wife?Time to marry Richter.>>4071238Fuck you dad, I don't want any of the produce off your thot market.Writing.
>>4071497>Time to marry Richter.Does the faith of the judge condemn homosexuality ?
“…Could I…could you…tell me about them..?” You didn’t know what this goon thought of your current manner of speech. He hadn’t reacted in any way, maybe he was paid to not react. “…I cannot say…I remember any of them…”“Yeah, no big deal,” the black goateed man said, “Hell, I’ve got pictures of ‘em even. Figure you’d have other things on the mind, where you’ve been. Gimme a moment.”As the man shuffled in his pocket, you asked something else. “…Also…what if I…already…found a wife..?”The man’s hand froze, and he stared at you. “Well, you’re not married. Not in no matrimony recognized by the Archduchy at least, not one that took place in any courtyard nor under any steeple still standing, so, you haven’t. If you mean you found a broad, depends. How much money she got? She important? If you don’t have a good answer to those, you sure as hell have not found a wife. Nobody cares if you fuck her on the side, hell some even expect it, but you aren’t marrying whatever backwater bitch you found, and your daddy’ll say the same. Get my meaning?”“…A more pleasant and concise….phrasing…would have conveyed the same…”“Just saying how it is, milord.” The man in the khaki coat pulled the photos out, and made them into a little stack, pulling off the first and handing it to you. “First off. See her? That’s Wilma Van Zwarteklif, family from East Valsten. Last was heard from the Zeelands, that family’s got some push down south. It’d be good for when the maelstrom’s clear out.”The photograph was black and white- Wilma was photographed from the waist up, arms held in front, with a light colored shoulder-less dress clearly picked to draw a suitor, by whomever had her wear it, probably. Her long hair was some light tone, possibly pale brown or blonde. She had a rather unfortunately bulky nose. “…Look at that nose…” you could help but murmur doubtfully.“’s got other qualities,” the goon pointed lower. Well, yes, she was quite voluptuous, but…you doubted you would be told her hobbies, her interests, or much beyond what potential was seen in putting her in your possession like a trinket from another lord’s locker.Maybe you could at least try. “…What’s she like..?”Your family’s hired man shrugged, as could be expected. “Who cares? Seems domestic enough. I remember she likes flower arrangement, chocolates, landscape painting…just from checking to see if she’s nuts.”“…Why would she be “nuts”..?”“She’s not,” the man said dismissively, “Anyways. Bachelorette two. How you like?”
Another photo handed to you. This woman was photographed from a relatively flat, frontal angle, that did her no favors. She was quite plain, with an expression of clear discomfort, forcefully tamed black hair tumbling from her head and floating just above her eyes in front and past her neck elsewhere in a curly mop. Her apparel was clearly not the normal for her, and predictably, had probably been dressed and groomed to try and attract a suitor. “Von Schneeberg, Klaudia. Sole heiress, she’ll inherit a good pile of Altossian farmland on the more fertile side of the mountains once daddy bites it from that bad heart keeping him in bed in, maybe a couple years. Don’t tell anybody you heard that though, he’s been trying to look healthy. His daughter though. Complete doormat. An easy mark.”A frown pulled your mouth down at that comment. No gentleman should look for that sort of trait specifically. Marrying this young lady in a cynical bid to claim her possessions was also ungentlemanly- but would she draw another sort of suitor considering her described nature? She was quite ordinary looking at best, but to say something kind of the poor woman, she had that sort of vulnerable look and disposition that couldn’t help but draw some pity from you.“Third. Molle, goes by Molly, Von Stropfe. Her uncle’s the Defense Minister, her folks are big in the army in general.”The woman of Von Stropfe was regarding the camera with fierce, disapproving eyes and a cold frown, a sharp contrast to her long, luxurious dark hair, falling so far down it went out of the portrait, a long tight braid at each side of her head. Her hairpiece was a trio of roses with little white flowers accompanying them, but despite every attempt to pretty her up for a portrait, it seemed she hadn’t accepted being put into a dress; she wore a light long sleeved dress shirt and cloth jabot, a round jewel at her throat under the collar, wear not unusual for a young nobleman…at least, from what you remembered from the academy.“Quite a tomboy, in case you couldn’t tell. Did a couple years as a retinue in the northern Grenzwacht.” The border patrols and home guard, who maintained order along the edges of territory and in rural places. “Few years later, she’s yanked out, got too hot in a little exchange of hate and discontent with some northern mercs or something. Who cares about the details, obviously daddy and uncle’s little girl ain’t allowed to get hurt. ‘Course, she don’t want to get married, putting my bet on that being ‘cause she’s already got someone in mind who she’s not allowed to nab. Maybe you can bond over that, maybe you come to an agreement. Who gives a damn, all that matters is that the line keeps going, and that there’s no cunt we never knew about twenty years later saying they’re firstborn. Next. Last one.”
Immediately, for once, you knew who the person in the photograph was. “…Wait…” you held a slow hand up, “…This one…this one is married…already…”“What?” the goon leaned forward and squinted, “No she’s not. Mathilda Von Blum ain’t married.”“…No, that is…Maddalyn Von Blum…”“No, it ain’t, trust me. The older sister’s been betrothed a while. Now listen, this runt’s young and she looks even younger, but her daddy’s rich-rich. You know the Von Blums, of course, territorial lord. You can’t get much higher without being the Archduke himself. She’s the last kid, nowhere near actual succession, but it’s an in, and it’s a guarantee of wealth. She wasn’t available ‘til pretty recent, so, hey, one more on the list.”This was Mathilda Von Blum? You squinted at the photograph. No, you hadn’t been mistaken. She was identical, right down to the mole under her eye…were they really so similar? You’d heard, but you thought something was different… “…How old is she..?” you couldn’t help but need to ask.“Yeah, I know. Eighteen, late last year.”More squinting, though the disbelief was cooling. While the resemblance was uncanny, you didn’t think you’d ever seen a dour expression like Mathilda Von Blum on her elder sister. Maybe Richter would know, being engaged and around one another surely meant he knew a breadth of her expressions. The resemblance would be less eerie if they at least acted significantly differently.“…May I keep these photos..?”“Sure, but you gotta tell me who to tell your folks you want to marry. If you say you don’t know, they’ll probably just go with the richest one. So unless you’re into, well, that, gimme a name. Pretty funny they’re letting you pick at all, but, hey, it’s an olive branch I guess.”
You flipped from picture to picture, your brow tightening and wrinkling with each switch. How could you decide something like this now? This was for a family you didn’t know, women you didn’t know, a self you held only a scant grasp upon. How come you had put this off repeatedly? Why did the you of the past dump this on the you of now, who had nothing to decide upon? For whatever reason, you’d blown off doing this to the point where now, your family had lost patience. The time to decide who to be paired off with was now, and you had no way to decide. Why had you been allowed to choose at all?Maybe you should simply let yourself be betrothed to the preference and be done with it. Von Tracht had done so, and he seemed content, even happy with the result from what you’d seen of his interactions with his fiancée. Though he could do to behave himself more strictly. Then again, none of them seemed terrible, though would this man really tell you if they were? The focus appeared to be on profit, not cultivating affection. You weren’t sure what you wanted, but you knew you didn’t want to be trapped.With how things were with your psyche and being in a dangerous area though, maybe you’d die before you had to worry about it anyways. Morbid, but a conclusion that occurred to you quite quickly.>Pick one to be betrothed to. It wasn’t like there was any point in refusing; like was said, you at least had a choice. (Who?)>Say that you couldn’t care less. You refuse to be stuck in this marriage you can’t refuse, anyways.>Maybe you should ask Frederick. He probably knows you better than you know yourself, at this point.>Other?Actual pictures to come later in case I take way too long as usual, plus delays.>>4071652>Does the faith of the judge condemn homosexuality ?Depends on the sect. The Cathedra is less harsh upon it than the Eastern church, and post-Imperial belief is all over the place. It's generally frowned upon and discouraged, but it's a matter of social ostracizing rather than, say, tossing somebody off a building.
>>4072094>>Pick one to be betrothed to. It wasn’t like there was any point in refusing; like was said, you at least had a choice. (Who?)Knowing Metzeler's tastes, the Von Schneeberg girl seems the most like his type.Though imaging him and Richter being in-laws is also pretty funny.
>>4072094>Pick one to be betrothed to. It wasn’t like there was any point in refusing; like was said, you at least had a choice.Mathilda Von Blum. Brothers in-law with Richter at last.
>>4072094>Maybe you should ask Frederick. He probably knows you better than you know yourself, at this pointOr if we want to be really cynical, take him to Yva for a little mindfuckery. We already know she can magically charm people. Damn wizard.
>>4072094>this runt’s young and she looks even younger, but her daddy’srich-rich.Hahahaha!HAHAHAHAHAHA!>Pick one to be betrothed to. It wasn’t like there was any point in refusing; like was said, you at least had a choice. (Klaudia Von Schneeberg)
>>4072094>Maybe you should ask Frederick. He probably knows you better than you know yourself, at this point
>>4072094>>Pick one to be betrothed to. It wasn’t like there was any point in refusing; like was said, you at least had a choice. (Klaudia Von Schneeberg)
>>4072094First of all, this guy's background checking skills are suspect, because Mathilda is batshit crazy.Second, I thought Mathilda was Maddy's twin. If she's that much younger and looks identical down to the moles, something REALLY FUCKY is going on. Likely of supernatural character.Third,>What will happen if we just refuse to marry at all?>Can we just make the guy stay here and not return? At least until we get a grip on our own wishes and priorities again?Barring that, my choice would be >Klaudia Von SchneebergThough Molle Von Stropfe tickles my personal preferences, the situation really doesn't allow us to choose her.
>>4072217>because Mathilda is batshit crazy.He's a goon, not a spy. Just like most people wouldn't know Maddy was blind, most people wouldn't know how toxic Mathilda can be with her sister unless they could see through the walls of their castle. >I thought Mathilda was Maddy's twin.Nah, they aren't twins.Yah, something incredibly fucky is going on. That's been all but shown.The questions at this point are WHAT and WHY.Let's hope we can keep Richter and by extension Maddy alive long enough to find out.
>>4072233From what it seems Mathilda is only really toxic towards Maddy. My guess is whatever happened with their mother somehow involved Maddy in some form which is why her father and (full) sister seem to ostracize her.
>>4072094>>>Pick one to be betrothed to. It wasn’t like there was any point in refusing; like was said, you at least had a choice. (Klaudia Von Schneeberg)von Metzeler probably wants a girl he can protect and charm with his chivalry crap. Plus if she's timid she won't ask too many questions about his crippling autism if the fear persists that long. Plus having a lot of land is always good, especially for someone who wants to be independent from his own family.
As I anticipated, due to drowsiness and other distractions, I don't have your pictures ready yet, and I'm about to go and have my evening devoured. I'll try and have it soon after getting back, even though time allowed to mull it over means I probably won't call the vote until tomorrow. After all, even if you're more into personality than looks, it'd be in character to know.And the current vote is swinging to the...well, homeliest.
>>4072646Ok, may Anya tender your body well in your sleep, tanq. Waiting warmly.
>>4072646Qm bout to make poor Von Schneeberg the ugliest girl in the whole quest.
>>4072094>Say that you couldn’t care less. You refuse to be stuck in this marriage you can’t refuse, anyways.
>>4072646Well Metzeler isn't into tomboys and Mathilda's Mathilda so guess the homely options it is
>>4073230>so guess the homely option it is>forgetting about poor Wilma Van ZwarteklifYou might be talking different if her nose isn't as big a deal compared to the rest of her.
Was going to make this more organic but at this rate we'll be here all damn week.I'll leave this for a bit in the interest of a fair shake then count everything up and update before I have to leave for opening night.They're in order of introduction but I'd hope I did a decent enough job that that was clear anyways.
>>4073716Klaudia a cute, CUTE!!!
>>4073716Wilma a cute despite her nose.Marrying Klaudia seems like kicking a puppy.Molle looks like she would shank us in the nuptial bed.Actually, you know what? Let's tell our parents we're going to marry Eakova. Then they disown us and we can court Yva in peace.
>>4073769That literally means "oh woe", anon. None of them are THAT ugly.
>>4073774Anon is right, let's marry Molle.
>>4073775>None of them are THAT uglyThat's not the point and you know it. Then again >>>>>Wilma a cute
>>4073716>Von Schneeberg is the cutest one.Well, fuck me.Klaudia all the way!I see you over there Satsuki. Maybe you'll ensnare the next sucker to cross your path.
>>4073775That’s because of the nose
>>4073814Ah. I forgot people like that anon exist for a moment.
If Von Metzeler is to be married, he might as well do some solid good while he's at it.Klaudia is the cutest girl in the lineup and the one that at face value appeals to Rondo's sense of duty the most.The poor girl is going to get a husband.Based on the rules of this society she needs one.So she might as well have one that will show her the respect and care she deserves. Someone chivalrous and morally duty bound to do the right thing by his wife.Rather than some dog that will treat her like a doormat and use her for her money, or some ass that will kiss her with the same filthy mouth he uses to eat the cunts of common whores when he gets bored of her.It's the only noble thing to do.Securing this girl's dignity is the best thing that can come out of this situation from his perspective given his blase attitude towards marriage and his future outside the army, besides fixing his family name.I know I'm just preaching to the choir here since most Anon's seem to be on board.I just wanted to get my thoughts on the matter out for posterity in case this turns out to be a horrible move and future readers wonder what the fuck we were thinking.
Alright, that's enough sitting on my hands.>>4072133>>4072177>>4072196>>4072217>>4072264Overwhelming turnout in favor of the dumpy drillhead with fertile farmland.>>4072139That's a nice fiancee you have, can I get a copy?>>4072190Uncertainty>>4073088Marriage is gay, you can't make me do it.Writing.
>>4072168You are also accounted for.>>4072217As is the other options here.
>>4074072Just wondering how much farmland are we talking about here?
>>4074072Cutie Acquired! This deployment can't end fast enough.WE GOT FUCKING WEDDINGS TO PLAN BOYS!
Just got done spending a week and a half doing nothing but read through the archive and being genuinely emotionally compromised by this quest and its characters, excellent fucking work on all this, tanq.Haven't felt the urge to waifu a character in years, but Maddy is just perfect.
>>4074149You are a scholar and a saint.
>>4074149This is wonderful, anon
>>4074149Finally someone made it.
>>4074149>being genuinely emotionally compromised by this quest and its charactersSometimes I don't think Tanq fully understands just how emotionally potent Maddalyn is as a character and as a love interest.Or maybe I just also emotionally compromised and my autism is making me care too much.
Right there with you, I reckon I get too invested in fiction, but most scenes with Maddalyn and Richter have been really touching to me, and her more recent interludes at home heart-wrenching in equal measure.Best girl aside, I've been waking up and going to sleep anxious about Hilda's situation, and feeling some genuine dread on that matter, as well as imagining kicking Von Neubaum's teeth in.In short, it's been a rollercoaster of a read and I'd make far more for this quest than dumpy edits if I had the talent.
The candidates were flipped through again, as you tried to remember a single thing more than you’d been told- and failed to find a thing. Though with your repeated shuffling, you kept lingering on Von Schneeberg. Was she attractive? Well, in a certain way, perhaps, though not in a way that mattered much to you. No, what kept the attention was the look on her face, the uncertainty, the resignation. Sympathy, pity maybe, kept you lingering. From the scant description of her personality, she was vulnerable prey to any who wanted to take advantage of her or her possessions. Krause had said your family was maligned; Yva had said that you held spite for your family. Was Klaudia’s character considered when lining up your choices?“…How tall are they..?” you asked to prevent there from being a gap of silence.“I can’t recall. It doesn’t matter too much, does it?”Van Zwarteklif had posed prim and proper, Von Stropfe chose to look defiant. Von Schneeberg just looked unhappy. Neither of you would want to be together, but if you had no choice in this matter anyways, would it not be the most honorable thing to try and help one in need? The others could probably turn out alright, yet the Von Schneebergs had been eyed for vulnerability. You considered yourself gentlemanly, aspired to be, even with all you forgot you knew you wanted to be seen as such, even if you were unsure why. “…How much farmland…do the Von Schneebergs own..?” you asked, as you inspected Klaudia again.“About six thousand five hundred acres of fields, mostly food crop being grown by the tenants renting the land. They’re pretty hands off, those fields could make more money than they do, but grain and the lot is subsidized enough that the Von Schneebergs aren’t wanting for money.”There wasn’t an agricultural bone to be found in your body, but you assumed that that much land meant a lot was growing. If the Von Schneeburgs didn’t control the tenants too much anyways, you might even not have to ever learn. “…Before I say…” though you felt rather certain of your decision already, you wanted to look back at the land before jumping off this cliff. “…What will happen…if I refuse to marry at all..?”“You’re getting married, kid.” The goon said flatly, “You know you don’t have a choice.”It was like that, was it. No wonder you hadn’t been fond of your family. “…What if you were…to stay a while..?” you made an attempt to give yourself more time to think about this, to be unwaveringly certain, “…To not go back…until I know my wishes…my priorities…this is quite a…decision…”
“Kid.” The goon sucked in on his cigar, burning bright, “You know how many times you’ve been bothered about this, right? You’re an adult, that means you do adult things, like get married and have kids. You got your army academy, you’ve run off to God knows where twice now, you know how much of a pain it was to track you down? Even when the folks got the word, you weren’t even here. I’m not sticking around in Ellowie. You’ve had plenty of time already to think about this. You know your pop’s older than most, and though he’s healthy now, you can understand why he’s making it this way, yeah? There’s no time left to consider now. Pick one, kick in the door to her bedroom and put a baby in her, that’s all there’s left to do. Like I said, if you don’t know, they’ve got one in mind.”“…Klaudia then…Von Schneeberg…” you flipped through again to the heiress in question, and showed it to the goon, as though he needed a reminder.“Alright then. Just write that down for me on here,” the hired man pulled a clipboard from a bag, a pen at its top, and presented it. After the name was written and your signature given, the goon clicked his teeth, and bowed. “Many thanks, milord. Expect your wedding right when you get back.”Right when you got back? You stared at the man’s back, still holding the photographs he had given you as he practically skipped away. When would you get back? Would your family be simply waiting for you to appear in Strossvald again? Would they convince the army to send you back at their whim?You had to talk with Frederick about this. Your choice had already been made, but you were discomforted by how little you knew. That and…well, he was your friend, so he ought to know about a decision like this- quickly made as it may have been.“So what did he want?” Frederick asked as you walked back, hands firmly in your pockets, back hunched.“…He was asking…for my family…who I wished to be engaged to…they wish not to wait any longer…so I made my choice…”“You did?” Frederick stood up slowly, “After all this time that you told them to get bent?”“…Yes…” you admitted, suddenly wondering if you shouldn’t have decided at all, “…I chose…Von Schneeberg…Klaudia Von Schneeberg…I spoke with you about this…back when…yes..?”“Not much,” Krause shook his head, “Those photos in your hand?”You nodded, and handed them over. “…This one is Klaudia…” you showed Frederick the picture of the uncomfortable curly headed woman first.“...Hold on a sec, is that Richter’s fiancée there?” Krause immediately recognized when he flipped through, “How old is this?”“…It isn’t…it’s her sister, Mathilda…” you told him.
