DE vignettes - "The Cruise"

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    The latest issue of the 9th Scroll is here! You can read all about it in the news.

    Our beta phase is finally over. Download The Ninth Age: Fantasy Battles, 2nd Edition now!

    • DE vignettes - "The Cruise"

      Hi all, I've recently stumbled across some little vignettes I wrote about 3 years ago for an 8th Edition campaign. I've tweaked them to better reflect 9th BG. Enjoy and please lemme know what you think.

      THE CRUISE

      Beachhead

      Aesenith Thel of the Privateer: Wrath of the Kraken braced himself against the bough of the longboat as it rose with the swell. He was sweating under his thick Raptor hide cloak and studded gambeson despite the cold of the dawn. Just a few leagues away was the coast of Vetia and a watchtower guarding the coastal road. He glanced around at his fellow Dathenii, black hearted pirates to a man and woman and felt more confident in their mission and a novel mission it certainly was. Grapeshot would soon be tearing through the wooden hulls of the longboats and Companies of professional soldiers would be manning ramparts and garrisoning the watchtower.

      No flesh-cruise should dream of dashing itself against the hot lead and discipline of the Imperial coast guard when the plump fishing villages of the Equitans were a far easier prospect. However the young noble who was general of this host was determined to show his courage and prowess to herald his arrival as a true patrician and fitting heir to the house of Avaan, one of the most powerful families in the city of Rathaen. There were rumours of an ancient artefact from the lost colonies to be found, the host was certainly large enough to take ground before the Imperial forces could mobilise a counter strike. Still, there were always such rumours and the young lordling could scratch around in the dirt all he liked. His coin was good and there was a high chance of a profitable flesh harvest over the coming campaign, it could be worse…..

      River Crossing

      “My Lord, the Ravens have returned and have made their report.”

      The patrician gave the Captain before him a hard stare, he was spattered with mud from hard riding and there were dark circles framing his eyes. He looked like the dead, but then again they all did..

      The youthful general, Mordrin Avaan scion of Rathaen took stock of the news with a raised eyebrow. The Shades had only been gone since dawn and it was barely noon. The enemy should not be this close but the landing had taken far too long, the resistance from the beach had been galling and the cunning of the manling captain who led it had proved more effective than they’d anticipated. That captain’s head was currently hanging by its ridiculous moustache from Aranhir’s saddle, however it had taken too many losses to defeat the man.

      “They report a large force beyond the river but the bridge is intact. There are also two fords nearby that look to be suitable for infantry, however with the river in spate, going will be very slow. ”

      “Numbers? Enemy composition?”

      “Maybe three cohorts worth of trained foot and maybe a squadron of pistol armed reitars and another of lancers. We lost no one but I thought it prudent to mention that we caught some reitars in a hasty ambush and they were in the elector count’s own livery. They’ve come from the provincial capital.”

      “Indeed? Well count Eisennburg is a canny old goat and he won’t want to go running to the Emperor for help unless he’s sure he can’t beat us. Very well, we move immediately. Get back to your troop and make ready to screen the advance while we break camp, tell the ravens to get back to the bridge immediately and kill the enemy scouts. You will notify me immediately of any further encounters with the count’s household troops.”

      Avaan turned to his seneschal and issued the order, he mounted his horse as the cries of Officers and Prefects echoed about the lines.

      [b]Counter Attack[/b]

      Korvath, volunteer swordsman of the Rathean rampart division caught the distant thrum of drums amplified by the wind, he couldn’t tell which direction it came from but there was nothing to see through the thick foliage 50 yards to his front. He pulled his long-sword an inch from its scabbard and let it fall back in with a clang, it was an unconscious habit and earned a sharp look from his captain.

      “Korvath Tyr If I hear that blade again I’ll end up doing the enemy a service, be still.”

