Assault on the bandit stronghold part 1 - RPLOG

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The forest. It's got trees. And animals. And underbrush... In a moderate sized clearing there is a camp. With fires and things. A good number of tents ranging from haggard and small, to large and... unnecessarily clean. The mercenaries who requested assistance, by the looks of them. A few uniformed, most ragged. Many foxes among their number, one standing lookout for the freeswords that were requested.

Striding through the trees with a level of stealth that is a tad surprising for someone in ful plate, Saviante approaches. Singling out the watchman, the towering Fern drops her minor stealthy facade and steps around the trees and makes a path straight for him. Visor down, shield up, Savi steps in front of and looks down at the guard. Saying nothing, she waits for any others to catch up, or for the sentry to indicate where she is needed.

Rokarion walks slowly and confidently through the forst, following any forms of well walked in paths. The young plant being, wearing their usual bodycovering heavy cloak, scan the forest as they walk, their jasmine scent wafting and mixing with the natural smell of the forst. Rokarion reaches the camp right after the large fern, standing at attention next to the fern, and saying in their usual calm and polite tone, "Hail and well met. I assume you are the Solacious' military contracters? And you are contracting us in turn?"

Angus adjusts his weapons belt, making sure it actually fit right as he walks up to the meeting point with the mercenaries. The fox adjusts his hat, keeping the sun out of his eyes as he follows the quickest path, nodding to the lookout as he steps up next to Saviante.

Unaware of what she might be getting herself into, but also too excited to let it bother her, Jill had caught one of the fliers that made the streets of the Firmament look like a mess, as all the parchment got soggy on the ground and was literally everywhere you looked. Moving around in the forest was far easier for such a short ferret however, with how she just ran low in a quadrupedal stance, leaping dexteriously around trees, until she found the clearing of mercernaries.

Jill stood up her entire 3 feet of height, jaw dropped at the sight of the encampment, filled with armor-clad folks, many visibly hardened with combat experience unlike her... All she had was street-cunning, a cheap leather tunic and a blade, and the dream of becoming something great one day! "Oi!" she yelled out, in a broken accent, hopes high that someone would notice her, waving the recruitment flier about as far into the air she could, "Freesword here! Where dee'a go!?"

The lookout fox shakes his head at Rokarion, the being unarmored, aside from a shield on his left arm. "No, we've no ties to the Solacious. Aside from our commander. We are the mercs, though, aye. Solacious don't pull our strings, no sir." A smirk, before he looks up at Savi. "Strong, big, silent type, eh? Can use one big like you." A yawn comes from the fox; is red fox, if that is important. Glances to both Jill and Angus. "And, you two. Welcome. You go over there, talk to the captain. Has a job for gifted folks." He points to one of the small, haggard tents. The type one would own were they less than wealthy. "He'll sort ya' out."

With a smile hidden behnd her helmet, Savi turns her head to face Angus and speaks in her soft whisper. "No Solacious pulling our strings." she says calmly, but with a hint of merriment encased in her soft low voice. Moving away from the sentry, Savi heads towards the indicated tent, but slows her pace, to allow the others to catch up, and move ahead. She has questions, but not for the commander/captain. As she her slowed pace becmes a dead stop, she turns and eyes Angus, or rather, turns her full face helm towards him in amanner indcating the desire to speak.

Rokarion nods towards the fox, face as serene as ever. Knowing the Solacious family by now, that fox is either lying or have no idea what he is talking about, and the fact that most beings stationed here are foxes and that a Solacious in a noble's garb is here too, does not help the fox's answer either. Rokarion gives Angus a nod, and says, "Greetings Lord Solacious. A pleasure meeting you again. I am assuming you are aware of this merecenary group job?" Rokarion then looks at the fern and at the tent, before heading there. Better not nose in while they speak about whatever family secrets they have.

Angus cocks an eyebrow as he loos around, before turning to Rokarion. "This is the first time I heard there was a camp out here, but who knows." He shrugs his shoulders, turning to look to Jill as he hears another voice. ".....Hello there Miss." He greets the tiny one before he starts walking over to where the supposed captain is.