“Huh.” Krause squinted at the picture, “Judge above, they look exactly the same. Wear their hair different, but if they tried to look like each other, you wouldn’t tell them apart…” He gave the photos back. “You could do worse, I suppose.”A frown. “…She’s not bad at all…but that hardly matters…Frederick…have I…” this was an awkward question to not remember, “…Have I ever been…with a woman before..?”Frederick cocked an eyebrow. “In what way?”“…A way appropriate to…discuss publically..”“Sure, yeah. A couple times,” Frederick pulled a cigarette from his coat pocket, and a box of matches. “Neither of them looked like this woman, if that’s what you were wondering,” he said as he held a smoke in his teeth, striking a match against the box. “Didn’t last long either time. Not ‘cause they didn’t like you, but ‘cause your folks didn’t like them. Both times, they suddenly had to move away for no reason. You were real pissed both times.”“…Hmm…” You certainly hoped there were good memories of your family. Such was what Yva requested you try and focus on. “…What about you..?”“Me?” Krause smirked at you, “You don’t need to worry about me, pal. Why, just a couple months back or so, I went on a date with the Minister of the People, the dread warlord Cyclops, didn’t you hear?” he laughed softly to himself, “It was a pity date and both of us knew it, but she had fun anyways. Wouldn’t have worked out long term. She’s the picky sort, the type that doesn’t know that it’s alright to settle on that sort of thing. Not my type either, but you never like to see a girl sad, am I right?”“…” You looked at Von Schneeberg’s picture again. “…You wouldn’t happen to…know anything about any…of them…would you..?”“Sorry, I don’t. You never actually considered doing this, you know. Wanted to make your own way, spite your family for trying to make you their tool.”Was that really why you hadn’t decided up until now? Acting as an opponent to whatever your family did? “…Do you think I made a mistake..? Would…the man I once was think…I made a mistake..?”
Krause gave you a look of doubt, cigarette held loosely in between fingers as he exhaled smoke out his nose. “You had to get married at some point if you didn’t want to run away, and despite everything, I don’t think you wanted to run off.”“…Hmm…” you looked at the photo again.“Thinking of it now?” you glanced up at Krause’s comment. “I’m kidding. Hey, if you’re not sure, you’ve got plenty of time to start liking the way she looks.” You looked back down. “So? Go ahead, you aren’t just going to stand around with your hands in your pockets and talk about the weather when you meet her, will you? Surely you picked her for a reason.”“…Because it was the proper thing to do…”“No, no,” Krause put his hand on your shoulder and shook his head, “You’re making it sound like an obligation. What woman wants to hear that? Just because it is an obligation doesn’t mean you have to act like it. It’ll just make the bedroom that much more awkward.”“…This is a silly conversation…I know nothing about her…” you grumbled.“Better to rip off the bandage now, Rondo.”>Perhaps he was right. Do your best to flirt with this woman you’d never met and who might even resent you. (How?)>You were in a foreign country with militant zealots lurking on one side of the border and vicious conquerors on the other, your mind was in pieces and you would certainly have to fight at some point regardless. Who the bloody hell cares what she wants to hear?>Other?>>4074149>>4074300I'm flattered anon, and glad you've enjoyed the ride. I hope things continue to live up to expectations.It'd have been really funny if Von Neubaum got killed in Luftpanzer.
>>4074316>>You were in a foreign country with militant zealots lurking on one side of the border and vicious conquerors on the other, your mind was in pieces and you would certainly have to fight at some point regardless. Who the bloody hell cares what she wants to hear?Nothing against the lady but we have a shit ton of things to worry about right now
>>4074316>Perhaps he was right. Do your best to flirt with this woman you’d never met and who might even resent you. (Say she has a nice smile as a joke, and when she says she wasn't smiling in the photo tell her we've dreamt of her smile since we saw her picture. Also, tell her she has pretty hair.)>>4074320We aren't in a rush comrade. All our "super important military duties" can wait for a minute or two so we can have a talk with our friend about cute girls during these trying times.
>>4074316>Perhaps he was right. Do your best to flirt with this woman you’d never met and who might even resent you.I'd say start off in this way, trying to shield her from the worst of his family's influence while making the best of it. If she really doesn't buy it, then just be honest with her about it and hope she understands. This all shouldn't come up for a while anyway Hopefully
>>4074316>Perhaps he was right. Do your best to flirt with this woman you’d never met and who might even resent you. (How?)It's simple. We ask Richter. Sorry to be a softskull, but does Metzeler have siblings? I thought he did but I could very well be thinking of someone else.
>>4074316>Perhaps he was right. Do your best to flirt with this woman you’d never met and who might even resent you.“Hello there. Ever since I’ve seen you in picture, I wanted to put a smile on your face”
>>4074387He does.No, he doesn't remember them.
>>4074316>You were in a foreign country with militant zealots lurking on one side of the border and vicious conquerors on the other, your mind was in pieces and you would certainly have to fight at some point regardless. Who the bloody hell cares what she wants to hear?What will we tell Yva?
>>4074316>You were in a foreign country with militant zealots lurking on one side of the border and vicious conquerors on the other, your mind was in pieces and you would certainly have to fight at some point regardless. Who the bloody hell cares what she wants to hear?
>>4074734You know that Yva and Von Metzeler aren't dating right?If anything she'd be relieved that her companion won't try something foolish like try to court her in earnest.
>>4075132I'm looking at this from Metzeler's point of view
>>4075141It would probably be as simple as "I just picked out a wife. Not sure how to feel about that" because that's exactly what he's thinking and there isn't any reason for him not to be straight with Yva.Because they aren't in any sort of amorous relationship, and they don't have any inkling to be in one outside of the natural sexual tension that arrives when two people of the opposite sex get along.
Opening night went great, slept like a rock after. Now to do that eight more times over these three weekends.>>4074320>>4074734>>4075034I'll learn how to do whatever that is if I don't die.>>4074331>>4074338>>4074387>>4074435Time to do your best.Writing.
There was a strong temptation to ask, to demand, what do I care what she thinks? At least right now, in the situation you were in. Caught between the Twaryians and Netillians and potentially playing them against one another, while still fighting in their battles, with the state you were in could you be blamed for being nervous? Being nervous was at least half your existence lately regardless of any specific concerns for hostile enemies.That said, taking your mind off of that felt healthy. Some motivation to make it out on the other side, and be prepared for what came after you were done tramping about in service of the Intelligence Office, whenever that would be. So you’d do your best to flirt with this woman you’d never met.Who might even resent you for being forced upon her.“…Ahem…” you cleared your throat and looked at the discomforted photo of Klaudia again, “…Then I would say…she has a nice smile…”Krause squinted at you, then realized your meaning. “Something funny really must have gone on in your head. You hardly ever joke.”“…I think it may help…make her more com…comfortable…with how imposing I may be…” You were always tall and broad- easily the tallest of your group’s officers, and strapped with well-trained (though not quite bulky) muscles in the chest and arms and back. You didn’t know how tall she was, but Klaudia seemed like a relatively small woman, and it wouldn’t be difficult for you to be twice her size. “…Then I would say…” Er… “…That I have not seen it…but I would like to…”“You’d like to?”“…I have dreamt of her smile…” you made a more dramatic correction.“Much better.”“…And I like her hair…”“What about her hair?”“…Well…” you scratched your head while looking at Klaudia, “…I do not know…it is nice looking…Frederick, I do not…think that manner of flirt…flirtation is suited for me…I would at least…need to be honest…at one point…about wanting to protect her…from a worse fate…from men who would seek to…abuse her…or disrespect her…even if she does not trust my word…”“That’s fine,” Frederick urged you on, “But like I said, she’s a woman, if she’s going to be married to you, you’d want to convince her you’re attracted to her.”“…Perhaps I should just ask Von Tracht…” you said with a sigh. Krause snickered at that. “…What..?”“If you remember your academy days like you say you do,” Krause shook his head with a toothy smile, “You know that Richter was never good with women, even when he started getting showered with them after shipping out. I’d say he might have even avoided them.”“…Because he was engaged…” you pointed out, even if you didn't know at the time.
“Not at the start, he wasn’t,” Krause said, “Not very social or talkative, I don’t remember him having so much as friends in the academy. Was always standoffish. From what I heard.”“…That hardly matters now…I would ask because he…and his fiancée seem to…be quite happy with each other…despite his missteps with her…in my opinion…I need not his opinion on flirting…but his opinion on what to say…to a fiancée…”“Sure, sure,” Krause shrugged, “You gonna tell Yva about it?”“…I do not see why I would not…”Another, bigger shrug. “Just figured you might be thinking to go beyond being friends is all. Richter seems a bit more relaxed around Fluffy, maybe the closer you are, the better it works. Maybe the cure to your condition requires a feminine touch.”“…The Sergeant Retinue is hardly feminine…” you couldn’t help but look skyward when mentioning her, “…Even if I wanted to…she is not the sort that I could do such with…we have spoken of such…when talking of our rel…relationships…” So long as it didn’t directly involve your own history, your memory didn’t suddenly develop holes, after all. You knew well her own opinions.Maybe. Possibly. Yet it wouldn’t be expected to go anywhere, out of necessity. It was brought up in passing and not pondered further, and that was perfectly alright.Krause tapped the ash off his cigarette. “…Hey, Rondo. I want you to try something.” He stuck the cigarette back in his mouth and pulled another out. “You didn’t smoke, never tried it, but maybe it’ll help out with your talking. Boost you up, calm you down. C’mon, give it a try, I won’t make you do it more if you don’t like it.”“…I suppose a try would not hurt…” you eyed the cigarette.“Ladies think it looks cool too,” Krause said as you took the tobacco from him, “That Cyclops, Signy? She said she thought it looked hot. Well, heh, she said if I didn’t have a mustache it’d be pretty hot, but I’m not cutting this off any time soon.”“…Ah…she smokes now…”“I’d be flattered if I convinced her to start,” Frederick said with a laugh, “Oh, when I light you up, let it burn a bit, don’t suck in too much, and don’t take it right into your chest. Let it sit in your mouth some.”“…This seems more…complicated than I thought…”you said as your friend lit a match and held it to the cigarette that you’d stuck in your lip. “You get used to it fast.”Despite Frederick instructing you, perhaps it was some small measure of daring- more likely impatience, that drove you to try and get the smoke in you as soon and as quickly as possible. “Ghaacghk!” you choked, then coughed.
“I told you to take it slow! Sheesh!” Krause reprimanded you, though lightly. “This is whole unpleasant,” you snapped.“Gentle, you have to be gentle to your virgin lungs. A lotta people don’t breathe smoke, you know. Hey, you didn’t pause there, what’s up with that?”A moment to cool down. “…I don’t know…”“Welp, it was there for a moment. Go ahead and try again, if you didn’t make yourself sick.”You weren’t sure if you were yet, so you stared at the burning paper roll as white smoke rolled off it and into the air. “…I should tell you what I found out…at the UGZ…”“Sick of talking about your girl already?”“…She’s hardly mine yet…and this is a…troublesome matter…”You explained, slowly, about your decision to put 4th platoon into the UGZ, the trouble with the penal soldiers, and Sublieutenant Maenesko’s concerns about all of that. Your proposed solution- and Maesneko’s criticism of the idea, in what would be needed for it to be executed. “So basically,” Krause summarized, “the Penal Company there won’t leave ‘til they’re forced to, and they’d rather not, because they’re mixed up in the underworld there?”“…Yes…” you nodded, daring to take a much more cautious experimental pull at the cigarette. It wasn’t so bad, after the fourth attempt. “…They do not find the situation threatening enough…”“Well, frankly, I don’t think Gerovic’s too interested in the UGZ. Not now, at least.” Frederick theorized, “He’s more interested in picking a fight with us.”
“…That does seem to be a large problem…” you recalled the operations when you had reviewed the gist of things at the office. “…He had tended…to move westwards, yes..? Perhaps we can speed that along…”“How? Do you think we can call him up and kindly ask for a meeting?”If only. Gerovic was a target of the IO- his elimination or capture was deemed a priority, and if you could arrange a meeting so easily, you could have him in a bag right there and then, yet he remained frustratingly elusive, perhaps not even close to the battles conducted by his authority.“…Perhaps a use of…new assets to…conduct a particularly persuasive…strike…” Not the most clever option, but it would perhaps convince Gerovic to hit a softer target for the short term, if he was concerned about such.“Maenesko’s pretty concerned about the Kommissariat in this whole thing, yeah?” Frederick went a different direction, “What if you tried to make a friend? That way, if, well, when things boil over, you might be able to kick the Penals out instead of the Ellowians losing out. It’s not as though criminals hold special favor. Aren’t they as scared of the Kommissars as the Ellowians should be? Just a thought.”>Using force seemed the most reliable thing to you, and you could justify requisition with it anyways. Even though it meant fighting… (Where and how to use said force?)>Calling for a meeting with Gerovic was a fantasy, but maybe you could negotiate in a way with the Twaryians in general, meet with them, or maybe tempt them… (How?)>Maybe you could make a friend in the Kommissariat. Wasn’t there a unit close by with a relatively influential Kommissar..?>Other?Keep in mind that your weekly requisition concerning arrival of reinforcement/replenishment and new equipment doesn't go through until "tomorrow" if you want to do anything immediately.
>>4075937>Maybe you could make a friend in the Kommissariat. Wasn’t there a unit close by with a relatively influential Kommissar..?
>>4075937>>Maybe you could make a friend in the Kommissariat. Wasn’t there a unit close by with a relatively influential Kommissar..?Send Krause to go talk with Zohl though we don't need him to realise either Metzeler's or Richter's condition. Also try to pitch it as a inter-unit feud because we know how our Kommissar friend treats Ellowians.
>>4075937If we want to use Zohl then it will have to be with Richter, and I'm afraid of the price to pay.>Using force seemed the most reliable thing to you, and you could justify requisition with it anyways. Even though it meant fighting… (Where and how to use said force?)
>>4075937>>Maybe you could make a friend in the Kommissariat. Wasn’t there a unit close by with a relatively influential Kommissar..?
Sorry for the day long delay, last show of the weekend at the theater. I'll be free for a bit now.>>4076205Force! How? Somehow, and somewhere.>>4075968>>4077128>>4078831Make friends in politics.>>4076020Though send somebody personable.Will write once I have coffee and stuff.
Update soon. Not a lengthy one, unfortunately, for the time passed. As it turns out I didn't sleep enough. By a significant factor, if how long I conked out for unwillingly is any indication.
>>4079120Is there any reason why our unit or Edelschwert's don't have Kommissars?
