[Thursday August 15, 2002]
Griflet's Report: "Whispering Earth must be protected from its enemies."
MORE WORK FOR WINDWOOD - Day of the Scorpion (7th), Ghost Moon, Year of the Lamia
You order Windwood to go and scout out the new trade route to what will be Diamond. He hurries off immediately. Leaving a few spies to observe the trapped Stone Jetty Settlement, you mount Bahariye and ride two days to Whispering Stone, where you consult with Corinth, Leonore and Grogromanth.
CORINTH'S REPORT - Day of the Frog (9th), Ghost's Moon, Year of the Lamia
"Your return is welcome, Sire. I did not wish to commit our forces to battle with these nomads without your ultimate assent. With the dark elves to the north and the nomads to the south, I did not want to split our forces, which are inadequate for a war on two fronts. What of the Tovilyites? Is the situation under control? I have received your communications regarding Stone Jetty and the new settlement, but it is best to speak face to face. Anyway, the nomads..Gelblin tells me the nomads seemed unwilling to leave, but not immediately hostile. Our scouts have examined their warriors' behaviour. They ride giant flightless birds which run faster than a horse, but are less sturdy. These birds - and the nomads themselves - have survived somehow in the Barrens, so there may be more to them than we observe. They seem fascinated by the river. Perhaps they have never seen flowing water before."
GROGROMANTH'S DISMAY - Day of the Frog (9th), Ghost's Moon, Year of the Lamia
You meet with Grogromanth and Leonore to discuss the plans for the Diamond fort. Although Grogromanth wrings his hands at the interruption of his labour, he and Leonore set off for the northern site with the Protector Menthas as an escort.
HOUSE PROTECTOR RIDES - Day of the Hornet (10th), Ghost's Moon, Year of the Lamia
So one division heads north lead by Helias, helping to build the defences for a northern port.
Two divisions remain at the Stone on the walls of Grogramanths bluff. Corinth will be in charge (A outer palasade and pit/traped and barbed defence will be built on the second wall in the interim. There should be only two entrances. This should give us a nice grazing area for our livestock in the interim. Wooden watch towers will be mounted around and there shall be only two entrances. North east on the large hill and due south. This is to provide cover for archers and harass the enemy while the archers retreat to the Grogromanth's Boast.)
The last two divisions will rest two nights well at the Stone and then saddle up. Gelblin will ride with the second and you lead the first division. Gelblin's division will be in reserve on the open flank (That is the flank not blocked by terrain, so it will change as we negotiate the terrain) a short ride from you. You camp together.
You ride South to the nomads, resting well along the way. It takes three days to ride to Graycyon's Peak, including a day to ford the Blue Dragon river. Before you meet the Nomads you camp the Army on the North side of the great hill and that night, ride with 12 warriors to meet the scouts watching the camp.
PLAN OF ATTACK - Day of the Hawk (13th), Ghost's Moon, Year of the Lamia
"Griflet and Gelbins divisions will be divided into heavy cavarly troops those picked will be expected to be good at Melee, the light archers (though mounted on heavy horses) will form the second division. The army will get to work making a couple of large barges to ferry across the river while Griflet is scouting. Once the rafts are made Gelbin will lead the 40 heavy horses across the SilverEdge river, and form up camp at top of the hill. The 20 archers will go with Griflet to the edge of the river, north of the Nomads, we'll take the pontoon with us on land. Once we get there, Griflet will use his amazing sailing skills and manuevor the pontoon into the middle of the river and ancor it. With 10 archers (the other 10 will stay on the other side with another pontoon in the copse of trees) and an interpertator I'll give them one last chance to parley if not we'll call in the cavalry from the East and open fire from the pontoons. If the battle is going bad the archers will retreat to the north side of the river and the cavalry retire to the hill East. The archers will move back east and cross at the foot of the hill to reform."
"The attack is an initial burst. I don't want the cavalry staying in there very long. Just a quick punch to the flank and then get out. Take prisoners where you can. These Nomads have so far shown no overt hostility. Stay safe and keep your ranks closed. Listen for our signals."
While the army gets to work building barges, you survey the terrain from the heights of Graycyon's Peak, while being careful to remain unobserved. To the south stretch the desolate wastes of the Barrens, to the north the green plains of your kingdom. You spy the nomads' camp, close to the south bank of the Silveredge. You estimate that your battle-plan will be an excellent success, especially with the element of surprise, although it is possible that the nomads have observed the dust trails of your approaching army.
The pontoon proves trickier to handle than you had imagined, but eventually it is moored in the middle of the river. All other arrangements go as you have planned.
PARLEY WITH THE HEK - Day of the Hawk (13th), Ghost's Moon, Year of the Lamia
You ride with your archers toward the nomads' camp. They must suspect something because they are mounting their flightless birds. You unfurl the Banner of Immutable Law and your herald trumpets a parley and a warning. A group of five giant flightless birds approach with their riders, small dark-haired humans with dark, deep-set eyes.
"It is an archaic dialect, somewhere between the Eastern Tongue of the humans and Quarmallian, I think, Sire." whispers your interpreter as the nomads speak.
"We are the Hek. We welcome the thinbones. Who are you?"
The armies stand waiting, ready as you parley.