Legend of Markoth fiction collection

Incubus

Horn Dog
Jan 7, 2009
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#1
The following is a series of works written by Incubus for the LARP setting he takes part in, Legend of Markoth. Many of the writings assume knowledge of the setting and its various people and so they may be at times missing proper context.

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Storm Battle Logs

Battle Report – The Tomb of Aximar

Kirrin, I believe your decision to venture forth and raid imperial supply lines with the main body of the Storm, rather than pressing into the tomb may prove the correct one. Unlike the halls we fought alongside in, the tomb itself proved to be a cramped environment, not to mention unstable, and with the Imperials discovering the entrance ahead of us, we were left with one hell of a fight.

It is actually a blessing that the caverns were unstable, for when we arrived we met a strong wall of Imperial steel, with no way to slip around or past them. A tremor opened up a hole in one of the nearby walls, forcing them to split their forces and gave us the opening we needed. In a brief opportunity in the fighting, myself and one of the newer Boars managed to slip past Imperial lines, and head deep into the tomb. There, we managed to find a few locations of interest, and claim them for the Royalists. Had the fight behind us continued to be fought to a stalemate, we might have had further luck. Unfortunately, a gap in Imperial lines allowed a large force to surge into the tombs, this time not unnoticed. The mailed fist of the Empire surged through the region and undid all my work. A few more times we slipped through, to try and claim the places of power, but in the end the Imperial steel proved too strong. Without a way to easily slip past their lines, we were halted by the close quarters fighting, too few heavy footmen remaining in our forces to break their resolve for long.

As they had found the catacombs, so did the Imperials beat us to Aximar’s tomb itself, and a bitter fight was had over it, and the dread sword, Reaver. Attempts to claim the sword proved fruitless, some High Magic must have been in play to keep it from being claimed, but perhaps this was to our advantage. For a while, battle raged around the sarcophagus until it appeared…

The shade of Aximar himself, raised from the dead and mighty pissed, launched forth to assault the Imperial despoilers as Royalist forces sought cover. Cheering for this onslaught, we were dismayed as he turned upon us, mad with battle rage. From my observations, I do not believe it was sentient, for it simply struck forth at anyone near it, turning on those who dared to bring their weapons against him. Such attacks proved worthless, the demon was neither slowed nor showed any signs of injury. Still, it did not take up the sword, Reaver, and so the fighting continued around it as we and the Imperials vied for control. In the end, the onslaught of the foul shade of Aximar forced us to withdraw and assess our options.

Our mages concocted a quick ritual to allow us to entrap Aximar and slay his shade, but after the circle was laid out, those treacherous Tarvalan bastards used it, filling it with their energies. They knew the shade would likely die to Royalist hands and sought to gain the advantage. We were forced to make do with a place of power near the Imperial entrance, although the Fell magic of the place, as well as the reckless and wild ravings of the mad Imperial mages certainly hampered our magi. And so once again we did battle with Aximar, and the Imperialist dogs. It was a bloody fight, attempts to taunt Aximar, to rekindle some of his former spirit and hatred of the Empire proved ineffective. In the end, those that remained pulled back, unable to defeat the demon or claim Reaver.

With Aximar unassailable at the present, I wonder what will be our next course of action. A sizable Imperial threat still remains in the area and we remain both outnumbered and ill-equipped to face them head on. I only pray out next battlefield gives us a better opportunity to sow chaos in their lines.

Talionis
 

Incubus

Horn Dog
Jan 7, 2009
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#2
Speech at Larton Keep

This particular piece was written up prior to the final decisive battle. The preamble of the text here was not written by myself, but by one of the organisers of the LARP, as this particular piece is published on the LoM wiki as a canonical event that occurred during the campaign.

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The Royalists were caught in a struggle for some weeks in the two provinces of Jern and Fendor. Both in Imperial territory, Jern was taken back first, with Fendor falling against the waves of Imperials. Times were tough and a leader needed to lift morale.

In the distance, purple banners began to move into view, finally, they had arrived. Smoke filled the air over Fendor as the farmlands burned and the remaining forces of Royalist Alliance felt the Imperial noose begin to tighten. Already, reports had come through that Imperial forces had seized the Bridge on the River Trine, cutting them off from Royalist reinforcements and supplies. All defense had been pulled back to Larton Keep near the edge of Fendor, where they had awaited the ring of purple to close in.

To say things were tense was an understatement. With the bleakness of the situation, morale was low and various groups had taken to infighting. Things hadn’t gone from yelling to weapons drawn yet, but it seemed like it might be a matter of time. Perhaps thankfully, time they did not appear to have.

