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Mon Jun 12, 2006 21:05 (XFF:

"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 been friends ever since. He was a student of sorts, a mentor of sorts, and as such, had gotten much more tolerant of Locke's dispositions on certain matters - he trusted the boy, now. As well he should. Locke smirked.

Settling himself lightly into his saddle and checking his spear-rondel, Locke steadied his nerves absentmindedly, considering the possibilities. The troop was a day and a half into their advance, having made the southward path a total deathtrap before moving northwest, into the thick forests that formed an enclave around the Seanchan camp. The enemy had dug trenches, set up tree-spear barriers to thwart cavalry, and also seemed to have a steady supply of water from a stream nearby. Scouts had reported finding one of their own - Zander, if memory served - scouting as well. He'd been quite an abundance of information regarding the camp's layout, where the strengths and weaknesses were, and how many they were to expect initially. Locke had been somewhat surprised to hear that the chained women were here, and not with the main unit, but it fit with his speculative theory on a twin attack on two different countries, rather than a defended flank for the one.

"We are in prime position to move Southeast, onto the the North road, and attack. However, our numbers are totally insufficient to make a play at open combat. As such, I would suggest waiting for another hour or two - dusk - and let the darkness exaggerate our numbers. If we get the male Soldiers to link with the female, they strength they'll have will not leave the Seanchan with the luxury of knowing if we're seven hundred or seven thousand. And, I might add, that the damane can't easily kill what they can't see." Locke's gray eyes were cast far off in the distance - in his mind, he could see the camp, in it's fullness, the preparedness and professionalism of the enemy. He could taste it, in the wind. His hair whipped lightly in the breeze that drifted through the wood, and for a moment, he forgot that it was an enemy he was preparing to kill - for a moment, he was an equal.

"Here is what we shall do. The channelers will provide us with the initial bombardment, and soften the camp with the manner of weaves I've described in our previous conferences. Jack, Mat, you two are in charge of the Air and Water people - I want a wall of air spread clear across the North road - the only way they can flee the carnage is South. Wei, you are in direct command of all the spears in our unit, in addition, your sub-captain will be Shin. He'll supplement your infantry with his bows. The swords and axemen will be divided amongst you three others - Rianyll will oversee the last of you Captains, Khor. You are responsible for signalling us with the colored flares of Spirit I've described to you; in addition, you'll be commanding the bowmen equipped with the fire-arrows. Lastly, I will proceed with the crossbowmen."

"To review the plan of attack, the shield of air will be put up by linked Soldiers, and held in place. The remaining Soldiers will begin the firestorm bombardment, whilst the Dedicated begin using what they learned in their Talent lessons - Cloud Dancing or Spinning Earthfire. I want the entirety of the first few lines of the camp immolated before the foot makes it's charge, and the shield is dropped. As soon as the charge is made, that unit will circle roundabout behind the vanguard, into the forest across the way, two hundred and seventy degrees, as it were, to be facing the South road. When you see the red Spirit flare, that's the signal to ignite the first of the salt peter rucksacks, followed by the hay, and then unravel the Weaves in the trees. As such, the South road will be decimated, and hopefully, due to the narrow straights, most of the enemy's vanguard."

"And after that?"

"After that, I believe that the most capable men would consolidate their forces and embark on a forced march southward, out of these mountains, to set up a defensive line at the foot of the mountain. That would make it impossible for us to resupply, unless we fought downhill and overtook them entirely." Locke yawned. "But, if they were panicked, I surmise that they would fight like rabid animals, to the last man. If our timing is right, they will lose just under a third of their number to our initial attack on their camp, including the Fire Woods in the math."

"What about the other six thousand?"

"We'll take care of that when the time comes." Locke settled his helmet onto his head, adjusting the leather strap beneath his chin lightly. He was ominous in his black armor, spear at his side. On his belt was strapped a small feather fan, his only accessory - a tribute to the strategists of old that he owed so much to. "It's time to move."

  • 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
    • Sparks — Major Lemain, Mon Jun 12 21:05
      • 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
                • Traditions of the TradeMajor Lemain, Sat Jun 17 20:15
                  Feeding off the enemy was a universally accepted power manuever in the traditions of war. The troops were fed fat, the casks of wheat and barleey having been opened, the water kegs, the wine, and the ... more
                  • The Broken ArrowMajor Lemain, Mon Jun 19 19:58
                    The fragments of the enemy were assembled haphazardly about the foot of the narrow, switch-backed trail that led south, that led home, off the heights and stiflingly claustrophobic ravines throughout ... more
                    • The Virulent CircumspectMajor Lemain, Tue Jun 20 13:05
                      "How are you feeling, Major?" Locke ignored the simple question for a moment, examining the pole-center tent. It was a heavy canvas, patched in a few places, but still sturdy. This one had been oiled ... more
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