“…I concur…” you said after a little thought, “…If you would go meet with…whomever is closest and most influential…the thirteenth north has one…yes..?”“Aye. Kommissar Alrik Zohl. Though I don’t think he and Von Tracht got along too well. Saw messages from him get tossed right in the bin.”“…Why..?” you wondered aloud.“Beats me, didn’t talk about it.”Richter did not talk about many things. He had been disagreeable with Yva, to your annoyance, but the possibility of this Kommissar being as pleasant was extremely doubtful. With what you knew of the Kommissariat and its officials, it was best to tread lightly, but with purpose. Making a friend would be making a “friend.” Yet, if the Kommissar had been trying to get in touch with Von Tracht, perhaps that meant you could get an agreement more easily than approaching a random political officer out of the blue. “…Frederick…go to this Zohl please, and…meet with him…See if we can negotiate an agreement on what to do about this…matter in the UGZ…”Krause turned his head at you as he took his cigarette out and dropped it in the snow. “You going to come with?”A shake of no, “…The image I present…is not one I wish this man to know me by…” It wasn’t out of vanity, not entirely. If this Kommissar was like a predator stalking a herd for a weak Legion Bison, you hardly needed your first impression to be that of dinner being served upon a platter.“You’re not quite that bad,” Krause offered, “But fine, I can handle it, even though I’m going to need to give myself a promotion to be anybody worth his time. I’ll tell you how it goes when I get back. In the meantime…” Krause picked up to go off, hitting you in the arm as he passed, “Hope Gerovic doesn’t decide to get jealous that you want to see other men, hey?”“…Let him come…” Easy, false bravado, but it made you feel better to say, for when it might have to be tested. It would be a matter of honor as well as life and death, after all.“You gonna go tell Yva about your little Klaudia, then?”“…Later…when I bring her dinner…”“How long have you been having romantic evenings with that woman, you dog?” Krause snickered, “Don’t get that touchy look, just makes everybody suspicious that that’s the case. I’ll be back later. Maybe I’ll get her dinner first.”-----
Hours passed into evening, and despite concerns of Gerovic deciding to probe the defenses or even take advantage of an unseen exploit, such did not happen. Considering the Twaryian’s lack of fear of the dark however, you knew better than to assume the danger would pass when the sun dipped below the horizon. Reports had come in from patrols already of the normal small teams infiltrating, though they had been chased off with no incident. More aggressive patrols and the unit’s own incursions had made your opponents over the border more wary. Perhaps something had happened recently that made them more cautious concerning their resources, if it wasn’t the latest activities. Their latest incursion had undoubtedly been a victory for them, but after that battle that had seen the company commander Captain Rale Kelwin put out of action for wounding, they hadn’t made a major strike since, and each day that passed it would become more likely that the next attack would be that day.The red haired mercenary had come around again and pestered you about swords once more, though this time she brought up wanting a sparring partner. Perhaps you needed to keep up practice on that, but there was much to prepare for, to check up on, and you had hardly remembered dismissing her and telling her you were quite occupied.Chores were the order of the day, as the major expeditions were laundry, stocking the kitchens, and other such plain yet extremely necessary business. Ditch digging, and the continued subterranean construction that was turning the company headquarters more elaborate over time continued. One event much discussed was that of the arrival of monthly mail- after being thoroughly combed through and censored by the Defense Party, the soldiers would finally receive word from friends and family in a method that was quite unpopular compared to mail simply arriving after it was sent, yet was understood to be for the good of security. Not everybody had delivery systems at all; no mail had been allowed from Strossvald your entire time here, and it had taken a special courier to find you and deliver a message at all. Von Tracht, you had heard, had set up a way to get mail out, to send to his fiancée, but that arrangement had been with Mayor Gespie. A new mayor had assumed power in New Jorgenstohn, and it was probably too good to be true for his rival to simply surrender all his assets to the new administrator.
Frederick returned after the dull and apprehensive day, looking no worse for wear, but with caution in his eyes. After you’d discussed your end of the day, he gave you what he had found out.“He acts friendly enough, but I’ve seen his sort. The kind of guy who acts a certain way, plays things up in a way to hide something else, or make it seem less bad. He’s a creep, but a social one.” He took out a box of cigarettes, a different sort, with gold colored foil wrapping. Unopened. “Noticed I smoked right away, and gave me these, said they were way better than standard issue. Hey Rondo, you been practicing your smoking?” You shook your head. “Well, practice now. If this stuff’s even twice as good it’ll still be crap, but at least it’s something in the system that isn’t eyes in the dark, eh?” He tore the package open and tamped on one side.“…Describe Alrik Zohl…if you may…” you wanted to construct an internal dossier on the man as son as possible, “…Did he speak of his history..?”“Well, first thing,” Krause pushed about in the package and picked a long, black cigarette out like a straw, “He’s of the mountainfolk. Hair’s green like the fir needles. Sort of weird, the Netillian government don’t like them too much, I’ve heard. Their reclusiveness is suspicious, and it goes against their bottom line. The Defense Party isn’t fond of rural folks in general, and the Mountainfolk have got the extra step of being their own sort and all.”“…So he has made himself exceptional…” It was doubtful that he could have proven himself trustworthy in the Party itself, given the stated stigma. Perhaps he had done something on the front, or, as your gut told you, he may have cast down others to raise himself upon their shoulders. “…Did he hint at how..?”“Nah. Didn’t talk about that sort of thing.” Unfortunate. A man who kept certain cards close to the chest. “He liked talking about his hobbies. Likes games and gambling a lot, hell, even calls himself a gamer, not a gambler.”“…His favorite games then..?” you asked.
“I asked that,” Krause lit a match to light the smoke now held in his lip, “He likes them all. Cards, dice, chess, blind man’s bluff. The last might have been a joke.” Perhaps he just liked play in general. “Gambling though, he seemed fond of wagers, especially when a lot of money is being bet. Or, he said, uh…other things.”Other things… “…So did he take to you..?”“As much as one can over coffee and a tour of the unit. The Thirteenth Mechanized Guards are quite impressive, actually. They take being elite seriously and you can tell it, though having a Kommissar around probably motivates them plenty. Told him about you, about the thing we were thinking of, the problem to deal with, he seemed interested…” He took a drag on his smoke, “whether that’s good or not, eh. He wants to meet. Tonight. Dinner date at a ritzy joint at Kamienisty. Reservations at Seven, then a few “diversions” if you felt like it. A couple hours. He said to bring pleasant company if you were so inclined. A woman. Or women, depending on how saucy you are, eh? Tragically, he saw through me as far as being a junior lieutenant goes.”>You supposed you had to dip your feet in at some point. What was the harm? (Do you bring any “pleasant company?” Who?)>No, you already had plans for tonight. (What plans?)>Turn down the good Kommissar’s offer. Tomorrow would be busy and you needed rest. (Go to Tommorow)>Other?>>4080048>Is there any reason why our unit or Edelschwert's don't have Kommissars?The Military Kommissariat is a relatively young organization, and mostly focused upon interior matters- with the massive expanse of the army, they're stretched rather thin. That, and the Defense Party came about from a military coup so they're hardly unpopular among the armed forces.
>>4080248Which is to say, the Kommisariat prefers to devote its (currently) limited resources to particularly questionable or politically significant units. More of its work is among the citizenry.
>>4080248>>You supposed you had to dip your feet in at some point. What was the harm? (Do you bring any “pleasant company?” Who?)Yva
>>4080248There's no Kommissar with the Penal Legion right?>You supposed you had to dip your feet in at some point. What was the harm? (Do you bring any “pleasant company?” Who?)Well if we want to make friends to deal with the UGZ then we have to take the plunge.Honestly we should bring Yva if only to steel Rondos nerves and she might have some insight into Mountainfolk.
>>4080275>There's no Kommissar with the Penal Legion right?There are Kommissars in it.It's not a particularly desirable place to be one though.
>>4080248>You supposed you had to dip your feet in at some point. What was the harm? (Do you bring any “pleasant company?” Who?)Yva should be fine for this.
>>4080274>>4080275>>4080423>>4080571Go get a wizard. Surely she's not doing anything this evening?Writing.
>>4080628Just want to add that from an IC perspective maybe Metzeler should go ask Richter why exactly he despises Zohl even though we know already.
So speaking of Richter.Is there a reason we haven't gone to the Major with the information about Richter being hunted?It seems like the type of thing a shadow organization would be very interested in, even if the Major kicks the shit out of Richter for getting himself in this situation. Is the threat of them holding this over Richter's head in the treason trial or in some other way too great?Also how many more days of training does old boy have left anyway. 5 days?
>>4080921I thought about it, but then I was overcome by fear that the Major will somehow recruit Bertram instead.That's what I would do if I wanted to fuck with the players
>>4081088Considering his abilities and how the inteligente office are a bunch of assholes, it’s not unlikely if they had a chance to
>>4080921Also I'm also interested how the IO and by extension (though not necessarily) the Archduchy plans to do when the Ellowan army comes rolling over the border. I doubt the IO doesn't know that Mittlesosalia is hosting them at the very least.
>>4081088>the Major will somehow recruit Bertram instead.I feel like that would be a really dumb move on her part since our continued success and survival are part of her job to some extent. Richter, Rondo, and Von Neubaum are all very important pawns to...whatever bullshit the IO is up to. Even if they are only pawns at the end of the day.I won't lie and say that coming to them with this problem was something I liked the sound of. But if we don't see much progress with Richter's training in the next few days, that might be a way to even the odds. Might result in them keeping a closer eye on Richter and his "pets" in the future or using this information against him in his treason trial, but it's better than fucking dying.>>4081121They DO in fact know and we were told as much by the Major herself not too long ago if I recall correctly. You guys gotta remember that the Archduchy would much prefer Ellowe be back in business as a buffer state between them and the two belligerent asshole states that are constantly fighting with their neighbors. Richter's whole mission is making sure things are in place to fall to shit at the right time for whatever they have planned, which may or may not have something to do with Mittlesosalia.
>>4081183>using this information against him in his treason trialLike, if we fail their orders and they do this or are we currently in another trial ?
>>4081183IIRC the Major hasn't brought it up before. Also while the Archduchy would prefer Ellowie to either Netilland or Twayri considering Netilland is Strossvald's direct neighbor the Archduchy might not want to backstab our 'allies' unless they're confident that an invasion can succeed and more importantly that the Ellowians don't get ganged up upon again like the first time. Twayri's dream would be for Ellowie and Netilliand to bleed each other out and then for them to sweep in at the end.
“…I will go then…” you decided, “…And I will take Yva along…” Not only as a matter of course- there was no reason to not bring her, especially for plain recreation, and perhaps she would be able to tell you more of the context behind Zohl’s ethnicity as well.“You have anything for her to wear? Like I said, he said the place is fancy. You don’t want to embarrass her, she doesn’t have a uniform like you.”Yva didn’t have many clothes, you knew, only a few sets that usually weren’t even seen if she was dressed in her coat and high leather traveling boots, and certainly not anything that could be called fancy. “…I do not, neither does she…but Yva will not mind…” As far as you knew she kept greater concerns than fashion. “…not that I could find one for her in time regardless…”With a final confirmation of where it was taking place, you went to tell Yva that she was invited, and then before you went, you’d go talk with Richter about what he had against the Kommissar. Where had they met? What were his reasons for not parleying with an influential person in Netillian local politics? You’d find out before you went, though you could speculate as you walked over to Yva’s cottage.If your guess at Richter’s schedule was correct, he should have been approaching the end of his training for the day. An attempt to fairly fight a quite unfair duel, but such was the Von Tracht way, apparently. You knew something of their history, and to a man (and woman) those of the direct bloodline had been rash and foolhardy to a fault, practically suicidal. Honor was no matter to mock of course, but the Von Trachts had a history of seeking their untimely fates. One could easily conclude that Richter was merely following the trend that had “cursed” his line to terminate at himself. Why not ask for help from his many comrades? Why not demand the aid of the Intelligence Office, which had an interest in keeping him alive, at least at convenience? The only answer that occurred was that he felt a need to prove himself personally, damn the consequences to anybody else- and quite honestly, that lined up with his decision to abandon safety and escort to journey through the mountain pass and nearly have an eye shot out.A couple of knocks at Yva’s door before you opened it and pushed through. There wasn’t-Something flew through the air and cracked you right in the face as soon as you went in.”GET. OUT!!”-----
Yva had cooled down some since you had fled the scene of her washing herself- the cottage was quite a small one, and the most convenient place to heat water was the main room with the stove. “I told you that I was going to bathe,” she said sorely as she brushed her hair while trying for a reflection in a window, “I’m sorry I hit you with that piece of wood, but I told you…”“…Nothing was seen…” you reassured her as you rubbed your forehead where the piece of firewood had bounced off your skull. A lie, you had seen something- not what a man would aim for with a bathing woman typically, but her arm- the false one, now whole, made of intricately carved and decorated wood, and the seam where it joined with her flesh, blackened and sickly looking, like that sharpshooter woman Hilda had looked in places.“Yet you are looking?”You sighed to yourself. “…It is not often you meet one with a false arm…let alone one that moves like a true one…Does it have a story..?”“It was not made to replace a lost arm, if that is what you are thinking,” Yva told you. She had donned a loose long sleeved shirt and a loose long skirt, a glove now over her false arm. “I cast away my flesh of my own will, to have this arm in its place.”“…Why..?”Yva hesitated to answer, but relented a small amount. “I was misguided.” That was all she spoke of it, before she was satisfied with her brushing, put on her glasses, and came over to the table to sit in a chair beside you. “So, why are you here, besides to be a peeping tom?”“…I was not-““So easy to tease,” Yva smiled and poked you roughly, “You are forgiven, so that is that. I know you as a noble person, even if you can be oafish at times. Why did you come here, though?”“…Ah. I was invited to dinner by an important person…A Kommisar of Netilland, to be attended in about...” You checked your pocket watch, “…One hour forty five minutes. They requested that I bring pleasant company…so I thought to invite you. You cannot be shut in this cottage all of the time…”“Oh, I see, of course I can come with you to that. What kind of place are they inviting you to?”“…I am unsure…” you admitted, “…It is an exclusive officer’s club in Kamienisty, the railhead, however, so it is undoubtedly high quality, and accommodating to particular tastes…”“Your speech is improving,” Yva noted.“…Ah…so it is…” Being around Yva did calm your nerves significantly. Was it because she was a sorceress, or because she was a woman? Or was it because she was a woman to your forgotten tastes? Frederick did say you had been in brief relationships before. In any case, it would help you when facing the Kommissar. “…I hope you do not mind appearing in normal wear…the place is of particular class, but the invitation was quite sudden…”
“Of course I do not mind, Rondo,” Yva tittered, “But you should not be so accommodating, what sort of man appears with an underdressed companion? It reflects poorly upon you. I’m sure we can find something in the time we have.”“…If you think so…” you certainly wouldn’t insist on the opposite, “…Nothing too presumptive though, if you understand…”“Of course.”“…Especially since I will soon be betrothed…”Yva paused to take that in, then clapped her hands with a broad smile, “Oh, that’s excellent! Who are they? A childhood friend? A sweetheart from a time long passed? A recent flame, love at first sight?”“…I have never met them…”“Oh.” Yva’s tone went flat, and her smile turned into a frown. “…I see.”“…Mm…it was arranged by my family…and I made my choice…”“That is still good, then,” Yva did not reverse her tone, but her excitement had fled. “I’m glad for you. Despite what has happened, you’re moving forward with your life, not freezing in place out of spite like I might have feared. I know you disliked your family, but this is a good step, so that you do not dislike them for all time. And you’ll be married! Pardon me, but even if you do not know the person, but do you at least know what they look like?”“…I have a picture…” you dug about for it, and showed Yva. “Her name is Klaudia.”“…She looks sad,” Yva said warily, “Do not worry. She could do far worse than you, and from the looks of her, you could do far worse as well. Her hair is pretty, isn’t it?”“…It is…”“Oh, we should get going,” Yva rose to her feet and went to the hook where her coat was hanging, “Let me get my shoes on, if we go right away, maybe there will be a place in town where I can find something to look better the part.”>Fine, fine. You certainly wouldn’t suffer your company to be embarrassed because you wanted to pinch pennies on clothing…(What sort of thing to look for?)>She could wait here. You wanted to go ask Richter a few things. (Von Metzeler will not allow Yva to go unescorted)>No, you’d insist on not imposing, though you’d like to ask about something else…(What?)>Other?
>>4081296>Fine, fine. You certainly wouldn’t suffer your company to be embarrassed because you wanted to pinch pennies on clothing…(What sort of thing to look for?)A fine dress
>>4081296And we must abandon this woman because of the whims of our mafia of a family? Confound this!>Fine, fine. You certainly wouldn’t suffer your company to be embarrassed because you wanted to pinch pennies on clothing…Something like pic related
>>4081191You know the treason trial from before Richter got here?The same one that kept Richter and Maddy from getting married or seeing each other for the whole month or two Richter was home following his little rescue mission?That never officially ended.It's just pending while Richter is away on duty, and is waiting for him when he gets back.Now while I fully expect people to just say "fuck this shit!" and take the hit when the time comes so we can finally marry our lolancee, Richter's father is working really hard on this case and we still don't want to add any additional charges or accusations for him to deal, because of this Bertram shit. Because who knows what type of sneaky shit they might pull to fuck Richter over for being insolent?>>4081204>IIRC the Major hasn't brought it up before.Huh, you sure? Oh well, might have to look it up before it comes up again but for now i'll take your words for it.>the Archduchy might not want to backstab our 'allies' unless they're confident that an invasion can succeed and more importantly that the Ellowians don't get ganged up upon again like the first time.I think it's completely reasonable for the Archduchy to see the incoming Ellowians accompanied by Mittlesosalia and be like "This is more than we signed up for bros, we finna head out," knowing full well this was going to happen from the start.And the possibility of Twayri siding with Netilland again is the type of shit Richter is here to prevent as much as he can to begin with.It's a risky plan, but the type the Archduchy seems to be fond of and the type they've had success with in the past. >>4081293>You knew something of their history, and to a man (and woman) those of the direct bloodline had been rash and foolhardy to a fault, practically suicidal. Well, golly when you put it like that...>Honor was no matter to mock of course, but the Von Trachts had a history of seeking their untimely fates. One could easily conclude that Richter was merely following the trend that had “cursed” his line to terminate at himself. Ok geez, I guess we could maybe think about not throwing his lives away based on random chan->Why not ask for help from his many comrades? Why not demand the aid of the Intelligence Office, which had an interest in keeping him alive, at least at convenience? The only answer that occurred was that he felt a need to prove himself personally, damn the consequences to anybody else- Bruh, chill! Yo bruh chill out! Rondo, why you gotta just flame my mans like this! >and quite honestly, that lined up with his decision to abandon safety and escort to journey through the mountain pass and nearly have an eye shot out.That was totally worth it!>>4081296>>4081334Aww, that's a cute outfit!Supporting
>>4081772I mean Bertram did say not to get others directly involved otherwise he'd start going after people. Though we should really at the very least talk to Poltergeist before the duel
>>4081772>That never officially ended.Oh, I thought that the IO had saved our butts from it, but ok, thanks for remembering story anon
>>4081881I feel like we should at least talk to everyone we have available before the duel.Just in case.>>4081894No problem. You gotta remember the IO are cool, but they aren't really on the level about...anything really. They want to always have their cake and eat it too when it comes to their agents from what we've seen and have the resources to bully you into submission if you are being annoying or worse if you aren't meeting expectations.