What remained of the Royalist command structure marshalled the troops in preparation for what could well be the final battle for Fendor. And as the various companies stood ready before command, a wave of confusion descended over most as a figure robed in black, bedecked in dark jewels and bones wearing a Boar tabard drew himself up before the troops and began to speak.

“Brothers and Sisters, Comrades and Allies,” he began, and after a slight, hesitant pause, he added, “Camdorians.” There was a slight snicker from some, and at least one cry of protest from the Camdorian units, but he raised his hands in an attempt to silence them. “We stand here today united, the last defence of Fendor. The Empire marches on us, to ‘reclaim back their land’, they say.” He pauses for a moment as a murmur went through the troops, many remembering that Fendor was, in the grand scheme of things, newly liberated from the Empire. Was it really worth dying for? Were these people really theirs? Such thoughts were common amongst the soldiers from abroad. “I say nay!” the man shouted out. “I say that this is NOT their land. I say none of it is! Let none kneel down to their false God! These people were freed from the yoke of Imperial oppression! These people were at last permitted to make their own decisions! When the Empire came for Jern, it’s citizens laid down arms, and were greeted by the so called ‘Holy’ Imperial Inquisition. Fendor has not made this mistake! Fendor now knows what freedom tastes like, and has fought with us to keep it! I say, Fendor are as much part of this alliance as any other! And finally, I say there will not be any need to die for Fendor, because it is not US who will be doing the dying!”

“Who CARES if they have taken the bridge over Trine, who CARES if we no longer have a supply line. Our stores are plentiful enough to last through one little siege! The fields of Fendor are burning, and the Empire will find neither plunder nor forage to sustain their forces. They are tired, they are weary, they are running out of food and they are desperate! LET THEM COME! WE STAND READY! We will repel their assault and THEY! WILL! CRUMBLE! AFTER THIS DAY, AFTER OUR VICTORY, WE WILL DRIVE THEM FROM FENDOR!”

A great cheer erupted from the troops as the acolyte gave his frenzied yell. After a moment, as they calmed down, he began to speak once more, softer and more controlled once again “So think hard on yourself and how you will prove yourself this day. Pray to your gods, whoever you so follow. Draw upon whatever strength you can muster! Worry not about the faith of the man standing beside you! Concern yourself only with those Imperial heathens, who would DENY your faith! DO NOT LET THEM! REMEMBER WHO THEY ARE AND WHAT THEY STAND FOR! VICTORY FOR THE ROYALIST ALLIANCE! VICTORY FOR FENDOR! VICTORY FOR ASHA!”
 

Incubus

Horn Dog
Jan 7, 2009
2,944
0
#3
No Prize Today - An Andevin Tale

Andevin is my baby. It's a Royalist subfaction that I took on and shaped from a nebulous Royalist naval power off the mainland into a fleshed out faction. Now I have the daunting task of trying to recruit people to wear my colours. Still, one step at a time...

Rather than writing a piece about a glorious Andevin victory, I decided to go with something a little different, that perhaps more effectively captures the Andevin mentality and attitude.

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“Captain, they’re closing! They’ll be on us in under a minute!” came the cry of alarm as sailors ran back and forth over the decks. “Damn them! We didn’t expect Imperial naval activity this close to Kirisaka, this does not bode well for the future,” muttered Captain Corvin angrily as he looked up at the Imperial War Galleys bearing down towards him. The leader of a small group of trade ships, he knew that against proper warships they had little hope, their numbers were small, enough to give pirates and freebooters pause but not equipped to deal with military vessels. Already their escort ships had sacrificed themselves to buy them time, bravely giving their lives. He could still see the burning wreck of the craft, and closing his eyes he muttered a short prayer for the fallen.



“Ready for battle, prepare to repel boarders! Mr Franklin, set alight the lower decks! They’ll not be taking us as a prize this day. All of you know there’s only two ways out of this now, either we die to a man or we take their warship, because before long this one will be a burned out husk slowly sinking. Let’s make those Empire dogs pay in blood for what they’ve done today!” the Captain roared, and a great battle cry rose from the Andevin sailors. Each one of them knew that if they surrendered to the Empire, it would only mean being turned over to the Inquisition for “interrogation”, better to die defiant with a blade in hand.



“Pikes to the fore, swords ready behind them. Those of you with oil, wait until my signal to throw, not a flogging moment earlier, we’ll douse their hull in flames! Give them the choice between Bran’s fury and Asha’s mercy! Wait for it! WAIT FOR IT!”