Jill literally did not know any of all these seemingly sturdy and skilled Freeswords - And one oddly well-dressed for combat. She was new though, so that came to no ones surprise. Not even to herself! Infact, she smiled from one semi-rounded ferret ear to her other, so over-enthusiastic about meeting new folks that she could get to know and fight with. Giggling and bouncing in joy, the short ferret girl dropped back on all four and followed the small group along to the tent, her entire presence beaming in infectious euphoria; uncommon considering the situation they were likely to find themselves in later on. Thus, the ferret quickly ran ahead, past and inbetween all of them to see what mysterious person hid within such a blatantly shabby and repatched tent. "'Allooo?" she could be heard once her head popped inside the said tent, apparently too thrilled to even greet the other Freeswords.

The tent, as mentioned before, is small and ragged. Within, crouching, as it is indeed -that- small, is a shirtless fox. Of the grey variety. "Hmm? You one of the freeswords? Thought you'd be taller..." The scruffy looking commander exits the tent, walking past Jill and out in to the camp. "I'm guessing the rest of you are too, yeah?" He notices Angus' ring. "Ah, one of my cousins. Good to see you." The commander fidgets with his belt, spits on the forest floor. "Thanks for coming. I'm commander Crovhin Solacious, And I'll try to keep it simple, just one second..." Reaches back into the tent, grabs a map and lays it out on the ground. "The last week and a half, there's been attacks by a group of bandits. Big group, fortified camp." He points to the map, which is quite detailed and clean, contrasting his matted fur and odiferous... odor. "Big wooden walls, buildings, about 40 bandits. Outnumnbering my own men by two to one, approximately." Looks up to the group. Except Jill. Doesn't need to look up to see her. "Getting all this?"

Still standing silent, Savi relaxes a bit seeing the fox is actually a Solacious, having had doubts until this moment. Dropping to one knee the giant Fern-who-claims-to-be-a-fox eyes the map witha focus she seldom displays when around others. "How often have their raids happened, where did they strike, what did they take and did you have eyes on their fort during any of these raids?" The rapid fire lines of questions, while still spoken softly, come as a rush, likely unexpected from those who know the Sphinx and her usually silent nature. "Plans can be made, but details must be known." she continues "Do you want to take the fort, or level it?" Her mind racing, Savi is already seeing battle lines and possible formations flicker across the map face.

Rokarion nods to the noble, stil secretly expecting some form of hidden agendas and plans going around here. The youthful looking plant follows the group towards the captain, eyeing him up for a bit, before looking at the map attempting to keep as memeorize as much as details as possible. Seeing as how the fern was handling the question, Rokarion slips his everpresent notebook and pen form under his cloak, and begin sketching down points of interest from the map. The jasmine stops for a second, and gives the ferret a polite nod of aknowledgement before going back to his notes, while his jasmine scent battles with the odor of the fox. Sheesh, ever heard of a bath?

Angus rubs at his chin in thought as he listens to the fox, shaking his head. "I apologize cousin but this doesn't seem like something I can help with, I'll inform someone when I get back and see if they can send reinforcments." He states as he stands up, tipping his hat to all before he departs.

Rather rudely forced to back out of the tent by this Crovhin fellow, Jill walked over to the group and sat on down to look at the map. She wasn't really sure what to look at or how to properly read the various little marks. It's very obvious too, as she just squints her eyes, trying to keep up. "That sounds lik'a lotta bandits.. How well armed are they?"

The odor of Crovhin is too strong for the jasmine scent! Kind of... It just mixes with it. Unpleasant. "That's fine, cousin. Bring more freeswords or family if you can. Right now, we need to know what's in some of these buildings. Don't want to burn hostages. A Wirefur was attacked recently, said her mate was taken by them. No ransom yet. She's who hired us, too." Starts poking at the map. "Had a gryphon fly over, before she took an arrow to the chest. Still recovering over there." Points to a larger, clean tent. "Anyway, she described in detail the layout. So, we have this map. Now, the topography of the region puts this tunnel here:" Points to a mark that says 'tunnel'. "Well, it's small, full of water, and smells like piss. So, it's probably their latrine. Or, one of them."

"Still following? Good. They're not armed very well. Rusty weapons, some of them bronze. No armor. Some muskets, but, a good number of arbalests. Or, crossbowmen, if you prefer that term. Now, we sent in a scout yesterday. She hasn't come back. I want you to get in there, figure out what these buildings are, and get back. Try not to be seen, it could complicate things. If it gets out of hand, blow this horn:" Takes a horn from a passing merc; who seems uninformed by the decision. Offers it to someone. "And we'll come running."