>>4081294Yva sounds like a real friend to Rondo. It's fucking heartwarming is what it is.>>4081204I'm getting a feeing that tanq is giving us big, fat, transparent hints here.
>>4082342The rise and fall of Mittelnauk Democratic
I emerge once more.>>4081323>>4081334>>4081443>>4081515>>4081549>>4081772Go clothes shopping then hit up the place.Writing. Though really one expects more than text from this, don't they?
>>4083990We do. Do you draw yourself or you pay commissions ?
>>4084015>Do you draw yourself or you pay commissions ?I have serious doubts that anybody would actually pay money for the sort of things I put out unless there was some sort of misplaced favor or nepotism at play. There's also the timeframe involved, I'm already really slow, but if I had to wait for a commission to be done appropriate to an update I don't know how long they would take.
>>4084068I think they meant "do you draw your own updates, or does somebody that you're paying draw them?">I have serious doubts that anybody would actually pay money for the sort of things I put out unless there was some sort of misplaced favor or nepotism at play99% sure 100% of people reading could pay you (assuming they could).
>>4084068Post a paypal and I'll commission a large coffee or tea at your choice of coffee house.
Where are you tanq ?
>>4086430Half dead apparently. Two days, sheesh. I may be breaking a record for flakiness.Update real soon though.
“…Very well then…” you rose, “...I will call an escort. The local area is still dangerous, after all…” Though to be completely honest, Yva was in no danger- not if she was even half as strong as she truly was, not in a physical sense, but in a way you didn’t even understand. Nevertheless, she was still a lady, and no proper self-respecting gentleman let a lady go about in the evening unescorted.“I am sure we will be fine,” Yva was quick to imply what you had already considered, then realized just that, “Though I suppose it is best to keep up appearances, isn’t it?”Further talk was had while you waited for an escort to come- mentioning the Kommissar’s name expunged any reluctance from the dispatcher, who told you that an escort would arrive from Kamienisty as quickly as possible. Unnecessary, but a pleasant surprise nevertheless. With the recent incursions having been from Twaryians rather than insurgents, who had been remarkably inactive as of late, the escorts were uneasy about the better armed and better trained foe.“…Have you been to a fine establishment?...A fancy dining place..?” You asked. Yva had told you some of her past, in vague terms. Nothing about the country it was in, merely that it was not a place of great wealth or prosperity, yet was a place of peace- which told you that she had been of lower class. That was no trouble, but some nobility had difficulty understanding just what that meant as far as wants and needs went. “…Dressing up for them can be…an event…” Foggy memories of academy days, and the arms race in fashion at any gathering. Fainter memories still about the part your family had in a few, but they refused to approach, as though they actively evaded you.“I have not,” Yva said as she warily eyed any soldier who strayed close in their busywork, “a wanderer, a mystic…they usually throw themselves upon the hospitality of those whose means are not such. It is our place to remain upon the outskirts of society- and we can sustain ourselves well enough. We simply must be able to be forgotten by the world in a moment, and the more money one has, the less willing the world is to forget you. Even though I have not known wealth or what flourishes with it, I confess that I was ever curious, of course.”“…You will need not be curious any longer…” You heard the sound of a car and a pair of motorcycles- the usual escort for an officer or two. “…Come…we have much to do after all…”-----
Kamienisty hadn’t been a large town before the occupation, but it had rapidly ballooned in size once it was suddenly close to the border between two nations that had immediately set to squaring up against one another. The flow of supply requiring expansion of facilities, those facilities needed other facilities, workers needed housing and amenities, and thusly even now there were new buildings being built, and new business cropping up that would have been absent a mere two months before.Some such places were clothing stores, each with a mixed selection as the early days of economic competition had yet to set borders and lines. The first had been too fancy, with the sort of dresses and gowns that made a statement- but not the sort you wanted, or you even considered to ask Yva if she liked, even if she did seem fascinated by them. Plunging necklines and backless affairs (to say nothing of the scandal-baiting sheers) were simply inappropriate, as far as you were concerned, no matter if they were covered by an equally chic coat or jacket until indoors.Thankfully, the second place was much less marketed to controversy and daring, and a simple pale violet cotton blouse was acquired, with blue accents and a blue ankle-length skirt. Yva had selected the color- she was fond of blue, though you could have guessed such from the bluebell-esque false flower pin she liked to wear in her hair. It wasn’t a cheap looking fake, though you had some concern that an astute eye might notice and mock it. Not that any grand impressions were being planned anyways.Though noting that did make you fret about other things unnecessarily. Her shoes were plain, as were her spectacles, and both seemed old, weathered, and well used. Did Yva even need spectacles? Perhaps she could be convinced to put them away? No, she was already being accommodating enough with this, and you didn’t have the time to go searching for everything. She looked good, no matter how understated the apparel, and that was the important part. She just couldn’t look like she’d blown in on the wind was all, so white stockings were a necessary if unplanned addition.Her old clothing was wrapped up in a bundle and placed back at the dispatch center for escorts, to be picked up when you went back, but without her heavy shawl and coat you noticed that Yva was shivering- the blouse was thin and unable to repel winter on its own. Thankfully, a third place found you a replacement shawl that wasn’t as heavy as the one she had before, but could still provide some shield against the cold. A deep blue wool one, to try and match the rest of her. A cloche hat was seen and suggested- but refused.“…Tell me of mountainfolk…” you said as you walked with her, the sun’s last rays shining before it dipped beneath the horizon, the lamps all on in Kamienisty now. “…The man I am meeting with is one…and I would like to know more of them…”
“They are reclusive,” Yva answered, “But enough are wanderers to see here and there, not that there are many in the first place. As many wanderers though, are exiled…or sent. Such would be the only contact the truly isolated mountain communities may have with the outside world, where their ways have gone unchanged for millennia.”“…You seem to know some decent amount about them…”“I would hope so. I am of the Nief’yem, the “Mountainfolk”.” Yva told you, wrapping a lock of her long hair about her finger, “I may not appear so, but not all of them carry what they call the Blessing of Yjens, especially when my blood is only half.”That was something new about Yva she’d deigned to share, and you nodded. “…I do not suppose…that this Zohl may be sent?”“I would not think that,” Yva said with some doubt curving her brow down, “If he is somebody of importance, that is. Mountainfolk are supposed to have loyalty to their villages, their communities, the ancestors- to not make a home away, not if they are sent. I would think him born outside such places, or in a place where the outside world has supplanted the grip of tradition.” She shrugged, “You could ask him, of course.”By this point, about an hour had gone by, giving you another fifteen minutes to be at the place. It was polite to be good and early, after all. If you found it early, so much the earlier- and the better. What you didn’t expect was for Zohl to have been early too, when you approached the conveniently and clearly marked officer’s luxury dining place, lounging at an outdoor table across from a very nervous looking young woman, with short dark brown hair cut to her neck and a coat wrapped tightly around her.“Oh my, Lieutenant Von Metzeler,” the Kommissar, who was clearly such from his gold decorated uniform and medallion, even though much of it was covered by a black cape, “You have me at a disadvantage. Here I was thinking you would be punctual, right on time, and here you are early. Well, no trouble, our reservation can be moved up. Oh, pardon me,” He bowed, and took off his cap in doing so, revealing his jade hued hair, “I ought to introduce myself to a noble. I am Kommissar Captain of State Security Alrik Zohl, of the Defense Party’s Kommissariat, assigned to the Thirteenth Mechanize Guards. Who is your fair accompaniment?”“I am Yva.” Your “fair accompaniment” said. Her family name was not given, and considering what she was, you didn’t even know if Yva was her real name. “…She is a friend…” you felt the need to clarify.“That is alright, friends were not forbidden." Zohl reassured with a chuckle, "In fact, I have brought my own friend. Won’t you introduce yourself?”
The young woman who had been with Zohl said nothing, keeping her mouth tight and staring wide eyed at the man who brought her here.“She is shy,” the Kommissar laughed, “But she will open up in time. Come. I’m sure we are all famished, and in need of a healthy amount of good wines.” With a finger gesture to the young woman he brought, she stood bolt upright, quick as a shot, and followed him in while you and Yva trailed from further away.“That girl is behaving oddly,” Yva whispered the obvious in your ear, “Do be careful.”The sound of a contemplative violin grew louder as two sets of doors were passed through, to a tall, square room with two floors, the back a stage where a young lady in a black dress was utterly focused upon playing her instrument.“Over here,” Zohl beckoned as he looked back over his shoulder to you and Yva, “By the pillar here, and the Rayer style portrait.” The painting he pointed to would have fit neatly into pre-imperial baroque portraiture of a severe man, but strategic sections seemed to be cut out to reveal another picture beneath- a forested landscape, from what you could see, in place like the pupil of the eye, the cuts in sleeves, the shadows… “It tempts investigation, does it not?” Zohl noticed your gaze lingering, “It is a new style from Emre, a lingering sentiment of the Utopian Revolutionaries, to hide one thing in another, often something to be more appreciated than the main subject. Supposedly, if one trains their eye enough, the original picture vanishes completely…but, that requires far too much idleness for my tastes. Go on, sit. Make yourselves comfortable.”You all did, Yva shrugging off her shawl, and Zohl taking the coat off of his “friend” to reveal a white, tightly fitted strapless dress beneath, before shedding his own cape. Both of you removed your caps, and they were taken by a waiting attendant. The seating was familiar- two on each side, each person seated directly next to their partner. When you opened the black lacquer clad menu (Yva inspected what you were doing and copied you), Zohl cleared his throat.“Ahem. Actually, forgive my presumptiveness, but for the appetizer, I have had something interesting prepared ahead of time. It will be brought out in due time. Waiter!” He called over a man in a black vest and white shirt, “A good aperitif, if you please, all around. Something dry for the appetite, but gentle for the ladies. I trust I need not go into snobbery with names?”The waiter nodded. “Of course, of course…”“And make sure that Hot Steel is coming soon, yes?”“Of course.”“Good man.” When the waiter left, Zohl looked across the table at you, and smiled. “You have a question in your eyes.”“…The Hot Steel, yes…”
“It is more fun to let it be revealed,” Zohl waved a hand to dismiss it, “There are other topics until then. Like our companions. If I may say, Miss Yva is quite easy on the eyes, in spite of the lack of extravagance. My companion here, who will speak up some time…she has a history to her. Miss Yva, do you know the nature of a Kommissar’s work?”“I do not.” Yva could smell something about this man already, it seemed, and she didn’t seem to like it.“I keep my country, my countrymen, and its leadership safe. Safe from threats to the body, yes, but also threats to idea. Trust and belief in the state can be poisoned as easily as the body, after all, with far worse consequences. Society requires implicit trust, and elements that harm that, be encouraging that the powers the be are deposed…well, suffice it to say, the threats are such that I am well employed. Such work requires knowing people inside and out, and I quite love digging down to the very atoms of how our heads work, each person is exploration, discovery. But I digress. The girl. She is an Ellowian- a feisty one, believe it or not. Once a Resistance Fighter, for the so-called Revolutionary League, who have been so skillfully expunged from the region. I believe you or your cohorts even captured this girl…well, my appreciation. She may be shy, but when she is not stressed, she can hold quite a conversation. She had a…ah, here it comes.”Zohl was awfully fond of hearing himself talk, you had been thinking when the interruption was wheeled in. It was an odd contraption, but when it came closer, you realized what it was. A shallow trough, in which lay dozens of red hot glowing charcoals, with a deep black cast iron plate in the middle, the whole thing sitting on a stand so the bottom would not scorch anything. It was heaved up by two waiters, and placed gingerly upon the table, plenty long enough to accommodate. Afterwards, a fourth man came with several plates of cubes of what appeared to be beef steak, and condiments like little piles of salt, spices, and the like.“I suppose the nature of this is obvious,” Zohl mused, his face now lit up by the glow of coals as he leaned over to inspect the device, “I have always been fascinated with cooking. I do spoil this dear, here. However, I like best the simple, that which any can try, a cry back to when we first dabbled in the culinary. Go on, pick up square with the tongs, and place it upon the Steel, let it sear to your satisfaction.” He shrugged, “Or eat it plain, I suppose. Quite fresh, quite expensive, but I mislike meat with no color.”You looked doubtfully over the thing, leaning forward. The lights were low enough that the coal light appeared near brighter, but you noted when you looked at Zohl’s girl, she was clearly regarded the steel like it was about to jump at her. “…Could we have…a demonstration..?”
“Certainly,” He began by selecting a cube, and sprinkling it with salt and pepper, turning it over away from the rest. “Salt and pepper are necessities. The rest is a matter of opinion, but the salt at least cannot be negotiated.” A neat flip onto the steel, where it began to sizzle. “It is a matter of timing, but for taste, every side should have some burning, just on the surface. Not too long- the insides must still be recognizable, but the meat should be wet, tender, the fat, soft to the point of melting.” Each turn was done with a tool, but after the last, he picked the piece up with his bare hands. “And thusly. Of course, my friend loves it best with no further alteration, hot, practically weeping with juices…”With that, he held up the block before his still nervous “acquaintance,” and clicked his tongue. She opened her mouth, and he put the meat in- just slightly more than would be socially acceptable even for somebody more than a friend- enough to raise and eyebrow, but now a comment, and he had his eye on you the whole time during it. Zohl leaned forth, smile still carved into his face, eyes sunken into dark pits. “Let us briefly address business, now. Your friend told me you wanted a favor, Lieutenant Rondo Von Metzeler. I only do favors for people I like, or whom I owe. Unfortunately, I hardly know a thing about you. So let us speak, as we whet our appetites, hm?”By now, a dry wine was being served, and you sniffed at it apprehensively. “…Very well. What about..?”“Anything you like. Just not anything of demands, not yet. That can be saved to be a digestive.”>What do you discuss with the Kommissar, ask, if anything?>State that you’d rather get business out of the way first and foremost. You’re willing to hear what he wants in exchange.>Other things to do or look out for?
>>4086627>What do you discuss with the Kommissar, ask, if anything?Ask Yva said must as well ask him about how he managed to end up where he is considering most mountainfolk tend to keep to themselves. Maybe ask if he speaks the old tongue as well? I remember from when we met Fie it seems like more and more of them simply speak New Nauk these days.Also say Richter sends his regards but he's simply been too busy dealing with Gerovic lately plus his eye injury. All those Twaryian snipers lurking around camp makes an officer want to keep their heads down after all.Honestly though what the heck is someone who's lost most of his memories supposed to talk about himself?
>>4086627>You say you do favors for those you owe, but in order to owe someone they must first do a favor for you, and for that they must first know what it is you need doing. So tell me what troubles you have run into as of late while conducting your duties as a Kommissar of Netilland. Even a capable officer such as yourself must have certain issues which weigh upon your mind in these trying times...?Also be sure to chug that wine to get a buzz going because Richter said alcohol helps with our stammer and we need to sound competent now if ever.
>>4086703Supporting this, maybe ask as well if his unit has gotten into any clashes with the Twaryians lately given all the heightened tensions.>>4086764Think from what he's saying we need to have some small talk first before going down to business
>>4086622Yva is just too cute in this!Still needs a coat in winter though.>>4086627I only expect creepy and disgusting things from Zohl.Supporting >>4086703. Most people like to talk about themselves, and Zohl clearly does not try to hide his ancestry so it shouldn't be a touchy topic.Also,>Discuss Gerovic, his personality and motivations
>>4086703Supporting and also drink the wine to speak better
>>4086627>What do you discuss with the Kommissar, ask, if anything?Talk about him being mountainfolk sure, but try to find something to say about Rondo first. Rather than talking about his past, talk about his hobbies, talk about his ideals as best as he can remember them. Between his love of duals and his desire for chivalry, there should be plenty to talk about, and if all else fails, talk about getting married soon or something.
I am up.>>4086703>>4086764>>4086767>>4086777>>4086817>>4086831Talking good. Drink.Writing.