As the Imperial ship closed, the captain gave a defiant roar and ceramic pots whirled through the air, oil doused burning rags fluttering along after them to smash onto the warship, setting alight crew and deck equally as the front rank of the Imperial ship roared their own battle cry and leapt forth towards the smaller vessel. Many were impaled on the wall of pikes erected by the Andevin troops, but the force of the charge was enough to make gaps and the bodies began to press down. “Not a step backwards! Push into them and drive them into Asha’s bosom!” the captain cried to his men, but it was false bravado and he knew it. While some of his crew were skilled soldiers, most were simply deckhards wearing no armour and with little skill in combat. Against the press of Tarvalan troops, they were cut down at alarming speed. Worse, it seemed that the Imperial crew had responded well to the fire attack, but such should be expected from an experienced crew. Andevin had a reputation for destroying “lesser” warships rather than trying to take them as prizes and any experienced Imperial captain knew to be prepared for fire attacks. And this seemed to be just that.



Pulling his sword from its sheath, Captain Corvin raised it high “Death to the Oppressors!” he shouted as he charted forth into battle, rallying that which remained of his men forwards into one final push against the Imperial troops.

It was short, but bloody and they took their toll, but as the captain felt the heat rising from below during his dying breaths, a hoarse laugh escaped from his blood caked lips. “No prize for you today… Imperial dogs…” he spat, his dying words filled with spite as the fires below decks spread wildly, beyond the point where they could be controlled. This ship would burn and then sink, he had held off the Imperials long enough to see to that.
 

Incubus

Horn Dog
Jan 7, 2009
2,944
0
#4
It Takes a Monster

This one comes from the mind of my Skirmisher, who is still rather new to it all. It ties in to some of the events I mentioned in the Speech of Larton keep, and a few other details about the battles occurring in Fendor province.

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It was late, and he was tired. So very tired. The last few weeks had been almost nothing but chaos and running. When the majority of the Royalist forces withdrew from Jern, he stayed as part of the rear guard, held up in the Temple. A suicide mission, perhaps, but this was his hometown, or what was left of it. He’d ran last time, panicked and confused, but this time he would stand and fight. That was what he thought at the time, anyway.

It’s funny how things rarely turn out how you plan. Being one of the few people of the rear-guard with reconnaissance training, he was sent out to watch enemy troop movements. It was… not an easy assignment for him. His homeland lay in near ruins, the site of two major battles and a siege, with a third and final one coming soon. A shorter one, given the disparity between the forces… that army out there, it was big. Very big. This wasn’t just a force to reclaim the city, even in his short experience, he could see they were preparing to march around the city, the majority of the force pushing onwards. It was his preoccupation with trying to estimate the size of their supply trains that led to his failure. An Imperial column was between his location and the Temple before he realised it. Any hope of giving them advanced warning was gone. Chances are they would assume him dead when the assault began. Not that it mattered, the Temple was a difficult spot to attack into, and too significant to simply destroy. They would give the Imperials a bloody toll for it, but each and every man in there was dead. And so, he fled the city. And as he looked back, watching it burn, he swore his oath of vengeance anew.

He did what he could to slow the Imperials, as well as a lone man can. He stayed ahead of their army, for it is not hard to outrun such a force and did what he could. The remains of dead cattle tossed into wells, the locals he spoke to, spoke of the atrocities committed in the city, and incited them as best he could to resist the Imperials. Risky work. A few times he had to cut down Loyalists and flee. At best, he probably only caused doubts. Hard to tell how effective he was.

Still, he reached sentries of the Royalist army and brought word that they marched, marched towards Fendor. Then, he returned into Jern to seek survivors, like he had been himself. He didn’t find many, but enough. Mostly farmers and village folk who had fled the army and evaded outriders sent to hunt them down. But he taught them what little he could and gave them missions to try and weaken or slow the Imperial army. With a blank face he sent them on suicide missions and moved on, hard of heart. ‘Do what must be done’. If he were stronger, if he were more knowledgeable, if he were a better teacher, perhaps they wouldn’t have needed to die. But as it stood they would just get him caught, and while his life was not important, his mission was. He had to see it through. ‘Whatever it takes.’

As the army crossed into Fendor, he continued this practice, organising his little rabbles and setting them up into ambushes. Often he promised them that help would arrive shortly after their attack, that they were not alone, to give them courage and help their resolve. Often he lied. A necessity, he told himself. Still, the Imperial army marched onwards. His makeshift soldiers raided Imperial supply lines relentlessly, but the cost was high. At times, he found himself wondering if he was no better than the Grand Marshall… but he gave them a choice. He always gave them a choice.

