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Reeds and Dry Wood
Sat Jun 10, 2006 17:06
68.11.220.50 (XFF: 192.168.1.3)

Locke's eyes flickered masterfully across the expanse of map provided him. It was wrinkled, and, in the top right corner, torn, but it was masterfully done, nearly artful. The Damona mountains were spread out in front of him, each corner of the depiction held down by increasingly improvised objects from around the room - a book, a lamp, someone's shoe, and finally, a banana. Such were things, when all resources were allocated to the generalships headed to rain down against the main unit, attacking from Altara. Well, not all. The leader of the expidition, Asha'man Rianyll, had been chosen post-haste after Greer had received Locke's letter. It was thinly veiled code, but it was veiled, and the message had been received. Locke, once again, was to play the "helping hand" to casual observers, and the "Prime Mover" to all who knew what was going on behind the scenes, Rianyll Corbwin included.

"I still don't understand why we're attacking the sub-unit, rather than the main offensive force. They're the dangerous ones, offhand."

"The idea that you think nearly ten thousand Seanchan not to be dangerous is the dangerous part - the respective armies have nothing to do with it." Locke spoke placidly, not bothering to look up to find the speaker. It didn't matter. Not now - not during planning. "Here." Locke pointed with a long, tapered rod, to a point a league behind the Seanchan reserve units' approxiamated location.

"Why there, dead smack in the mountains?"

"Because there's no way to get out." Locke smiled. "Except for us." Gateways. "The basics of the plan are known to all of you now, and you must spread the word to your captains and their lieutenants - before we leave, we must have all the preparations ready, all the tar, all the fat, all the hay, everything, down to the last ounce of salt peter, must be stowed away in carts and ready to move. Clear?" The murmurs of acceptance and "Aye, Major" echoed throughout the assembled group - the seven Dedicated he'd requested through his letter, to be included in his group. Jack Yan, a promising young Cairhienin, his brother, Matywin, Brady Shin, an Andoran, Weiyan Barrough, from the south, and a handful of Soldiers from his previous outing against the Seanchan. A hand-picked, discerning group, ones that Locke had worked with before. Jack was a fighter, Win was a thinker - they complimented each other in nearly all respects, except how they looked. Jack was tall and thin, like a knife, blazingly redheaded, and a womanizer. Win was staunch and fat, bald, shaped like a cudgel, and had slept with one woman in his entire life. Shin was a man gifted with a silver tongue, and was a sure shot with a bow. He was also more adept at weaving Gateways, moreso even than Locke, who had grown leaps and bounds in the Power since having been introduced to forcing. Wei was inasmuch a human cannon - he was commonly referred to within the circles of the Officer's as "the wrecking ball", or some other such epithet based loosely around his ability to completely and utterly smash... everything. The others were mild and discerning, and that was all they needed to be.

Brushing thin strands of smoky black hair out of his stooped face, Locke cracked his back lightly, not bothering to be respective of the mannerisms usually expected of someone in a command tent. "So then, summon the porters, and get to packing. I'll rouse my troops from the barracks - I'd expect all of you to be finished with your tasks by midnight tonight." His chosen handful left the tent, the tentflap being held respectfully open for all by a guard outside.

"Do they know exactly what you're doing?"

"No, not yet." Locke replied gently. "But it will become apparent after the first day. It seems as if negotiations with the neighboring countries will be harried by the presence of a counterattack force that is already in place. In addition to that, there is no way to guarantee that they plan to stay static. Stasis in combat means the death of a man, and as such, I expect some kind of ruse, most likely a big one. If anything, the force in the mountains doesn't mean to be a deterrent, they mean to attack."

"Illian could be taken by the main force, though. Why would they attack too?"

"Not Illian - Murrandy."

"A dual attack on our frontier?!"

"It is a possibility. In any case, I prefer to simply nip the issue in the bud - as such, we will destroy the camp in the mountains, remove the pressure from our Ambassadors in doing so, and eliminate all chances of reinforcements for this so-called attacking force. With the mountains clear, we can then move with the supplemental troops we'll get on behalf of the skillful ambassadors, and meet the main army in battle somewhere east of the grand road leading to the capital."

"A most ambitious plan!" Rianyll smiled.

"They are helpless, as it were - we are the flames, and they are the reeds and dry wood." Locke pushed the marker indicating his force of two thousand into the mountains. Of those two thousand, thirteen hundred were porters, all of which would go back home the minute all the supplies were unloaded. A force of seven hundred, to completely annihilate ten thousand.

  • Stone and FlintMajor Locke Lemain, Dedicated, Sat Jun 10 16:27
    It was early, too early for sun. The glimmering rays of light given off by his small stand lamp was the only illumination in the small room. Locke was fortunate enough to have a small dwelling all to ... more
    • Reeds and Dry Wood — Major Locke Lemain, Dedicated, Sat Jun 10 17:06
      • Two InterludesMajor Lemain, Sat Jun 10 18:04
        1 The frontiers of nations are either large rivers, or chains of mountains, or deserts. Of all these obstacles to the march of an army, deserts are the most difficult to surmount; mountains come... more
        • FrictionMajor Lemain, Sat Jun 10 21:29
          Locke surveyed the Gateways idly from atop Sim, his gray-dappled black horse. The porters were coming through, now, the main perimeter of their staging area. First the spearmen, then the archers,... more
          • SparksMajor Lemain, Mon Jun 12 21:05
            "It's almost time, Major Lemain." Rianyll had matured quite a bit since his first outing. It had been nearly a year since he'd embarked on the doomed expidition which Locke had saved - the two had... more
            • FlamesMajor Lemain, Thu Jun 15 13:04
              The last of the scouts had reported in - Jack's man. According to him, the final preparations in the forest had been made - the tar had been spread on the trunks of the trees, hay had been stuffed... more
              • The InfernoMajor Lemain, Thu Jun 15 13:28
                The Airwall was completed, and being held steadfast by more channelers, secreted away quite a ways from the battle - Jack and Mat were doing a fantastic job from the safety of the slightly elevated... more
                • The WhirlwindMajor Lemain, Thu Jun 15 15:51
                  Locke span the warm blood of his compatriots out of his mouth disdainfully, impaling an attacker straight on with Prodigy, kicking him to release the black blade, and then burning him to ashes with a ... more
                  • The Blazing ForestMajor Lemain, Sat Jun 17 18:45
                    The silence in the now wrecked camp was deafening. The thin strip of plains where the bulk of the engagement had taken place, 'twixt the releif unit and the Dedicated, was smashed with the Power to a ... more
                    • The ImmolationMajor Lemain, Sat Jun 17 18:46
                      The bitter smell got stronger, catching on the Southward wind, the mouth of the forest giving off heat, hotter and hotter. Then, suddenly, from the silence, came the first explosion. The black powder ... more
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