A stiff pull at the wine was indulged in as you considered what to say, and also to try and keep yourself from sounding overly slow. True enough, Yva’s presence was helping, but you doubted that she provided the same motivation Von Tracht had described. Yes, she was attractive, both in personality and in body, but…The wine wasn’t bad at all- in fact, you quite liked it. A pleasant surprise, but instinct from the foggy mists told you that you shouldn’t drink too quickly. Such would be a faux pas, and at a first meeting, politeness from the wanting party was essential.“…Richter sends his regards…” you started off, only for Zohl to chuckle and interrupt you.“I’m sure he does. The last I met him, he gave my eyes like he’d love to strangle me, and has not returned a single piece of correspondence.”“…He has been busy dealing with Gerovic…surely you have heard…” Another sip of the dry, white wine. “…The Twaryians have been very active lately…”“Gerovic has indeed been making quite a stir,” Zohl peeked in the menu, “I would recommend fish, by the by, a fresh shipment just came in tonight, specially ordered from the coast. I would say whatever it is, it is best seared and in a lemon or butter sauce. Captain Andrej Gerovic though, yes. There’s a healthy bounty on him. Is your unit interested in that?”“…We are more interested in…dealing with the threat…” you muttered.“Ahhhh,” Zohl seemed a bit disappointed, “Though judging from the reports and the command meetings, you are doing well…or our friend is holding back. Testing, tempting. His specific motivation feels like something he guards closely.”“…Have you or your unit had trouble..?” you wanted to keep Zohl talking, long enough that alcohol could cure some of your stammering before you were prompted to talk at length.“We have been uninvolved,” Zohl said dismissively, “The Thirteenth Mechanized Guards are an elite unit, and high command is wary of spending them on anything but emergencies, especially when newer units need something to cut their teeth upon. One might even speculate that their fight is not one that would be one against anything but a fully mobilized foe, but that is just what I speculate. They do need to stretch their legs, I can tell you.”Expected, but disappointing. The Kommissariat’s job was hardly to deal with Twaryians after all. Time to address the green elephant in the room, though. “…You seem to be far from home…” you said, “…Where in Netilland do you hail from..?”
Zohl ran his hand through his hair, “Of course, a natural question, considering there are people who have never even seen mountain men. I come from the western mountains in Netilland, not too deep in, from a village whose name is no longer important. They are called after their current elders, you see, by tradition, not by a static name like most cultures call their settlements. It hardly makes it easy for surveyors and census, ha. I was hardly mistreated, but I was bored. As I grew into manhood, I went out with some others on a normal trek to retrieve basic sundries, and when the others went back, well, I didn’t, and my word, the outside world did not disappoint.” Zohl leaned back in his chair, picking up his wine flute and sipping at it. “That was a little more than eleven years ago, before the Defense Party took over administration of Netilland.”Took over administration was quite a polite way to refer to a coup d’état, as Netilland’s army had done but a few years past. “…I have heard that the state mistrusts…mountainfolk..?” you hardly needed the man’s life story, but his origins hadn’t said much of how he had ascended to the point he had.“Oh, they certainly do!” Zohl was amused by the question, thankfully. “Queer little bands of rustic and traditional people, in a state suddenly quite concerned about mixed loyalties? Why, they’re a terrible risk in the making. Yet the Defense Party knows better than to fumble about trying to control and contain that they do not understand. They knew to look for those who had no love for their dusty old homes, if you understand my meaning.” He seemed to gauge your reaction as he took a moment for a breath and another drink, and then his eyes suddenly flicked to Yva. “Some find it distasteful to hear, but I hold no shame in it. I forsook my home forever when I chose to abandon it. I may have doubly forsaken it, however, when I helped to detain my once fellows, to spirit them away to places of reeducation and labor, where they were safe and of no threat to the state. That my once home resisted was tragic…yet scourging the place had some therapeutic qualities. Try as one might, sometimes the carrot does not work nearly as well as the cane. Far crueler things have been done to my kind than simple relocation and internment, but a reminder, an example, is sometimes needed nevertheless. Such was what elevated me to my current prestige.”“…You said they did not mistreat you?” Yva asked.
“Indeed I did say that.” Zohl drank once more, very slowly, expecting more. “You would like more context? It is a rather intimate event, but, to be true, I mislike hiding myself. I will tell my tale as I prepare more delightful appetizers, yes? I do encourage you to try yourself. Ahem.” He laid four pieces of meat upon the hot steel, after a hearty seasoning, and kept a close eye on them as he recounted the past. “Believe it or not, my decision was hardly a cynical one. I was asked to aid an initiative that would have gone through with or without my compliance. Should I refuse out of principle, or both elevate myself and try to protect my people by doing the work properly? I chose the latter, the natural conclusion. Early successes were encouraging, yet time came to finally return home after almost ten years. I thought that a familiar face, even after so long, would be remembered, that it would be even easier than the other places thus far, that had listened to reason, or if not that, threat of force. Yet I was denied. Told that the people were not going anywhere, and that were I to return, the men of the government would be seen as enemies, and resisted.” His focus was close on the meat, and he paused as he began to turn each one over. “Of course, backing down was impossible. The Defense Party was young, and its authority could not be questioned. However, I was perplexed, baffled, as I returned with a combat platoon to clear things out the hard way. ”Why would they refuse?” was what I could not stop thinking about. Yet when all were either dying or in custody and my old home was demolished around me, I felt two things. A sense of freedom. I could never return, the place no longer existed. The other, a deep desire awakened, to know humanity and their hearts and minds. It became an obsession deeper than any about art, or food, or other diversion.”“…” You weren’t sure what to say about that. You glanced at Yva, and she looked back. Could you truly be critical of how he had treated those who had raised him? You had apparently despised your family, as both Krause and Yva had said. Had you been wronged by them? How? It was funny how Zohl speaking of his history made you wonder about your own. At least you’d gotten plenty of wine in you over the course of that story, and Zohl decided that the steak blocks were finished as he distributed them onto little plates and passed them about.“Speaking of diversions,” Zohl mused as he held his steak between a finger and thumb, “What do you like to do, Herr Von Metzeler?”
You didn’t respond right away, eating the steak block first. It was…very good. Good meat, done just enough for it to be hot throughout, not made too tough by overcooking nor too soft from the reverse. “…Fencing,” you answered, “Saber fencing. I have done it for years…” You knew you were an expert, even if you didn’t fully understand why. “I also enjoy reading, particularly of mysteries…real life mystery and conspiracy, too. And…courtly intrigue, I suppose…I like to find out answers…”“He aids the needy as well, and is a man of justice,” Yva unexpectedly added, her voice in the tone of a boast, “We met when I was being threatened in the night by a ruffian. He drove the man away and rescued me.” Not exactly accurate, but you couldn’t help but be flattered, not just from how that was told, but with how her voice and body language indicated a pride in it.“Why, isn’t that noble,” Zohl observed, smirking at you, “You must not hear praise often for the color that brings to your cheeks. A chivalrous streak and a way with a blade, though. You must fancy yourself a knight.”“…In a manner of speaking…” More a gentleman than a knight, really. Knights, after all, could not escape being associated with war, and funnily enough, you did not consider yourself a soldier first nor foremost. “Have you experience with dueling, Von Metzeler?” Zohl asked next, unexpectedly. “A scene of it has been developing, you see. The Neo Nobility considers their prestige precious, enough to take insults quite personally. Though many are unwilling to lend themselves to harm. Professional duelists are not meant to kill one another, of course, though the fight itself is oft enough to satisfy regardless. I would think a similar situation applies for Strossvald, does it not?”“…Dueling is officially barred as a means of settling legal matters…” you said, “…That said I do have experience with duels…” Underground dueling, mostly. All the way back from Academy days- that you did not have a mark on you despite years of such was, frankly, a badge of honor. “…Why, do you have a slight that must be settled..?”“Ah, not me,” Zohl laughed, “Thank you for asking.”“…Surely even without having to deal with the front line…a man such as you has trouble he needs help with…” you tried to edge into perhaps addressing the favor first, but Zohl would not hear of it.“I already have things in mind, don’t you worry. Ah, have you been looking at the menu? The waiter comes. After you order, though…I would be interested in what a man such as yourself thinks of me, with what I have shared about myself. I am sure I do not need to ask you not to lie…”>What is your measure of this man?Also>Is there anything else you would like to ask before the “digestive” where terms are talked?
>>4087911>What is your measure of this man ?A man quite mysterious that knows how to treat his guests >Is there anything else you would like to ask before the “digestive” where terms are talked ?What can we ask for ?
>>4087911>>What is your measure of this man?Ambitious definitely. Not afraid to claim what he wants? Firm in his convictions as well.[Though we know he's a creep]>Is there anything else you would like to ask before the “digestive” where terms are talked?Ask Zohl why he thinks Richter would have a negative opinion of *him* since he's so obsessed about 'knowing' people and what they think.
>>4087911This is about the measure of what I was going to say >>4087936
>>4087936Supporting. Wonder how Zohl analyses Richter's personality from his perspective
>>4087911>What is your measure of this man?He's pragmatic, maybe to a fault, and how he treats his lady, who still hasn't said anything yet which is quite worrying, is very odd to say the least.Otherwise, he seems pretty ok from what Von Metzeler has seen. I can't really fault him for siding with the winning side and trying his best to get his people to come along with him.I'd say he's made a way better impression for Rondo than he did for Richter.>Is there anything else you would like to ask before the “digestive” where terms are talked?Ask about the girl! Also ask about his gambling, I wanna hear him call himself a gamer at least once!
>>4087911>What is your measure of this man?Easily bored, craves new experiences, self-centered, manipulative, no attachment to people or places, does not understand how said attachment works? He's a clinical psychopath. Not to be trusted ever.>Is there anything else you would like to ask before the “digestive” where terms are talked?Ask about his girl, yeah. Hopefully it'll open the other anons' eyes a bit.
>>4087911>Is there anything else you would like to ask before the “digestive” where terms are talked?Ask him what he recommends from the menu, and then ask him what he's getting>What is your measure of this man?Ambitious, yet enjoys the climb more than the peak. Loves the illusion of taking a calculated risk, but never takes a risk if he doesn't have a foolproof fallback. Probably has drained a fatal amount of blood from someone in a gambling match.
>>4088382Are we really going to say that to his face though?And yeah supporting >>4088257>>4088382 about the girl. Point out why would an insurgent be his dinner companion.
>>4088863>Are we really going to say that to his face though?Whoops, I missed this bit.Of course we should keep this insight to ourselves.
>>4087933>>4087936>>4087943>>4087949>>4088257>>4088382>>4088831>>4088863>>4088888There's a lot to sum up here and I still haven't had coffee so I'll just do it in writing. Nice quints.Writing.
There was a difference between what you thought and what you would say. The way he went about things according to his own telling was perhaps overly pragmatic, to the point of self-centeredness. A definite trait was ambition, but besides that, he felt ambiguous. Certain of what he was and what his beliefs were, but did the ambition itself have an end point? Or was he a man more interested in the proverbial journey than the destination? He outright stated that ascent had been a goal, but how high did he intend to climb? The top? Where was he at now, even?“Ladies,” a black vested waiter approached politely, having sensed a gap in conversation now, “Gentlemen. Would you like your main course?”“Yes please,” Zohl made one last cursory glance at the menu, “If there are no objections, I believe we will all have the bloodsaddle cod, in the lemon-blanc. Broiled, with…well, whatever is seasonal across the sea and down some. Do any desire differently? Though, trust me, it is divine.” Yva frowned and looked at the menu with something approaching confusion- perhaps she didn’t understand many of the Emrean-influenced dishes, spread about as a side effect of Imperial domination in most places save the east. She didn’t object, and neither did you. Zohl’s nervous and still unnamed companion naturally said naught. “…No objections…” you felt confident in saying, but even after the waiter left, you still hadn’t shared your thoughts.“That you ponder so much is flattering, Von Metzeler.” Zohl broke your chain of thought.“…My measure of you thus far is that you are ambitious,” you had finished a second flute of wine- Yva had only made a curious touch at hers, and part of you understood, but also rather wanted her to try more. Zohl had matched you, but his companion had not so much as had a sip. “…Ambition is hardly a poor vice, but it is difficult to precisely evaluate without knowing the goal…You seem pragmatic, fitting for your position…”“Ambitious and pragmatic, hm? I rather like that, I think.” Zohl rubbed his chin and smiled.
“Pragmatism and ambition combined can be quite dangerous,” Yva said in the tone of a warning, “The past has many tales of those whose pragmatism was not tempered with mercy, and ambition unchecked by caution. Rondo has said his view of ambition. Are you satisfied with your current position, Captain of State Security?”Zohl’s small smile didn’t leave his face as he glanced over to your bespectacled partner. “Are you, fair lady? Is your Rondo? We are not born seeing our goals on the horizon. I would say that I am less a climber of mountains, who may look up and see the peak, and more a man crawling through caves. I may never find the bottom, so I must find satisfaction in the depths I may reach. A sailor of the seas, who may not find a new Isle of Prophecy, but who may chart every shore along the way.”“So, no, then.” Yva surmised, glancing down at a still uneaten piece of steak, glancing about to see her was alone, and amending that with curious apprehension. “You think me dangerous, miss?” Zohl laughed a small pair of subdued huffs, “Hm hm, but some women like danger. Von Metzeler is rather dangerous, what with prowling the night looking for criminals to serve justice upon, no? Or do I presume?”“…Herr Zohl,” you cleared your throat, “If you would mind…”“Yes, sorry,” Zohl’s attention went away from Yva, “I was not intending to impose, I can merely get carried away.”“…You and Lieutenant Von Tracht have met,” you directed the talking to a different tack, “What did you think of him, with your like of “knowing” people..?” You knew Richter and Zohl had only met briefly; perhaps an answer on why he disliked him could be told by Zohl himself. Yet, Richter had clashed with Yva as well- and that was simply due to him being an idiot, so far as you could tell.“You are his direct subordinate, you know him far better than I could, but I suppose the difference between our perceptions would be interesting to look at, yes?” Zohl noted the other members of the table’s lack of wine consumption. “Go on, drink,” he encouraged the young woman at his side, “It will calm your nerves some.”The young woman hesitated, then tried, but coughed after a mere swallow. Was she unused to drink, particularly as dry as this wine?“When I saw Lieutenant Von Tracht at the High Protector’s Langenachtfest social,” Zohl continued, “I was with different, more vocal company. He disapproved, I think, of what was implied between me and her. To be fair, I did nothing to deny such implications, but I suppose I thought him a different sort of man than assumed. Yet what assumptions I could make, given his history. How much of such were you present for, Lieutenant?”“…Near all of it.” you answered, “Though I do not mind that I do not share as much fame…”
“Yes, that brand of infamy does draw both desirable and undesirable attention,” Zohl nodded, “With my company there, however, I had her introduce herself by her identity, rather than by name. As I have said, I mislike concealment. Such is not a normal practice, of course.”Her identity and not her name? “…Then, this young lady…may we know her name..?” you looked to Zohl’s woman.“She will speak when she is comfortable,” Zohl verbally interposed himself between you and her.“…Will she ever be comfortable..?” you challenged.“She already indulges me in accompanying me,” Zohl reached out and turned his finger in the woman’s hair, before gently letting it fall away, “I dare not demand more, do I?”This evasiveness was transparent, and getting somewhat tiring. “…Tell us about her. Surely that is not a problem? It is strange, after all, for you to arrive with…an insurgent, you said..?”“Is it so strange?” Zohl wondered aloud, “Miss Yva has not given her last name, and if I can fairly presume, she is of eastern descent, yes? Von Tracht’s companion to the party, as well…one called Nowicki, an Ellowian name if I have ever seen one. If I may presume, I think we all merely share similar tastes, no? Hm hm. I merely make fun. Fine, I will tell of her story. She is free to make any corrections, of course.” A presumably final spread of appetizers was scattered about, this time a medley of vegetables included as well. “You know how it begins. This young lady found her country defeated by the combined attacks of both Netilland and Twaryi. In the absence of the Republican government, some elements saw a chance to operate once more, perhaps to see themselves raised to the position the former regime was in. One such group is the Revolutionary League, allowed to operate in Twaryian borders, and as you know, a militant insurgency in Netillian territory. The League, you see, takes inspiration from utopianists such as Ange, if you are familiar, as well as d’Olivi, who seek to institute a revolutionary state ruled by a popular council. They took issue with the methods of representation the old Republic had, you see, though I am hardly any expert. The principle, however, is of the abolition of nobility and wealth held outside of the grasp of the common people, and an empowering of the state administered by the people to take back and hold this wealth and any to be produced, the bounty of the land belonging to those who live upon it, after all.” Zohl paused, and gave a glance to the girl beside him. “Do I have the right of it?”The girl did not raise her head, and only bit her lip as she stared down.