Then, the bridge fell. Royalist supply lines were cut off. His priority changed. And so Fendor burned. Cattle slaughtered, crops burned, he had already done all he could on the imperial supplies; reinforcements ensured that every supply wagon was a death sentence to approach, and he was running out of volunteers for suicide missions. And so it was time to ensure they would not be able to forage the farmlands. Every well he heard of, he saw poisoned with rotten meat, every field burned. It was perhaps a sad irony, he who had been created from the burning of his homeland, was now burning another formerly Imperial province in the name of his mission.

As the noose tightened, he slipped into Queten, tired and carrying the weight of his actions. Dozens of names learned and forgotten. The cost was great. To make matters worse, the first “friendly” forces he encountered in Queten were Stalkers. They informed him that Grand Marshall Vorran’s army had been broken at Larton Keep, although what that meant for what was left of Fendor was unclear, surely the entire province would starve without outside aid, partially thanks to him. Still, not his concern. Someone else’s problem. Still, the Stalkers used him, similarly to how he had used the rabble he was able to round up, but for much less dangerous mission. Much less important missions. He was a pawn to them, only worth considering for the most basics of tasks that he could not possibly screw up and resented it greatly. He knew not their faces, nor their names, but he grit his teeth and carried out their requests, for at least part of him was glad not to have to make any more hard decisions. The fighting came to a head around a smelter, and the Imperial vanguard rushed in. His first inclination was to flee, until he felt the touch of the canticle, and knew that a Royalist force was near.

It was after that battle that he finally gave his report. That he had done what he needed to do. Part of him sought forgiveness, but there was none to be found. He was a monster in their eyes. And he accepted that. For it took a monster, to bring down a monster. Grand Marshal Vorann’s army might have been broken, but the Marshall himself was not dead and he would not rest until that was remedied. Unfortunately, until the Grand Marshall resurfaced from wherever he licked his wounds, he would have to bide his time. Perhaps Marshal Tarkef would prove an acceptable replacement for the meantime…
 
Jan 7, 2009
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#5
Readying the Fleet

This one is mostly the internal musing of Lord Admiral Ondrell Bass, my political game character. Lets just say it's hard being the representative of a nation off the coastline to a council of mostly landlocked lords.


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“Lord Admiral, Kirisakan ships spotted off the coast, they’re here,” came the voice of the messenger. With a nod, the Lord Admiral put down his quill and stood, stretching his shoulders. “Well then, I suppose I should go down to greet them. I trust Daimyo Kazeshiro has been informed?” “Of course, Lord Admiral.” “Very good then. I will be along shortly.”

As he was left alone once more in his study, the Lord Admiral cast a final glance over the shipping maps and manifests he was studying and copying notes from. It had cost him a few political favours to get these; perhaps more than it should have, but such was the nature of the Alliance, but they were authentic, and detailed. His desk contained information on Byzoria’s trade routes and what seemed to be an up to date guide to their semaphore codes. Even some of their smuggling routes, which would certainly help keep them from slipping past the blockade. It was everything he needed to know in order to properly cripple the trade city and then some. It was a pity that it had proven so difficult to get support for this proposal, the other Lords of the Alliance had no trouble accepting that a harsh blow to Imperial Logistics would do a lot for the war effort, yet everyone seemed to think that such things fund themselves. Bunch of landlocked fools.

He greeted Kazeshiro on the way down to the docks, who was already reminding him what a great supporter of the blockade he had been. It is all well and good for nations to support one another, but Andevin’s navy will remain her own. Even if he were swayed, there is no way the rest of the council would allow Andevin ships to be commanded by another as part of some combined Royalist fleet. For that matter, Councillor Leroi has been advocating withdrawing from the Royalist Alliance even since the slight of naming Kazeshiro Grand Admiral of the Royalist Fleet, and saw nothing but the perception of a man trying to steal Andevin warships for his own personal fleet. Bass thought better on that regard, at least. Skeptical as he was, the Lord Proven from Kirisaka genuinely did seem to believe that a combined force, both at land and at sea, commanded not in the name of a nation but the alliance on the whole was the best thing for the future. And he was persistent, the man had arrived but weeks after he Bass had returned from the council, and had regularly met with the Council of Andevin to try and convince them to commit resources to this combined fleet. A noble dream, he supposed, but one that he doubted would see reality, at land OR at sea. The Royalist Alliance was built on the ideas of Independence and Self Governance; too many would surely see this tithe of troops and supplies into the alliance as an attempt by the Lord Elect to set himself up as supreme ruler. And Mattias certainly did seem the type, whispering honeyed words and seemingly doing anything he could to retain power. Regardless, Andevin was simply too independent and stubborn to ever commit forces to a fleet out of its control; it was hard enough for the admiralty to convince the various islands to commit to it.