Shaking her head slightly Savi sighs. "This is not a task I am suited for." Shifting her shield, a sheet of metal taller and larger than most of the people here, she continues. "Small areas and stealth... " with a shrug she looks to the others. "I am suited for an assualt, or a defensive action, but nt for skullduggery." With this the plant stands up and considers her options, which at the moment, are few.

Rokarion looks at the map, then back at the Solacious, before thinking for a bit. Ignoring the plant's unassuming attire they were far from being a stealth character, and that fancy double flower for a hair, and jasmine scent did nothing to help. SHaking his head, Rokarion says, "I am not the best person for undercover operations either. Maybe if we know about their patrol paths if any. We could capture one of the patrols and interrogate them, even attempt and disguise ourselves as some of the bandits, but that second option is a bit far fetched, and for the first option we will need to get the information quickly, before they notice the missing patrols."

Jill was focusing so hard at trying to keep up, the tip of her tongue poked out her short muzzle and a hand scratching at her neck. Although she looked like a small, undercover type, she may be too inexperienced and... Loud for this job, so she just stayed quiet, letting the tall ones decide. Or could she do it, with proper, simplistic instruction? She was a Freesword, so she must know something!

Crovhin shrugs. Answers Savi first. "Yeah, you don't really look sneaky, plate mail, tall... I can offer some support for that approach, though. An assault on the front of the stronghold while you slip in the back would work. Can bring you:" Gestures to Saviante. "For the attack. Would need at least one of you to get in and pull my scout though. Less concerned about the Wirefur, but, I'll pay extra for both." The scruffy commander strokes his muzzle, looks over the map. "Draw 'em all to one side, hold their attention. They're bandits, tactics isn't really their thing. I hope."

Turns to Rokarion: "That would work, if they didn't know we were here. They got my scout, she'll probably ahve talked by now. Been watching the paths, havesn't seen any patrols since Alde was grabbed. If that's what happened... Honestly, they don't have uniforms. Throw some furs on you, give you some low quality weapons... Wouldn't be hard, but, getting in and posing as one? A bit harder. If you wait till nightfall, and don't get too close to anyone, might be able to pull that off." Looks over the three of them. "So, which option you like more? Or, have any other plans?"

"That could work. But I say we combine both plans." Looking over the map again Savi goes on motioning to Rokarion and Jill "You two can enter through the honey pit as suggested, and the attack can start at the side oppisite, then move towards the gate." Dropping low again and pointing with a finger Savi begins to detail a rough draft of the attack. "We talk a very small group here" she says pointing drectly across from the latrine path "I am confident we can get them to send out a few to deal with us, at that point the other half of the attack goup strike here" at this savii ponts to an area between the initial attack and the gate. "The reinforcements will be focused on us an likely overrun easy by a surprise attack, while our goal is not to whipe them out now, a fully coordinated attack will dra more attention than a rush at the gates. It will seem more essentual to focus on guarding, that will be a much greater assest to those who go in." Looking to the Fox for confirmation of her iead, Savi sends her glance across the other freeswords. "I don't wish to see any of our sde hurt if it can be helped."

Rokarion turns his gaze to the fox, then the fern. Looks like they will be doing it the stenchy way. Rokarion nods, and answers as calm as ever, "I believe such a plan would probably work. i doubt they would guard their latrines if they are being attacked, which would give me and the Miss a good chance to sneak in, if the Miss actually wants to do that of course. But yes I do agree that it would be better at night." Thinking for a moment Rokarion then adds, "By the way. If they are armed with only basic armour and rusty weapons, how could they hold you off until now? Do they have some kind of mathemagical support?" After finishing what he wanted to say, the jasmine once again went back to sketching the plan on his notebook, and adding some extra notes.

Masking a yawn, the ferret girl pulled herself up on her feet and did a few warm-up stretches. "Sooo, I will just hangin' in dee back and fight when needed, yah?" Yup! She didn't get any of all the tactic talks, since she couldn't understand the map, nor was she aware of what any of the others were capable of. She assumed they didn't need no fancy skills with how poorly equipped the bandits was confirmed to be. She was also getting bored.