“I suppose I do, the basic gist, at least,” Zohl shrugged. “We spoke of it, you see, long into the nights. And she did so with such fire, such passion, enchanting defiance.” He gave the girl a longer, more direct look. “Where did that go? This is a man of Strossvald, of nobility old and new. Do you not wish to debate? To share the ideals and dreams of the Revolution? No?” Zohl shrugged, and leaned back again. “Perhaps she does not want to speak with an enemy. After all, your unit did attack her cell, did capture her, and relatively recently, purged it near entirely. That new in particular broke her poor heart, I think, but would it not be crueler to have hidden it?”“…I was not present for such…” you pointed out, “…soldiers do not apologize to one another in peacetime. Neither of us bear spite for one another…”“If that is what you believe.” Zohl tilted his head from side to side, with that smirk that refused to flee entirely. “From there, I selected her from the prisoners taken. For interrogation, of course, and he proved stubborn. Admirably loyal, resistant to rewards and gifts. She refused to eat, she would ruin the lovely clothes I brought for her, scream and shout, until she deigned to observe, and saw vulnerability. We wiled away long hours into the night, and exchanged our thoughts and beliefs. Some days we would break peaceably, others, I would leave with her voice hoarse from frustrated objections and corrections, made as loudly and indignantly as possible. Interrogation continued, of course, with all prisoners, and eventually one broke…then another, and another. The poor dear’s will began to fade, and eventually, she ceased resisting as well. I, of course, would do my best to keep her protected with what small things she would divulge, nothing that was said by the others.”You and Yva listened intently, but you knew something was being led up to, by the savor in Zohl’s eyes, as he was clearly arriving at it.“Yet her allies had not faltered. She was the one whom had spoken first. In the end, she did not have faith in her friends…and so, betrayed them. Ironically, she trusted me over her comrades. After that, the rest spilt like water from dark clouds.” Zohl’s glinting eyes shined the most with that, “So we arrive to today, some days later. The only reward suitable is to spoil her.”The girl’s lip had begun quivering, and a tear rolled down her cheek. Zohl noticed, and reached over to dry her eyes. “There, there,” he cooed, “there is no shame in doubt.”Yva rose suddenly. “Where are the restrooms?” she asked, “I must excuse myself a moment.”“Down there,” Zohl pointed, and Yva went off in a storming hurry. “What about you, Von Metzeler? Are you well?”
“…That was rather much to share. You should not shame a lady like that…” you kept your frustration cool, though it let out into your voice.“You did ask,” Zohl said innocently, “That brings us to why I would bring her here, besides to treat her. Simply, it is because I like her. She is interesting as a person, even if she is silent now. Do I need another reason? I presume you brought your choice because you liked her, yes?”You’d learned plenty from this topic. Best to steer things away from Yva before she returned. Hopefully soon- you spied a waiter pushing a cart with four identical dishes towards your table. “…I suppose. You do not only entertain yourself in work, yes..? I have heard you like to play games…gamble..?”Zohl could clearly tell you were changing from your original course, but went along with it anyways. “Yes, indeed I do. I adore gambling, and games of all sorts. I would daresay that were I to describe myself truly, I would call myself not a soldier, not an official, but a gamer. Because where outside of games do you find such raw competition? Such single-minded desire to win? Warfare turns impersonal compared to such contests, and the more so when a wager is made. For a man interested as I am in the soul, nothing is so compelling as games. Surely you like to play games as well?”He asked this as plates were distributed- as Zohl had claimed, even the scent and sight of the fish drizzled with pale yellow sauce, smelling of garlic and lemon, were heavenly. Hopefully, Yva would return soon…to a conversation that was not distasteful to her.
“…Perhaps,” you said as you picked up a fork and tested the fish’s tenderness, “I prefer physical competitions to, say, cards and such…I would like to ask, however, in regards to the favor, what sort of favors are you able to grant..?”“Is that avarice I smell from you?” Zohl tested you like your fork in your fish, “If I am pleased enough, I am sure your own imagination and expectations would tell plenty.” Another glance to the young lady, “Do eat. Our guests may be concerned if you walk away underfed.” Back to you. “I suppose we cannot put it off further. I am well familiar with what you wish, and I am willing and able to give it, but not for nothing, you see? So indulge me one of three things. Then, I will frighten the Penal Company away from the UGZ-09 with but a wave of the hand, regardless of what repercussions Sector Command may predict or threaten. It will be entirely under your authority to garrison. Quite a profitable trade, but for one of three things.” He held up an appropriate amount of fingers, “I simply demand: an exchange, a wager, or a game. As part of our ongoing game…I will coyly conceal what they are, unless you guess correctly, until you pick what you would like to give me.”>Exchange? What could be possibly want from you that he couldn’t get?>Wager? Wager on what? What would you stand to lose?>A game? Is a game really something he’d have as a fair price?>You’ll think about it. Maybe after the main course. (Ask what you like)>You couldn’t say you wanted to go through with this. Lovely dinner, but you were afraid that this meeting would not have an illicit continuation.>Other?Hopefully the next update isn't another six post dump god damn
>>4089923>A game? Is a game really something he’d have as a fair price?Zohl really gets a kick out of mind breaking people huh
>>4089923>>A game? Is a game really something he’d have as a fair price?
>>4089923>You’ll think about it. Maybe after the main course. (Ask what you like)Both to give us some time to think and maybe she's out what each option is.I'm guessing that the exchange would be that he wants Yva. He did mention all characters had similar tastes.Maybe the game is cards, or he wants something done within a time limit. The only thing he might not be able to manipulate against us is the wager.>OtherAsk about the timeframe for all of the options. His help is no use if there is an incident at the UGZ while we putter around with him.Otherwise I'd default to >Wager? Wager on what? What would you stand to lose?Maybe Yva can help us manipulate the odds in our favor.
>>4089923>A game? Is a game really something he’d have as a fair price?Your move. Also those long ass posts are killing me
>>4089923gamers rise up
>>4089923>>You’ll think about it. Maybe after the main course.His unit has been kept in reserve, but surely he's staying informed of conditions on the front. What does he think of the Twaryians, their strength and tactics? Is Netilland ready if war were to erupt between them? Perhaps an ambitious officer such as himself thinks Netilland should make the first move?
>>4089923Playing along with his games is going straight into his trap. We should seek to break his frame or turn it around, but I don't know how.>Ask why the wager is separate from the game. Usually wagers are made on some kind of a game, no?
“…A moment,” you held up a hand, “I cannot make a decision based off of that alone…What is the timeframe..? It would not be very helpful if an incident occurred…and I had yet to even begin on my part of the trade..?”“There is no cause for concern. Would I conspire to swindle you? Please, Von Metzeler. It would be this very night, or the next night, for your convenience, depending upon what you decided upon. Though the exchange would depend upon how quickly you procured what I wished…”Procured? So perhaps you didn’t have it already? For whatever reason, you were concerned that he might have wanted to get his hands on Yva. That would have been unacceptable- had that suspicion just been nerves?“…This day or the next…” the UGZ would probably hold out that long, especially if you told fourth and fifth platoon to just have patience for a few days. “…Another part I do not understand. Is a wager not part of a game..? What is the difference in your proposals..?”“Ah yes, as far as you are concerned,” Zohl put his fingers together, “a game is something you are a player in. A wager would be something played by others…though perhaps it involves you if you so choose? One would require your participation, however.”>Voting remains open- this is to clear up a couple things.
>>4090799Well at least it isn't Yva.>>A game? Is a game really something he’d have as a fair price?Dammit I'm too curious.
Alright, finally free again.>>4089940>>4089962>>4090038>>4091107I see you're a gamer. Well, I'm a gamer myself.>>4090124More queries.>>4089978Wager get in your cager.Writing.
“…I will save my decision until after eating…” you said, though you had already figured on what you would do. Would playing a game truly be something he’d consider a fair exchange for what he was being asked? Curiosity compelled you here in particular, what with the need for you to play in it. The other requests had the trait of being removed, yet here, you were in the thick of it. Cards? Dice? For now though, you wanted to fill up dinner conversation with other topics, at least until Yva returned. “…Surely you have been informed upon conditions at the front…despite your unit being in reserve…what do you think of the Twaryians..?”“They are interesting, to say the least,” Zohl said with uncharacteristic doubt as he began to tuck into his fish, “For quite some time they were an enigma. To be involved with them was to have forced Ellowie into vassalage, something thought impossible even by the Defense Party’s most generous expectations, yet here they are. The military expansion was done with the mind to overwhelm Ellowie, not to match the East, yet we find it being applied for such regardless.” He put his fork down and allowed himself space to finish eating those first few bites. “The opportunity to discover the facets of a whole new people, of course, is a delight for one of my interests. Before now, any Twaryians encountered were by necessity diluted, but those over the border are pure of stock in ideology and faith, their opposition to Imperialism pure and bright and held with no shame. I have had access to a few prisoners, of course…their faith in their divine cause makes them quite resilient, of course, and even the gentler ones take a pride in martyrdom, even if such was never a consideration. It makes it difficult to try and peer about in their heads. Something that has eluded us is a Twaryian woman. Women are different from man, but are an aspect of a race, regardless. Without one, an incomplete picture is formed…yet with one, perhaps the darker areas of the psyche would have a light shone upon them.” Zohl smirked at puzzlement freshly upon your face as he ate more dinner, leaving you toying with your food. You were unsure whether what Zohl had shared was more a reasoned opinion or a disturbing one. At least he got it out of the way just before you spied Yva coming back from down the way. She was eastern…but how much so..? “…I was more speaking in regards to strength and tactics…”
“The psyche informs upon such, I would say, but yes. In regards to that.” Zohl took a brief bite and swallow, and his eyes flicked over to the girl he had brought, as though to make sure she was doing more than tearing up the contents of her plate to appear to be eating. Yva returned, and her interest turned to the food as you instinctively stood and pulled her chair out for her, but a nod exchanged as Zohl continued to monologue. “There are no doubts to the support behind them. An entire continent, the Caelussian Federation, able and willing to ship over all the materiel they require, as well as a healthy amount of manpower. Laborers, fighters, spare bachelors and bachelorettes, enough that what were once descendants of Calussian migrants hundreds of years ago have a not insignificant amount of fresher blood mixed in, or even standing alongside. This was not always the case, of course. The Caelussian Federation is a young nation, and especially when the Maelstroms blocked away the eastern seas, the Twaryians found precious little support. This bred, from what I can conclude, a sort of hardiness, a willingness to make do with what they have, combined with a distaste for the foreign that makes them hardheaded. Now, national character is not necessarily a perfect reflection of its people, but it does inform. Take their service rifle, for instance. A type obsolete even at the time of the Emrean Liberation, ended more than two decades past. Yet in spite of more advanced Caelussian standard weaponry being but an open hand away, they seem to stick with it. Stubbornness. Yet they are more than capable of making up for the shortfall in resoluteness and cunning, yet I wonder if they are naturally such, or are such in response to their self-inflicted hardship..?”“…Do you think Netilland ready for war with them..?” you asked, “…Though some would argue that a war is already begun..”“Such is a matter of constant debate, and the particulars are a matter of state security,” Zohl said daintily, “I am not so forgetful as to let it slip from my mind that you are of the Archduchy, Von Metzeler. Our nation’s current relations are cordial, not that of friends. A significant factor in the army expansion was the concerns to the west, after all, and the ever present controversy of Baou’s throne…”It was worth a try, you supposed. A glance over to Yva…a glance back. Apparently upper socity table manners weren’t something she had learned in her travels. It wasn’t as though anybody else seemed to care that she was practically trying to eat the entire fish cut all at once. Zohl’s insistence on lengthy speech meant you had plenty more time to eat than him, so it was not long before you cleared your throat and announced your decision. “…A game, then..?”
That piqued the Kommissar’s attention. “Oh? You have decided?” You nodded. “You are certain?”“What?” Yva froze and looked up, “Decided on what?”“…I am certain…”“On what?” Yva pressed you.“Von Metzeler wishes me to do him a favor,” the Kommissar explained, a smile spreading further across a face that seemed very accustomed to such. “I want him to indulge me. I would not trap him in such, but, if he wants his will done, then he will go through with this simple request. The game. I admit, Von Metzeler, I learned something of your like for swordplay before, and arranged something suitable at a place of festivity, late tonight. A party attended by all manner of influential people, politicians, idle and working wealthy, but for those with more esoteric tastes. I would have you play the part of an entertainer, of sorts, to participate in a saber duel.”“No.” Yva interjected.“Not a deadly one, a norma one,” Zohl raised his hands innocently, “Just a good shot. The attendees are not barbarians. If Von Metzeler comes out victorious, then I accept his favor. If not…well, he may try and indulge me a different way, as I am sure he can figure out. Let this not be lacking for detail, however. Your opponent would be no master swordsman- in fact, they are one of the prisoners you took, leaping for an opportunity for freedom.” Zohl took his hand and stroked the young Ellowian girl’s cheek next to him, “Let it not be said I cannot be generous, hm? Your opponent gains the first strike, they walk free. You bleed him first, and I have the penal company in UGZ-09 forthrightly expelled. Can there be any issue with that? If not, then we should finish quickly. There is another party to hurry to, after all.”>What choice do you have? Besides, if anybody can be trusted in a blade duel, it would be you, despite your recent condition…>Ask for other conditions before you agree to anything. (Push your luck- what conditions?)>You’d have to refuse. Could you ask for an alternative, at least?>Other?
>>4092792>What choice do you have? Besides, if anybody can be trusted in a blade duel, it would be you, despite your recent condition…Well it’s not lethal and despite our condition, it seems that our ability hasn’t deteriorated
>>4092792A duel only for the first blood? I expect some sort of a catch, some manufactured moral dilemma for Rondo (since Zohl is unlikely to try to hurt us physically). Will our blade be poisoned, maybe?How confident does Rondo feel in his fencing performance?
>>4092792>>What choice do you have? Besides, if anybody can be trusted in a blade duel, it would be you, despite your recent condition…
>>4092821>How confident does Rondo feel in his fencing performance?Despite a relatively lengthy career in underground saber dueling, he does not have a scratch on him, so about that confident. In theory. There is the effects of the conditioning being ripped off to consider- there is a difference between "yes I could win a fight" and "yes I can win this fight I am in"
>>4092792>What choice do you have? Besides, if anybody can be trusted in a blade duel, it would be you, despite your recent condition…Best shot we got buuuut:>Ask for other conditions before you agree to anything. (Push your luck- what conditions?)When the Penis Heads get kicked out they don't get a chance to take their Ill gotten spoils with them. I'm worries they will plunder and take hostages with them.Questions:What happens to our opponent if he loses?I'd also imagine dueling is quite illegal in Netilland as in Strossvald. Just what kind of party of "esoteric" tastes is this?
>>4093176>Just what kind of party of "esoteric" tastes is thisIt’s the elite, so lots of orgies involved
>>4092792>What choice do you have? Besides, if anybody can be trusted in a blade duel, it would be you, despite your recent condition…
>>4092807>>4092835>>4093176>>4093467Time to sword.Writing.