      He suppressed a grin, he didn’t doubt the captain would use his knotted cane given further provocation. He was rightly disgruntled, the inhabitants of this collection of hovels had been given plenty of warning of the Dathenii advance and by the time they’d got there anything that could have been looted had disappeared. The Sunnite chapel had been stripped of its relics and the invaders had turned it into a fortress, reinforcing the drystone walls with smashed gravestones and hastily cut stakes, while scattering caltrops to the front of the walls.

      They just had to hold on while the main body of lord Mordrin’s Army caught up. A muffled thud and gout of flame somewhere in the trees heralded the first cannonball a split second later, it pulverised the air close over their heads before spending itself on the barn behind their enclosure in a cloud of vicious debris. The shot was followed by a swarm of crossbow bolts whipping out of the trees. The swordsmen clattered their shields together in a practised drill, the second rank lifting theirs over the heads of the front rank. Korvath flinched as the heavy bolts slammed into the shieldwall, they might yet earn their pay today………….

      Pursuit

      “Prepare to receive cavalry! Here they come again!”

      The horns wailed down the column and exhausted Dathenii once again hefted their shields and formed square as the Imperial Pistoliers drove their mounts into a gallop. All morning the dark raiders had spent themselves trying to protect the column but the superior numbers of the imperial light cavalry had proved too much. The van commander had ordered the remaining horsemen into the centres of the Dathenii line regiments as auxiliaries, rather than fall as easy meat for the manlings.

      “Crossbows ready! ….loose!”

      Far too few bolts answered the order and Korvath Tyr counted just 3 of the gaudy reitars tumble to the ground, the remaining enemy cavalry pressed on to unleash a close range pistol volley at the badly depleted legionnaires of the rampart division. This time though the horsemen drew their sabres and appeared to be charging home, their captain obviously thought the cohort had been battered so much it was ready to break. Korvath spat at the notion relishing the chance to finally use his blade on the bastards…….

      “The point beats the edge! Hit the horses first then spit them when they’ve fallen!......HOLD!”

      Korvath braced for the impact…..

      Brought to battle

      Tyren An Avaan, illegitimate half-brother of Mordrin Avaan and also Knight Commander of Lord Avaan’s household guard studied the parchment map before him. It seemed they had found what his younger brother had set out to acquire. The ruins were unmistakable, colonial columns and pediments surrounding an ancient spiritstone.
      The only problem was where exactly the artefact was amongst the ruins, according to the old text it was buried within a tomb which would need breaking apart, not a quick job. Tyren was already displeased with the time it had taken to get there.They had been deep in enemy territory too long and badly depleted from the unexpectedly stubborn resistance the local garrison forces had put up. Even now a large Imperial Army was on its way from the provincial capital under the Elector Count Johann Eisennburg and they had no idea how close.

      “Brother, I do believe this is it, the old ruins of Tor Eladris.The Dark Convent were right, its exactly where the annals say it is.” Mordrin turned to an aide and ordered the vanguard to secure the ruins.

      “There just remains the task of finding the tomb, I don’t suppose the old chronicles mentioned exactly what the princes’ tomb looks like my lord?”

      As Mordrin’s considerably more experienced half-brother and commander of their father’s household troops and a lord of influence in his own right, Tyren could afford to take a belligerent tone with the young scion.I t helped that Mordrin had not commanded the host with any particular brilliance and now had to rely on Tyren’s experience to get the remaining troops extricated. Mordrin bit back a petulant remark and turned to the older Knight.

      “Don’t worry about that Lord Tyren, our coven can see to it. Our fair sister Lunarielle rides with the vanguard and will be able to locate the tomb.”

      At that moment they heard the horns of the vanguard blow the retreat, Tyren’s eye was drawn to the glint of lance heads cresting the ridge beyond the ruins. He turned to Mordrin, almost feeling pity at his momentarily panicked expression until the parting words of their father returned to his mind:

      “If that boy shames our house with failure you will make sure he dies an heroic death……”#

      Tyren drew his sword, “Your orders brother?”……………….