The commander nods, smirking. "Good plan. As for magic, they do. That gryphon was way up there. Past what a crossbow can normally reach. Which is pretty damn far. At least one proficient air mage. Maybe more. We have our own, of course. Got a few overconfident cliffside kids. Throwing fireballs and similar wastes of energy... Anyway, should wait till nightfall. Give you more cover for the infiltration. And, keep the flankers hidden longer."

The Solacious squints at Jill. "You might want to go in through the tunnel with the Jasmine. It's where you'd probably be most effective. Though, I'll leave the final decision with you."

Savi finally grows quiet and begns to go through the plan over and over in her head. Knowing there is still a decent ammount of time before nightfall, she takes the extra time to finally look around the camp and take mental stock of what assets they have at their disposal.

Rokarion nods, and keeps on jutting down words and scribbles on his notebook. After a couple of minutes he looks up to the fox, and says, "Cliffsider mathemagicians? I hope you actually hired professional mathemagicians and not some University dropouts who just learned a trick or two." Shaking his head, the plant decides to take a tour around the camp noting the fortifications, the mercenries, and any other thing that catches his gaze, all while writing on his notebook.

Jill left the tacticians to their job, taking a few jumps about on the spot, before she raised her legs up and did a handstand, nimbly sauntering about this way. Thanks to her thin, lithe form, the ferret could easily slink her way basically anywhere. "No problem. I can go with'a flower!" she hummed, still just walking around on her hands, occasionally kicking a leg to get her balance back.

Crovhin just shakes his head at the Jasmine, before rolling up his map again. As they leave, he starts organizing his men. Givng 'em orders and such. Some of them, particularly a whole family of salamanders, are well trained. Most of the foxes aren't however... They act more like thugs than mercs. Somewher between discipline and chaos, the mercs figure out their jobs, then wait 'till nightfall to get setup.

Night falls a couple hours later. Dark night, in a forest. The company is split into the two recommended groups; small to divert and draw out, rest to flank those who are drawn. Once given the order to attack, the small group breaks cover, makes noise, sends a lightning bolt from one of the mages. Drawing crossbow bolts moreso than bandits, though some hop over teh walls to charge them. Not very smart...

Crovhin is with the flank group. "WAit for more to come out..."

Rokarion and Jill find their way to the tunnel easily enough, that photographic memory quite useful, it seems. The tunnel is just large enough for a heavy clanner to fit through, with some difficulty.

Rokarion looks around for any possible sentries or scouts, before looking at the ferret. He then says, calm and polite as usual, "So, Miss. My name is Rokarion. I hope you are ready for this." Wi that said, Rokarion draws a geometrical shape with his finger attempting to create a breeze that would at least alleviate the horrid smell that will most likely accompany the two when they enter, his jasmine scent can only go so far after all. Rokarion then giving the area a final glance, begins moving into the tunnel, knowing that he will have to get a new cloak after he is done trudging into the "liquids" here.

Letting her shield take the brunt of the arrows, Savi decides that people coming over the wall could ruin the plan. Pulling her spear from its ring on her back, the tall fern uses it like a pointer and unleashes a torrent of black flames from her chakra. Sending a gout of dark fire towards the wall, se aims high and attempts to run a line of fire just under the topmost edge, conting on the flames and heat making it hard (if not downright dangerous) to fire over, let alone climb, the palisade. With that She Rases the shield and prepares to face those soliers who have already made the climb.

Not bothered by the fact they were going into the sewer, Jill followed Rokarion right in the heels, although she was impatient about being behind. The Heavy fellow was blocking most of the entire tube, so it wasn't exactly easy for such an active ferret to crawl slooowly through the stinking pipe. She was used to the Firmament gutters however, so she wasn't inclined to start hurling on top of it all. What she DID hate was the fact she wasn't wearing boots or gloves... YUCK!

Savi's dark flames sear the wood of the walls from within, burning it from the inside. Weakening the wood as Dark Magic is wont to do, has more of a psychological effect on the crossbowmen than any kind of physical flame barrier. The dark flames do linger on the wall, looking more impenetrable than they actually are. The bowmen do back away from the edge, start to reload their crossbows.

The few bandits who jumped the wall close with the distraction group, a melee ensues though they are heavily outnumbered and brought to less than half their already small number quickly.

The flankers hold off for now, waiting for a better opportunity to strike. More targets, though it seems less likely that will occur. "Commander, should we go for the gate instead?" "Soon."