Was there really a choice? Yes, you could walk away, but considering what there was to gain, and that it was a plain single touch duel, despite your conditioning having been torn away, you had no doubt in your abilities. Certainly, near two decades of memory had been wiped away, but you remembered duels- proper ones, and you didn’t remember losing a single one, surprise attacks from mountain men notwithstanding. That hardly could be considered to count. There was simply nobody besides yourself you trusted more in a duel of blades.…Who had taught you, you wondered.“…I accept. Though I am concerned about any delays, or last moment looting, settlement of debts…”“Inevitable. But if you believe they need some hurrying along, I suppose the Mechanized Guards do need some exercise, don’t they? They have a tendency to be rowdy, after all, and such needs an outlet someplace, doesn’t it?”Zohl’s accommodations only made you more suspicious. What was the catch, you wondered. Surely this was not so cut and dry as he made it out to be. A moral dilemma? Or perhaps…a legal one?“…Dueling is illegal here, is it not…what sort of party is this, with “esoteric” tates..?” Zohl was rather dismissive about that concern. “Of course it is illegal, Netilland is a country founded by and for the common folk, and trial by combat is a vestigial limb only clung to by nobility. That said, the blood sport aspect of it finds compelling admirers. Suffice it to say, mere dueling is not the most questionable thing that will be overlooked at this party, but that has naught to do with you, of course. You are hardly there to attend and browse the activities.”Some degree of secrecy remained, you supposed. Anything else would probably need to be left to personal inspection and deduction rather than anything being told. Though there was one last question. “…What will happen to my opponent…should he lose..?”“As far as they are concerned? A return to status quo. Prison.” Zohl said quite willingly, and with more enthusiasm, the next thing. “And the ante offered by the interested party paid out. Isn’t that right?” he gave the Ellowian girl next to him a look, and she swallowed in unease. So it was like that, was it. “If we are to set out posthaste…” you paused, and looked beside you to Yva, “…It will not be a problem for her to come too…will it..? I will not have her going back unescorted at night…”“To come with you? Not at all. To attend the party in question proper, though? Quite so.” Zohl waggled a finger, “The doors to such events are not flung open to just anybody, you included. You and her may keep to your assigned chambers when we arrive. Oh, and the lady ought not to expect to return until late, so…”
“I would rather you not go if at all possible,” Yva said apprehensively, “But I know naught what could change your mind. It would be foolish to allow you go alone, regardless.”Zohl’s smile was ever present like he was a statue of contentedness. “Friends, of course. Oh, but if we are not hurrying, I would share in a delectable meringue caramel cake…”-----The escort to the place the party was happening was of course much heavier than a normal one- the vehicle you were carried in was one of the 13th Mechanized Guards’ own armored personnel carriers, an assault vehicle that was larger than your own tanks, an ugly heap of metal that was half treaded and half not, though with its armor, size, and the armament in the turret just behind its cabin, it was difficult to not feel at least protected whilst inside it. The sense of protection was the only comfort, with hard metal benches and a low ceiling cramped enough that even Yva had to bend down some, to say nothing of somebody of your height. Any assault troopers riding in here were almost motivated to exit the vehicle sooner than ride in it longer than necessary. You and Yva were more or less alone in this space, a well, with the cabin and turret crew separated from the passenger space by a thin layer of armor with but a sliding port to communicate with them through, a dim red lamp being the only small light within.Yva looked ill, sitting across from you. “…Are you unwell..?” you asked courteously. A small mercy that the noise of the vehicle was at least well insulated from within the mechanical monster.“I am unused to the smell,” Yva confessed, sniffling, “And the movement, and how closed in it is…do all military vehicles shake about this terribly?”“…This one is particularly bad…”“I will be alright,” Yva sighed, “I suppose I need not tell you that you should not have placed your wellbeing on the line for…whatever this is.”“…Mine is the only wellbeing I can reasonably give…” you shared your thoughts on that, and then followed with an explanation of just what was going on with the UGZ; a statement of the stakes. “…You would not be considering making the contest to come unfair…would you..?”Yva closed her eyes in a melancholic gesture. “You ought to know better than to ask such a thing.”“…Yes. I apologize…” You did not bring up Yva’s other identity often- more and more, you got the idea that she’d rather not be associated, but one couldn’t help but look at such power and at least be curious. Richter’s fiancée had incredible curative sorcery- incomprehensible in theory, but in practice one couldn’t ignore miracles such as that in times of greatest need.“...Were you counting on aid to triumph?” Yva followed carefully, a sudden wariness in her eyes as she opened them once more.“…As you said…you should know better than to ask such a thing…”-----
The place the event was on at, close to midnight, was a manor of rather modern construction, austere and simple yet aesthetic in its proportion. It was appreciable, at least from the flank- the front gardens may have been masterpieces from the proper angle, but you were let out of the vehicle and into the building from the side entrance, the servants’ way, and shown directly to a side room, ultimately resulting in you seeing little.“Your weapon, sir,” a servant handed you a sheathed saber wrapped in cloth after you were shown to a waiting room, “If I may take your measurements, that we may find a matching costume. Your current wear is unsuitable.”“…Of course…” By costume, the servant had meant the unofficial uniform of a duelist- a simple sleeved buttoned shirt, and a sleek vest worn over top, often with a flower or similar symbol of a patron or whomever was being represented inserted into a breast pocket. After the servant had taken measurements and left, you inspected the blade, drawing it from its sheathe. It was not a fancily decorated blade, save for its guard and hilt being brass. Its edge was long and sharp, and its balance perfect- just weighty enough to move on its own if need be. You gave it a few tests in the air- it was good that you felt your body move even if your mind was unsure, that none of your missing memories had a wit to do with how familiar it felt to use the blade.The servant returned quickly, and laid the clothes, as well as shoes and belt, on a table. “You should be fetched in ten minutes, sir. I wish you luck.” With that he left, leaving you and Yva once more.“…I need to change…” you said, obviously, but Yva had already politely turned around. Your jacket, then your shirt came off…then instinct told you to look towards Yva, who wasn’t quite quick enough in turning her head back around. “…That is improper…” you scolded her.“What is improper is walking in on a women when you know she is bathing,” Yva shot back.“…Bah…” you did not argue further, but you kept an eye on her as you dressed the rest of the way. With a final tug on the belt and a checking of the black, shining leather shoes, you straightened yourself. “…I am dressed…”Yva turned around once more, and looked you up and down. “Those are terribly nice clothes to bleed on, are they not?”“…The idea is to not bleed upon them…” you said, welling up your confidence, the vigor needed to fight, a good amount of wine still coursing through your veins. “This is a duel of first touch. The first man who bleeds is the loser.” So symbolic was such that even the color red was traditionally barred from being present on a duelist’s costume, save for upon the emblem worn on the breast. Soon enough, you were fetched once more- though Yva would have to remain behind. There was one last exchange, as the same servant held the door open.
“Do be careful,” Yva urged you, “There is something not right about this.”“…There is naught to worry about regardless…” you told her, as you stepped out after the servant.-----The place of the duel was an entire room dedicated to the event, with black and white tile in a round room, with dark wooden walls- a small dancing room, it seemed, with tables and chairs still present, but tellingly, no paintings or sculpture. Obstacles perhaps, but not ones that would be missed, from the quality of the furniture. None but you were present on the ground- all of the spectators flocked about the balcony above, murmuring and laughing ringing about as you strode into the arena, the Fear starting to itch as you felt dozens of eyes upon you.Only a minute in, the other person came in, accompanied by a man dressed as referee, mediator, made up almost to the degree of a clown with a metallic purple tunic with white frills- a breach of tradition, as attention was meant to be on the fighters, but this was new Netillian imitation of custom, after all.“Good evening, ladies, gentlemen!” the man said in an effeminate tone, “Tonight, we host a duel between two proud young men! Who shall carry the day? The upstart from Ellowie, or the duelist who hath come to defeat him? The amateur, or the professional? The bets are closing in but a few moments!”Your opponent was dressed as well as you, but his face had not had bruises and scratches hidden. A plain looking young man, perhaps slightly younger than you, and not as well built, certainly.“It’s you…” he recollected as he blinked at you, before gritting his teeth. “Not done with me, are you?”It was a waste of time to banter. You kept your chin up and shoulders square.“Some history between the two! How dramatic!” the referee, also apparently announced, cried. “The duel is about to begin! The first to show red shall be the loser this day. Fight masterfully, now. Quite down, everyone! We will begin ten heartbeats after the steel first touches. Duelists! Draw your blades!”You expertly drew your sword from its scabbard, assumed a stance, and waited. The other man was clearly untrained from how he drew his sword, and how he stood, copying you once he heard some mocking comments from above. Yet his face was a show of determination, as he held his sword forth, to touch against yours, before both of you took a few paces back.Your heart began to speed up, and you pondered how to go about this in the final moments before the referee would drop the cloth in his gloved hand to begin the duel.>Did they expect a show? Perhaps you should not disappoint. Draw out the fight, make it showy.>End this as quickly as possible. The first opening, no matter how brutal it may be to the opponent.>You bore no spite for this man, regardless of what he thought. Bide your time for a cut that will only shed a little blood.>Other?
>>4093938>End this as quickly as possible. The first opening, no matter how brutal it may be to the opponent.
>>4093938>You bore no spite for this man, regardless of what he thought. Bide your time for a cut that will only shed a little blood.
>>4093938>End this as quickly as possible. The first opening, no matter how brutal it may be to the opponent.Use Yva's demon menses to strengthen the power of our blade and cut his in half, duh.
Rolled 63 (1d100)>>4093942>>4094066>>4094069Woe to the conquered.Writing, but first, rolling, lower better, DC 15.
Rolled 5 (1d100)>>4094170Ah nice, vae victis. Honestly better than veni, vidi, vici to me.
>>4094171I mean it wasn't really a roll call for you guys, but I'll take it.
>>4094173Oh. Oops.Sorry about that.
No performance to it, you decided, no struggle or theatrics. This was a fight, and fights were not won with style, they were won with brutality and speed.His stance was off, and you bounded forward with a high feint. The blade your opponent rose to defend his head proved ineffectual, as you gracefully turned your blade in a moment to turn an overhead strike to a sideways cut across the chest- albeit a touch. A saber was a cutting weapon, not a chopping one, and you drew the edge across the young man’s vest, sweeping your blade aside before hopping back and assuming a guard. You already knew it was over, and your opponent was astonished when he put a hand to his chest, and red stained his fingers. “The first blood goes to the noble!” the referee proclaimed, somewhat disappointed, seemingly, by a lack of showmanship. “In but an instant, he won. What an upset! Is this truly how it ends?”Well, by the rules of a duel, yes, it was. Too bad for the Ellowian, and his friends, but you had a cause as-He leaped forward, swinging his saber like a club rather than any weapon of grace, and you stumbled backwards away from the strike, heart skipping a beat.“Oh ho!” the referee hooted, “The challenger has chosen to up the ante! I knew there was fire in him!”“Wait-“ you coughed as you were forced to bring up a guard to turn away another furious attack. This wasn’t a duel, what was meant by upping the ante? Was this man now…trying to kill you? Furious cuts, one after the other, barely fended off as you were pushed back towards the wall. The Fear reached up and took hold, you felt your movements slow- only that you had inflicted a relatively serious blow, and your opponent’s lack of sword skill, were keeping you unharmed.This wouldn’t last though. Each moment was another you felt your mind start to freeze more…>A man of honor exceeded his fellows- you could disarm him and end the matter that way, could you not?>It was kill or be killed. Finish it, rather than be finished yourself.>Were they truly willing to fight this hard, and you, willing to do the same for your cause, and what was meant to be a mere first blood? Offer surrender.>Other?
>>4094209>A man of honor exceeded his fellows- you could disarm him and end the matter that way, could you not?
>>4094209>>A man of honor exceeded his fellows- you could disarm him and end the matter that way, could you not?
>>4094209>A man of honor exceeded his fellows- you could disarm him and end the matter that way, could you not?An unskilled, but aggressive opponent is a very dangerous situation. But I feel it would be extremely IC for my man Rondo to try a disarm. He's cool like that.Have a saber fight video featuring a disarm, anons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QttVCVXe8tc
>>4094210>>4094323>>4094328Not killing you will be the death of me.Writing.
Despite being attacked with a sword, when there should by all rights have been no more fight, despite that you were being driven round the room and that each clash of steel was a failed attempt on your life that made the Fear grip into your head harder, one feeling was clear.You didn’t want to kill this man.There was no hatred to it, no duty to defeat him or comrades to protect. If anything, you pitied him. Then would the honorable thing not be to spare him? Yet, you had to prevent him from fighting anymore, nevertheless.A last clash of repeated blows fended off as you veered sideways, aiming to get distance between you. Distance was your style- in a classical duel, it had no disadvantages. It gave the greatest advantage to your long reach while keeping you out of danger, but outside of a brutal cut to the hand or wrist or an unrealistically devastating blow, you would be unable to knock the weapon from your opponent’s grasp without leverage. A parry prepare the way forth, but either way, you’d need to close in.“Get! Back here!” the Ellowian man stumbled towards you, wincing in pain from the wound you gave him. He was already panting, tiring out, but his physical weariness was being rapidly outpaced by your mental one. Your body’s trembling was steadily turning into hesitation and pauses- in a fight as this, even an instant of such could be your doom.Pointing your sword forth did not space out your opponent, you realized quickly, as he surged in uncaring of the steel. Did he sense your disposition or was he that determined? There wasn’t time to think any more, only act, and hope what plan you had formed would work.>Give 3 sets of 1d100>First is to avoid harm, second is to pin the blade, third is to wrest it away. DC 65, then 70, then 80, all roll under. Failing one does not mean failing the lot, but it does mean a change in situation depending.
Rolled 48 (1d100)>>4094370
Rolled 87 (1d100)>>4094370
Rolled 47 (1d100)>>4094370
Rolled 19 (1d100)>>4094370Since it’s under 80, we can settle for 2/3 success
Your hot blooded opponent tried to charge forth and run you through, but a parry across your chest slid his blade away, and both of you crashed into one another, neither willing to give ground. Your swords together, you grasped for the hilt of his blade, or even the unsharpened base of it, anything to get in in your grip-*Crack*A fist collided with your jaw and rattled your teeth, and with a start you noticed your blade had loosened from your hand. A flash of an idea, done before you could think it through, and as your own sword fell to the ground with a clatter, you grappled onto your opponent’s blade and wrestled for it, pulling it towards you. He reached his other hand to gain control again- what you were waiting for. His guard down, you snatched for his throat, and when your fist closed around his neck, you lifted him bodily up to your height.The next trick you learned from a mountain man.>Roll 1d100 to use your head, lower is better.
Rolled 28 (1d100)>>4094401
Rolled 37 (1d100)>>4094401
Rolled 99 (1d100)>>4094401The gentleman neck holding
This wasn’t a good night for your head. *CRACK* You forced your crown right between the man’s eyes, and he cried out, but you weren’t listening. *CRACK*. *CRACK*. *THWACK*. That blood starting to run down your face was hardly a concern, nor was the throbbing pain. *THRWACK*. With one last collision of your skulls, the grip on the blade loosened, and once you had it, you took the limp enemy and threw him forth, through a table that shattered when he landed upon it. Your heart was pounding in your chest, your vision a blurry haze. You didn’t feel like you’d given yourself a concussion- it was just the senses fleeing like your concentration had. It shouldn’t have compensated so much- this fight was over, though you wearily staggered over to check if you hadn’t hurt him too badly, wiping your eyes as you went. Anything the audience was saying, whatever nonsense the clown looking person said, you practically could not hear.His face was a wreck, bruised and battered with dark red splotches, and he wheezed as you came over and knelt by him. “…You ain’…why donsha kill me…I losheverythin’…”The fear paralyzed your throat, and you couldn’t think of anything to say. You simply knelt down beside until a pair of broad shouldered strongmen approached with cuffs and bound the man up once more.Ringing in your ears. Empty contemplation. You’d won, but what had he lost? All you could hope was that you’d done the right thing. At least he still lived. Only a fiendish sort smote down an unmatched opponent without a care- fighting could be ugly, gruesome, and it was difficult to adhere to the standard when times were trying…”A knight? You are a noble, boy, what purpose is there in you becoming something so ridiculous as a knight?”>Some are not motivated by bravery, but in honor, in living as whom they believe their character should be. Von Metzeler’s Valor has improved by 1.A flash of something, then a hand under your shoulder pulling you up, and you blinked as confusing statements flooded your senses.“Do I hear two hundred? Ladies, please, do settle down, we’ve hardly begun the bidding!”“…Bidding..?” you coughed, “…What..?”“Fine women of means are opening their purses to spend the night with you, lucky fighter,” the announcer cooed in your ear, “An auction! Oh, I know, women are so lacking in complexity, but what do you lose? You get a cut of the winning bid, even. There are some very influential ladies here, and you’ve already made such an impression!”>Whatever. So long as you weren’t obligated to do whatever whoever wanted in “spending a night.”>It had been a long night. You were leaving, regardless of what anybody thought of it.>...Opportunity, huh. You were going to need more drink, these might be your final day as a bachelor, after all.>Other?
>>4094447>It had been a long night. You were leaving, regardless of what anybody thought of it.
>>4094447Well, they wanted a show and they got it.>Sorry, I'm engaged.I think engaging in promiscuity would be against Rondo's honor code, and we're actually got an upgrade from it. and at much lower cost than Richter to boot.Maybe Von Metzeler is just inherently chaddier.
>>4094447>It had been a long night. You were leaving, regardless of what anybody thought of it.I’m guessing this is the last 1 post update
>>4094456I mean Rondo chose to sacrifice his memories to keep his skills while Richter was the opposite. So it's not surprising that its relatively easier for him combat wise
>>4094465>I mean Rondo chose to sacrifice his memories to keep his skills while Richter was the opposite.You mean anons kept choosing combat related things during condition removal when the first one reduced our combat skills by half
>>4094472Yeah exactly so skills over other stuff like memories
>>4094447>It had been a long night. You were leaving, regardless of what anybody thought of it.NWF
>>4094491Yup. This shit fucked us hard and made anons almost sacrifice our eye in hopes of gaining something back. To quote someone else :>Panzer commander quest >Without any combat skills>Sasuga anon-sama
>>4094447>Some are not motivated by bravery, but in honor, in living as whom they believe their character should be. Von Metzeler’s Valor has improved by 1.Good for Von Metzeler.How many Valor points does Richter have again?
>>4094596-3 for getting Metzeler briefs
>>4094447>"Sorry, I'm engaged." You were leaving, regardless of what anybody thought of it.
>>4094451>>4094456>>4094461>>4094494>>4094596>>4094605You've already had your stand this one night.Writing.>>4094461>I’m guessing this is the last 1 post updateI am unsure of how to interpret this!>>4094596>How many Valor points does Richter have again?He has gained one. It should be said that Blockhead and Bonehead have differing ways of what they see as restoring themselves, of course.
>>4094791Yeah.If I were to guess, Richter gains Valor by standing tall in the face of death, while Rondo gains Valor for being honorable even in the most dire situations.
>>4094791So how many points to we need to get back to a 'normal' non-Tranced person roughly?