Still, as he reached the docks, it was good to see the Kirisakan fleet glide into the harbour. And not far from here, the drydocks where new warships were under construction to bolster Andevin’s fleet, things were going smoothly. Still, there was still one element of promised aid missing.

After the ships had docked and their inventories check over, Ondrell Bass nodded. “Any response from Lord-Proven Elesnata?” he asked his aide. “Drazin did promise us monetary aid to help fund the construction of further vessels and the purchase of supplies.” The aide’s face fell. “No, Lord Admiral, I’m afraid not. It’s beginning to seem like there may have been a… logistical error.”

The Admiral nodded gravely. “Well, the council will be meeting shortly to discuss the upcoming fleet action. You are welcome to join us, Daimyo Kazeshiro, although the first part of the council meeting will need to be behind closed doors, you understand.” Internally, the Lord Admiral gave a sigh. “ I daresay Councillor Leroi will have a merry day over this…” he muttered darkly.
 
Jan 7, 2009
2,944
0
#6
Re: Legend of Markoth fiction collection

More of Admiral Bass. The long and short of it is Merchant the Guard aren't real soldiers. Buncha posers.

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Ranks of soldiers in bright burnished steel breastplates and long blue and gold capes marked down the main road, accompanied by drums and fanfares. On each, bright displayed on the front of their armour stood the pelican of Andevin, its symbol one of strength, independence and sacrifice for the good of her people. And on a bluff overlooking the parade, a small cluster of ragged sailors watched on, scowls on their faces.

“Buncha toy soldiers,” one of them spat. “Them clurs wouldn’t know a right fight from a good fart.” “Too right there, Toof. Alls they know is marchin and polishing their swords, and I’s met harets better at both.” “I think we all know about you and the harets, Beece” “They love me on account of me generous package.” “More like ya generous coin purse, ya miserable drunken swit.”

This harmless account of name-calling might have continued were it not for two richly appointed gentlemen approaching the bluff, which resulted in a number of elbows into ribs all around as they settled down to watch the figures approach. One, dressed in rich red and green colours, turned up his nose at the group of them. “Honestly, this rabble is why we’re still considered so poorly by the Alliance,” he said in a lofty voice, before extending an arm out towards the parade. “If our sailors acted more like these fine soldiers, with a little dignity and discipline…”

The other gentleman, garbed in Andevin blues and green, a great pelican of white on his chest and a large tricorn upon his head cleared his throat. “Are you suggesting, Guildsmen Yorsh, that these sailors lack discipline? Why, they haven’t once pulled a weapon on you yet for unfavourably comparing them to your little toys soldiers,” he replied in a mild tone, but loud enough to easily be overheard by the group, who smirked at the retort.

“Those drunks? Bah, the lot of them probably lost or sold what weapons they had for a drink and a whore,” the guildsmen replied, still in his lofty voice of disdain. “Marines! Draw knives!” came the Admiral’s reply, a crisp clear order leaving no room for doubt, and standing before the pair of them was the group of sailors, no longer lazing about casually but in fighting stances, each holding a long dagger in their preferred hand. The admiral returned back to his more casual tone of speech, “You still doubt the discipline of our marines, Yorsh? I’m sure the sergeant here would like to show your toy soldiers a thing or two, wouldn’t you sergeant?” “Yes Admiral!” “But you won’t, will you admiral?” he asked with slight amusement. “Of course not admiral! The useless videons are still Andevin, admiral!” was the reply. “Very good then sergeant, you and your men are free to go about your business.” “Thank you, yer admiralship sir. Come on boys; let’s find us someplace that stinks a little less, eh?”

“There you have it, guildsmen,” the admiral added mildly as the group of marines wandered off. “I trust you were paying attention, I’d hate to have to repeat this lesson of Andevin discipline to you. Who knows, next time you might be right and they’ll cut your throat for you. You did always love to be proven right, after all.” With that, the Lord Admiral strode away laughing to himself, leaving the merchant visible paled. Bah, toy soldiers indeed.