Rokaions magic whicks away the smell of urine and other... matter... The tunnel is a thin cave, the water level slowly rising within. Getting deeper as the ferret and jasmine go. There is some light up ahead. Likely the opening into the latrine.

Savi pushes forward, spearing with one arm, guarding with the other. But despite her skill with a spear, her attacks are not aimed to kill, but to maim. Hoping that the screams of fallen will draw out more soldiers, the towering Sphinx tries to make those screams as loud, and as numerous, as she possibly can.

Rokarion moves towards closer towards the light, slowly and carefully, until he reaches the ceiling opening in the tunnel. Rokarion then looks back at Jill, before saying, "Well looks like this is our destination miss. I hope you are ready." Rokarion then looks at hole, and back down at the ferret, before adding, "Would you like me to assist you in scaling the tunnel, Miss?" Not waiting for an answer the jasmine lowers his back a bit, and slips two gloved hands from under the cloak, before cupping them to allow the ferret to use it as a step.

Jill stepped on up on Rokarion's hands with her murky-soaked large ferret paws, pulling her blade ready in the process of getting raised up. Carefully, she peaked her head just out the exit and around, scouting for anyone needing a stab with their pants literally down! If that was the case and Jill wasn't spotted, she would sneak out the hole and towards anyone nearby to prepare a strike. However, if she were spotted, she would leap towards them like a crazed cat pouncing a mouse... Except with a blade for claws.

More bandits fall to Saviante and the mercs around her; those struck by the fern are maimed, painfully, by her spear. They do as she wanted: Screaming out with the pain, bloodstained fur/scales/feathers, wishing they had armor now. Which, causes some to push open the gate and rush out. Likely against whatever orders they may have been given. The gate is again shut quickl and barred.

"Charge!" Shouts the commander. And charge they do, breaking cover, flanking the enemy and overtaking most of them before they can close with the distraction group. A few make it to Savis position, but are outnumbered once more.

12 bandits down.

The latrine is abandoned; empty. A smaller building, built to service only a few bandits at a time. Foul buckets lying about, one overturned in hasty departure most likely. A single open door at one end of the room, to the right of the hole Jill is poking through.

Seeing the inevitable second group rush, and get torn apart by the pincer, Sav smiles under her visor. There is a joy to be had in the slaughter, but more of a joy in seeing a plan come together. Knowing her voice will never be heard above the screams, Saviante ponts towards the fallen, hoping some of the soldiers will deal with them now that they are no longer needed, and pushes forward to help handle with the final few soldiers. "Stay back from the wall." she says as loud as she can, as often as she can, just in case she can be heard.

Briefly, she wonders how the other two are doing.

Rokarion heaves the ferret up to allow her easier access. Seeing her go in, Rokarion decides to do the same. He lifts his cloak behind his shoulders, and climbs upwards until he gets out of the hole and into the room proper. The plant then readjusts his cloak again, before removing his gloves, and storing them into one of his pouches hidden beneath the cloak, he will have to clean his clothes later. Rokarion, then moves towards the exit and peeks out, before whispering to the ferret, "Well if the sounds are any indications. Then the attack is starting at its earnest. We should start searching the place, and be ready for combat."

Rather than charge blind ahead like some bulky, bold brawler, Jill reluctantly stepped aside for Rokarion to take the lead once again. She had no idea how the camp was set up, nor where they were headed. She did however keep holding her blade at the ready, reversed and slightly hidden behind her as she stepped over towards the exit and listened... Then slowly opened the door and peaked outside for anyone nearby bandits. Streets taught her perfectly well how to always be on guard when you're on the wrong turf.

The camp is clear near where Jill and Rokarion are. Most of the bandits are massed by the gate, seems it doesn't stay closed very well without them holding it shut. There are three large buildings, and the latrine. One ahead, one up the path to the left and one nearer the gate. Which is to the right.

The bandits, rather than send anyone out again, release another volley of bolts from their crossbows; heavy, cranked weapons. Takes a bit to reload. Half the bolts ignite; fire magic at work.

The mercenary mages do their best to deflect them, stopping some from getting to the mercs. The rest, mostly on fire, break through the heavy wind gust put up by the mages. Two of the mercenaries are downed; they were the ones who finished the wounded off as Savi ordered. The bolts all miss Savi and the commander.