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Bastille Day
Tue Jun 27, 2006 20:35
67.140.10.123 (XFF: 192.168.1.3)

The plan worked perfectly… almost. The skirmishers rained their throwing spears down onto the charging Seanchan infantry inflicting moderate damages, for those who survived the first cast were soon advancing under their shields. The archers hit the wavering column broadside with salvo upon salvo of arrows, slipping in under the shields, the right flank of the column suffered heavy losses and so to stymie the hemorrhaging of troops to ranged attacks, the Seanchan commander had his infantry kneel, and form a protective barrier out of their shields. This didn’t necessarily stop loses, as per orders Garralds archers had advanced to point-blank and were firing individual shafts through cracks in the shield wall, but there were no longer deaths en-masse. That is, not until Adrien Chandonne and his heavy infantry boiled over the cusp of the hill and plowed, in a wedge formation into a buckled section of the Seanchan defense. The shelter of the shields collapsed and the archers resumed sniper fire, Adrien lost count of the times an arrow past so close to him to ruffle his uniform or tousle his hair.

Once the sheltering shields were brushed aside by the heavy infantry, the skirmishers pressed their attack on the rear, what a moment before had been the front, of the column, and the rout was on. The plan had worked perfectly. Except when the Skirmishers reported being down to one casting spear each and the archers reported half-empty quivers. After giving orders to scavenge the Seanchan for re-supply, Adrien also ordered their armor stripped and prepared for transport, it would be needed. Pieces that were too obviously damaged (such as the helm of one soldier which was split nearly in half) were discarded into the lake, and the stripped corpses of the Seanchan infantry were drug up behind the crest of the hill and a lain in a series of ditches, then covered with dirt.

Captain Garrald once again protested, but he was told that no dishonor would be given to soldiers who fought and died in battle. And further, didn’t he have a re-supply to be seeing too? The man stalked off muttering darkly to himself, and Adrien once again resisted the urge to show his displeasure, by sighing or some other outward manner. His troop’s moral was high, as casualties (even injuries) had been low, but dissention in command Adrien knew was one quick way to kill moral. Suddenly he became aware of the troops looking to him, and he saw that his orders to dress the site had been carried out, new orders were needed. And the men looked to him.

“Excellent job!” He lauded them. “I doubt anyone would ever know there had been a battle fought here.” It was true, aside from a few places where the sod was disturbed, the site could have been mistaken for a wind blown hillside overlooking a lake, not so unusual as to occasion comment, unless someone found the Seanchan graves… but that was a concern for another time now.

“Our objective now,” Adrien continued, “is to march westward, back the way this column came, and to meet up with Carys Alistair and her unit at the western crossroads, then continue on, following her scouts predetermined path, to the Seanchan supply train and reserve encampment. At that point we will armor ourselves in our foes gear, and march in after dark, so as to hide any damage to our armor. Once inside the encampment, we will strike first at the tents of the reserves, and then at the stores of arms and armor, if its possible, we’ll capture the provisions unmolested, and have a feast once our task is done.” Adrien ran an appraising eye over the assembled troops, he could see the light of victory still smoldering behind their eyes, they were anxious to try themselves again, for the Seanchan had not proven so formidable as they had heard. “I will not ask,” he concluded “any of you wounded to continue, for the march will be double time to meet all our deadlines. Meals will be taken on the hoof, and water is at half ration until we rest tonight, we can’t afford to stop once we begin our march and this lake water won’t be safe to drink for miles in either direction. So speak now if you wish to return to the rear.”

*~*~*~*~*


Less than a half hour later, the entire force was double timing its way westward along the road. Not one man had asked to be excused to the rear, and esprit-de-corps was high. Adrien chanced to lead the men in a marching cadence as they went, for it passed the miles they had to go. Once they reached their rendezvous, and found Carys Alistair’s forces waiting, they stopped, and the two ‘advisors’ from the Black Tower took a quick conference before the two elements closed ranks and continued on, following Carys’ scouts as the marched silently toward and unseen objective that waited over the horizon.

They arrived as dusk was deepening, and the sun, an ominous ball of blood, sank over the edge of the world, driving lances of pain into their eyes for the entire column was marching directly into it, and the scouts very nearly missed their own markers for their squinting. But disaster was narrowly averted by Carys sharp eyes, and though Captain Garrald gloated quietly, he was not so foolish as to tell the men how close they had all come to marching straight into the enemy encampment without their deception in place. Orders were passed for the troops, even the skirmishers, to exchange their armor for the Seanchan’s, QUIETLY, and to prepare for the action ahead. Adrien himself wrestled into the former Commanders armor, though he was as unused to plate armor as the skirmishers, he could scarcely make an exception. When word came back that all was in readiness, Adrien drew a heavy breathe and looked to Carys for support. She told him to stop ogling and get to business. This time he did sigh and ordered the men to prepare to march. It was time.

  • Hidden DragonsAdrien-Baptiste Chandonee, Mon Jun 26 11:16
    Adrien whistled as Carys finished her scouting report. Captain Garrald had protested having his “good maps” drug out of his tents and spread along the ground, but his blustering had been largely... more
    • Bastille Day — Adrien-Baptiste Chandonee, Tue Jun 27 20:35
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