>>4094791>I am unsure of how to interpret this!Because our duel was made of 1 post updates, so I guess that now it’s the regular one>>4094806>So how many points to we need to get back to a 'normal' non-Tranced person roughly?That’s what’s gonna restore us ? Man, we gonna get mad points if we survive Bertram
Hearing and understanding the situation now in progress only made you wearier- your duel was done, and you wanted nothing more than to rest now. Rest that would be unlikely to be granted to you here.“Well, sir?”You gave the announcer the weariest scowl you could muster. “…I’m engaged…”“So?”Your expression turned so tired that your brow and cheeks felt as though they might slough off, before turning about and leaving the way you came. Hopefully Zohl hadn’t planned any more twists that he had left unsaid, and you would at least be allowed to go back to camp with Yva. You doubted the silly auction was his doing- such seemed more a part of whatever this social was, and courtly (or, a mimic of courtly inhabitants) promiscuity hardly needed the Kommissar’s assistance to enable. Would you have indulged once? It was hard for you to say for sure, but when you left you felt like you were more sure of yourself, at least.After all, you were not Erwin, that man who seemed so unambitious, practically bored, ever sleepy and greeting any obligation with blithe indifference. Yet upon being called to adventure alongside you and the others, he had either changed immensely, or had revealed something ever hidden. You’d never been friends, and weren’t interested in becoming such, but with your sudden lack of touch with your origins, you couldn’t help but feel, especially in the days immediately after, if you had lost yourself to the point that you would become a different person entirely, like it seemed he had. Especially the sort of difference that had imposed itself upon him.When you stumbled back into the waiting room Yva was seated in, she stood up immediately, her chair knocking over backwards. “Are you alright?” she demanded as she rushed over. “Your head, it’s covered in blood!”“…It isn’t mine…” you offered up.Yva squinted at you, then took her glasses off. With a blink, her eyes turned a strange ink-black, pupils glowing, but only for a moment before she closed them again, and they returned to their normal hue. “You are a poor liar,” she said critically, “It does not suit you.”“…I did not actually know…” your shoulders sagged, voice lame. “…It is only a tear of skin…”With a heavy sigh, Yva shook her head. “It could have been worse, I suppose. Sit down, I will treat you.”“…I will be-““I said sit.” Yva snapped, and her fingers darted about before something dragged you down into a chair. “There is a washroom beside here. Wait just one moment.”“…We should quit of this place…” you attempted to reason, but Yva did not want to discuss the matter.
She returned with a pair of hand towels, and you remained obediently seated as she cleaned your face off- was there really that much blood on it, you wondered in astonishment as you saw her place the now dirty towel beside her. Yva next removed a familiar bottle of what she had claimed was traditional medicine or the like, and she shook some onto a small cloth produced from the same satchel she carried. “…Sorcery…?” you deigned to ask, and Yva shook her head, applying the substance- it stung, and you recoiled, biting your tongue as the burning turned to numbness.“That wound is not severe enough to necessitate it,” Yva said as she wrapped a long bandage about your head, “If you are going to speak of such please do it with more subtlety next you do.”“…I apologize…”“That should do for now,” Yva said as she tied off the bandage, “What is the hurry?”“…There are attendants…who apparently do not respect betrothals…”“A betrothal arranged today,” Yva pointed out, “There are worse things than to be sought after, but I suppose you find the attention to be from distasteful people? I wonder if you would have considered differently had this occurred but a day earlier. Well, in such a case, you being here…”>You preferred women with modesty and at least a modicum of restraint, even had you not clung to your current arrangement. Very recent arrangement.>Being auctioned off like property after being tricked into what could have been a death match rather soured any inclinations. Because that is what happened. It was simply discourteous to you.>Maybe. It wasn’t like you were averse to “attention,” and hadn’t been particularly caring about comeliness in the past. Would you have done it to spite your family, or of your own inclination, though?>Other?>>4094806That's a secret. For now.
>>4094848>You preferred women with modesty and at least a modicum of restraint, even had you not clung to your current arrangement. Very recent arrangement.Also,>Being auctioned off like property after being tricked into what could have been a death match rather soured any inclinations. Because that is what happened. It was simply discourteous to you.
>>4094848>Being auctioned off like property after being tricked into what could have been a death match rather soured any inclinations. Because that is what happened. It was simply discourteous to you.>That's a secret. For now.1 for each member of our harem
>>4094867>We got a Valor point >Hilda got sent awayCoincidence? Makes you think.
>>4094848>You preferred women with modesty and at least a modicum of restraint, even had you not clung to your current arrangement. Very recent arrangement.He has seemed to like the mousy bespectacled types hasn't he.
>>4094867You are part of Anya's harem, not other way around
>>4094848>>You preferred women with modesty and at least a modicum of restraint, even had you not clung to your current arrangement. Very recent arrangement.>>Being auctioned off like property after being tricked into what could have been a death match rather soured any inclinations. Because that is what happened. It was simply discourteous to you.
>>4094925We’ll see about that. so it’s we and Meg for now ?
Alright, let's see if I have a couple more updates in me now that my sleep schedule might not be destroyed anymore.>>4094867I'm not an M.>>4094902I have high standards for low standards.>>4094856>>4094935"Yes."Writing.>>4094969That depends on how many people "we" is.
>>4097101>That depends on how many people "we" is.Funny guy, let’s see if you can keep this smile after we roll a nat 100 against Bertram
>>4097182We want the opposite actually.
>>4097192That’s the joke
“…I prefer two things when courted…for lack of better term…” you grumped, “…Some measure of modesty and restraint…and to not be auctioned off like property…immediately after being tricked into what may have…have been a death match…which was what happened…”“A death match? Are you sure you are all right?”“…It is simply a matter of common courtesy…” Yva cleared her throat, and you added, “…I said I was fine…”“That is not what I meant.”“…I did not have to slay my opponent…I incapacitated him without maiming him…”Yva breathed a sigh of relief. “Ah, good…” You addressed that enough, you supposed, for her to go back to the other point. “Not that this is not worthy of taking offense, but you place quite a bit upon courtesy. Perhaps it would be easier upon your nerves to try and be less high strung?”“…I am not high strung…I am just tired…” you felt your eyes grow heavier by the moment, “…And there will be precious little time to amend that…”Yva helped you up, with a contemplative look on her face. “We will see if I can help with that when you make it back to that…mechanical heap.”“…Does that not break your codes..?”“Only a small, tolerable amount.”-----Despite Yva’s convictions against using her sorcerous might for certain purposes, you were thankful that she deigned to at least let the night pass easier whilst inside the cramped, shaky armored transport- you didn’t question how you were put to sleep, and you scarcely remembered stumbling back to your cot at base at what must have been three in the morning, if not four. The next thing you were aware of was being repeatedly hit in the face with something rigid and greasy.“Hrnggh.” Whap. “…Whuh…” Whap. “Nn-“ Whap. You sat bolt upright. “Stop it!” you snapped, and looked to the side to see the light on, and Sergeant Nowicki holding a sausage. “…What in the world…”“You weren’t waking up, so I was hitting you with a sausage until you did.” Nowicki said flatly, though you could see her trying to hold back a snicker.“…Why…”“It was either that or set you on fire.” Whap. “Ffhheheheheh.”As immature and discourteous as usual, and you could only assume that the method of rousing was some crass joke. What did Von Tracht see in her? Why was she still wearing his jacket, for that matter? “…Why…” you repeated.“Something weird with the UGZ. Not bad, just weird. Nobody knew anything about it, and you screwed off all night, so ‘Stache said you had something to do with it. Wielzci is waiting on the radio.” Whap.“Stop that!”Nowicki made a cocky leer at you. “Make me.”
You weren’t even tempted to take that bait. “…What are you even doing in my quarters..?” you shook your head, “…Go and tell Wielzci I will be out soon…”“I already did. Hurry up.” Whap. You clawed out and snatched the sausage away. It was…still hot, and you were hungry. Perhaps without thinking you started to gnaw on it. Nowicki was many sorts of irritating, but you knew she took food seriously enough to not do anything untoward to it. Besides use it as a means of battery. “If you’re not out in five I’m coming back with a wrench!” the Sergeant Retinue said as she finally let you be. You had heard Nowicki had either trapped or set alarm bells to defend her own quarters- if she so brashly invaded the privacy of others, maybe you ought to do the same.What time was it, anyways, you thought blearily as you flipped open your watch. One o’clock in the afternoon, and some. Judge above. At least nothing had happened yet that couldn’t be handled without you.A few salutes to those you passed after you rapidly got dressed again, pulling on your jacket on the way to the headquarters radio station. You could only hope Zohl had gone through with his promised favor, without any monkey’s paw style sleights of hand. After what he had left unsaid about the duel, if not actively meddled with, he was already on thin ice.An aide passed you a requisition status form that you’d look at as you spoke with Wielzci. Everything seemed in order- besides the lack of a Netillian commanding officer, the unit was practically completely replenished, and with another platoon coming in a couple of days, it was stronger than it had ever been.“…Lieutenant Wielzci…” you droned as you placed the headset on yourself, “…Lieutenant Von Metzeler…”“The hell’s going on?” Wielzci sounded excited, and concerned. “Bunch of guys showed up and forced the Penals out. Heard it was the Kommissariat. Should we be shitting ourselves?”“…No. I worked out a deal with a Kommissar…” you said openly and freely, “…Is anything bad happening..?”“Negative.” Wielzci relaxed, “Though, between having to garrison the central headquarters, and picking up patrols and such, us and the fifth will be stretched terrible thin. If anything happens outside and you need our help, I don’t think we’ll be able to be there in a short time- depending on if anything’s taking our attention, maybe not even all there at all.”“…That should be fine…” You hoped, rather than knew. “…Keep up apprised of any events…”“Will do. Wielzci out.”
You took the headset off, and sighed. Gerovic had let the company relax last night and this morning- was he moving along, or was he building strength? There had been a marked reduction in infiltrations, as well, and none had been wounded or killed chasing off skittish scouts. What, if anything, was being prepared for? It would be a mercy if Gerovic’s attention was diverted enough to breathe a little.-----A few hours later, that earlier hope of idleness had a hint of being misplaced. A train was coming up the railroad- not from the north, from the south. Past what was thought to be the Twaryian railhead. The rails hadn’t been cared for, no, but you weren’t sure if they had been necessarily cut. Nevertheless, there was a train coming up, and not a short one, either.It hadn’t been interdicted by the Twaryians, and was coming up at a decent speed. Scouts gave an estimate of ten minutes until it crossed the border. Something had to be done- but what? When you asked how large the train was, you were answered that it had about ten box cars, pulled along by a relatively small engine. If it was being ignored…why? Was it bait? It was altogether too mysterious, but it was absolutely in the 5th’s area of operations, as well. >You’d keep an eye on it and send a warning. It was more important to keep an eye on the border itself rather than overcommit disproportionately. This was certainly a distraction.>Send a few people to investigate. More information was needed- even at the risk of those who might have first contact.>Mobilize a significant force. Even a smaller train could carry a lot of infiltrators, and there was no doubt that such was what was within.>Other?
>>4097354>>Send a few people to investigate. More information was needed- even at the risk of those who might have first contact.
>>4097354>Send a few people to investigate. More information was needed- even at the risk of those who might have first contact.While I don’t think they’d pull a suicidal bomber on us, better safe than sorry
>>4097354>Send a few people to investigate. More information was needed- even at the risk of those who might have first contact.Time to see what new scheme Gerovic has come up with
>>4097375Doesn't have to be a suicide bomber, could be they set explosives on a timer. Assuming there's no people inside the train.
>>4097354>>Mobilize a significant force. Even a smaller train could carry a lot of infiltrators, and there was no doubt that such was what was within.Send a platoon and have them rip up a section of track north of the border to stop the train if it keeps going north. A platoon should be enough to deal with 10 box cars' worth of troops as long as they're caught while piling out of the cars, and we'll still have plenty of troops in reserve if it's just a distraction.
>>4097354>Send a few people to investigate. More information was needed- even at the risk of those who might have first contact.Give them cars/bikes and a lot of MGs.
>>4097370>>4097375>>4097386Be conservative, safe; see what's there.>>4097561No messing around with this.>>4097685You do not have access to cars and motorcycles, such when mentioned are the property of the couriers of the logistics unit of Kamienisty for use in transport and escort of officers and VIPs; if you try and seize their equipment to use in operations, they will rightly tell you to do physically impossible things to yourself.
Rolled 5 (1d100)A train could be dealt with- but not with so little information. You needed more before you could decide to order anything major, especially with the consideration that it might be a distraction…or a trap. You still remembered the event at the battle of Todesfelsen, where a seemingly innocuous investigation of an armory led to the detonation of a colossal bomb, followed by a counterattack from enemy forces. The side you were on had come out the victor there, but Gerovic was no Sosaldtian bandit, and a train load of explosives on a timer sounded like the sort of overwrought prank he might have pulled, for how odd his plans seemed at times. If it wasn’t a little thing, the few people you sent would be in quite a bit of danger, but that risk was more acceptable than even more people being caught in a larger trap.“…Who is up at the outpost..?” you asked, “…Order them to take a closer look, and send another part of their platoon…to occupy their place…” Though the railroad was relatively close to the camp, that was a matter of relatives. If the train would cross the border in a mere ten minutes, men would have to sprint to the place to get to the train in time. As light foot troops, even the greenest Midland Rangers had quite the stamina, but if it would be a fight, winded troops would not do. “…Send a report to sector command…we may need to sever the rail line, if it cannot be done earlier…”“Sir,” the aide who briefed you added, “The rail lines go through a forest. If this is trouble, I think it would be a smart place to intercept it, should there be a choice, or around the bend of the hill.”“…Noted, however…that will allow them a healthy distance into our lines…I wish to ensure that they do not disembark whatever may be aboard earlier…if they are given too much time and space…”The squad send was of first platoon, a short message up through the field telephone line up being enough to send them on their way. Two men would remain behind, both to receive the reinforcing squad, and to keep a close eye out on both the investigating squad, and whatever might happen, from atop the hill. Should the squad fail to relay a contact report in case of trouble through colored signals, the outpost telephone would ensure that you did not linger in ignorance should peril be imminent.You stood by as the deployment was announced. Things could happen very quickly in these situations, and you had to be ready in case there was a requirement to respond with disproportionate force.>DC 30 observation RU
News came back almost as soon as the train was set to be crossing the border- quite fortuitous, though it came after headquarters was notified. They sent their piece, which was a clear order to not seriously damage the railroad tracks, if necessary, at least not to a point where it would not be simple and short to repair. They also told you an autogyro would take off to observe as well- kindly giving you its frequency.“They say that they were trying very hard to not be noticed,” the radioman summarized the scout squad’s report to you after he received a telephone message, “but the squad send a runner back to say, there’s Twaryian skirmishers following the train, keeping a low profile. They’ve got eyes on it, a decent few, even.”“…And the train itself..?” you asked.“The outpost got a decent look with their binoculars. Starting its way around the hill now. Looks to be a normal civilian train, not that there’d be any such thing in the border zone. Closed box cars, shut up so you can’t see in, but they said the train operators didn’t look like army.”Train operators- so it wasn’t abandoned, but it was being lightly escorted, as well.“So what do we do?” the aide prompted you.>Let it keep going- set up people to tell it to stop, and to receive it when it does but be ready for diplomacy to not work. (What formations to send? Tanks, if any?)>If there were Twaryians involved, there was trouble. Sabotage the tracks so it derails messily. (Where on the track? And what to follow up with?)>Interdict the train directly. There was no telling if it would stop early- even now, if they were up to something and didn’t like the situation they found themselves in. (Aggressive stance, immediate interdiction as soon as possible- who to deploy, though?)>Other?
>>4097776>Let it keep going- set up people to tell it to stop, and to receive it when it does but be ready for diplomacy to not work. (What formations to send? Tanks, if any?)Just one platoon will be enough, send the first
>>4097776>Let it keep going- set up people to tell it to stop, and to receive it when it does but be ready for diplomacy to not work. (What formations to send? Tanks, if any?)1st is fine, but we should also send the third to hit the skirmishers trailing behind it from another angle. Either way we should attack the skirmishers no matter what the train does. Better to spring the trap in the woods with just the infantry, see what we're dealing with, then commit forces.>Other?Fire a few flares so that the train conductor can see that they've been spotted. If they speed up or do anything besides start slowing down we should crash enough trees in the way of the rail further along at the likely meeting point that it would be hazardous for the train to push on.I'm thinking it's either full of civvies so that the Netillians overreact and kill a bunch, thus giving the Twaryians a reason to initiate hostilities. Or they have a few anti-tank guns inside to ambush any of our tanks that position close enough.tanq, are these boxcars big enough to conceal an actual tank?
>>4097840>tanq, are these boxcars big enough to conceal an actual tank?They are, not large tanks, but one potentially could put a vehicle in them with their size, though they'd seem to lack for ways to actually properly place them inside, what with flatbed cars being the proper transportation..
>>4097776>Send two MG equipped tanks, one on each side of the rails, to block the Twaryians from following the train. Give each tank a ride-on infantry escort detached from the 3rd Platoon. Have the escorts wear stormtrooper gear. Order them not to open fire first.>Send the rest of the 3rd to receive the train. Give them one tank as well.
>>4097840Sounds good. If they don't stop tell our guys to put some rounds through the locomotive if necessary
>>4097776Set off a red flare right on the tracks. If it is a civilian conductor he'll have the sense to brake, if it's a soldier with orders to hit the town they'll just blow through but it will obscure our troops.Tbh if it's gerovich I wouldn't be surprised if the train is full of netillian pows tricked into thinking they are being traded back, only to make us kill them. Or they are civilians under the belief that the train connection is back.
>>4097816Send people to talk.>>4097840>>4097889>>4097971>>4098274First, with third in back. Additional actions include ensuring that they know they've got to stop.>>4099214And other suggestions.>>4097886Go tanks.We'll hit things right off with this next week. Until then, thanks for playing.
>>4099323Thanks for running
>>4099323Have a good weekend
>>4099323Thanks and remember, Yva is watching you fap