The Tiran Wars: Liberty, at all Costs

Discussion in 'Campfire Stories' started by Peril, Oct 1, 2011.

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  1. Lord Regal

    Lord Regal The West Team Sheriff

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    Things were moving a little too fast for Joshua's liking. The debate about the Jehannan army he could understand. Daner's interjection about a key...stone, or something, and Leilani and Mei going all excited about it...less so. The conversation veered off into territory he had no hope of following, so instead he started mulling the options of what to do with the army currently marching on the capital...his army, if he wanted to be technical about it, though that thought...that he controlled an entire army, scared him. He hadn't been the leader of his mercenary group, and he'd been a terrible prince. Being in control of a literal force capable of attacking another nation was daunting as anything he'd ever considered before. Not to mention he had the nation he'd grown up with under his dubious rule as well. It was all a bit overwhelming, he didn't know how his mother handled it all. Though she never had an overzealous regent taking what felt like the first excuse possible to come attack Khitai. That was exactly the opposite of what they should be doing...the Jehannan army was too newly rebuilt for that. But they were already here, and getting them out undetected would be almost impossible. This...he didn't know what to do. He really, really didn't. Letting them press on would be an act of war he couldn't take back. But backing out could cause them to be ambushed, leading to war anyways, and Mei was...vehement about why she thought they should help. The wrong choice could be catastrophic, and the more he thought about it, the less sure he was getting. How was he supposed to lead the entire country when this one decision, his first real one since he'd taken the throne and then absconded immediately. There wasn't a good solution...he needed a third party opinion, one who wasn't going to automatically side with one of the two options. But the only other ones he could talk with about this were women who had both tried to kill him at one point...

    There was no choice but to bite the bullet...he wasn't following the conversation here anyway. So deciding, Joshua briefly considered between the two, but it really wasn't a contest, all things considered. As much as he would prefer talking with Alia, she wasn't going to give him the time of day right now...despite the fact it hadn't been his fault and he'd ordered it stopped the moment he could. That meant..."Glasya...how much of the last conversation did you hear?" he asked, looking with some concern at Sync, still out cold, as he did so. He'd catch her up to speed as much as needed, then: "I'll be honest. I don't know what to do. There doesn't seem to be a good option. You've been alive far longer than I have...what would you do in my position? Regardless I'm going to have Khalid or Mei furious with me, so there's no winning there, but...there has to be some way forward where we don't ruin the security and integrity of both Jehanna and Khitai, right?" If the Ifrit didn't have ideas he'd risk Alia's ire, but hopefully there was something she could offer...even if it wasn't a perfect solution...
     
  2. braetwalda

    braetwalda Well-Known Member

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    Upon hearing his voice, Glasya would ever so slightly turn her head within the hood of her cloak to listen as he asked her advice concerning the current "well my first piece of advice would be; Don't call a woman you're asking for a favour old!" she said in a tetchy voice clearly less than impressed by his comment about her having been alive far longer than he had.

    Yet despite his faux pas she would pause to consider the situation before beginning to answer his question as a gloved hand continued to stroke Syncs hair as his head rested within her lap "I have never had any formal training to be a monarch and I fear the politics of my homeland are far more...violent… than you would be comfortable with however from what I can gather your first mistake is not acting like a king and running away at the earliest opportunity and then whining when the man you left in charge of your country makes decisions you do not agree with...in short, grow up! and start acting like a king and things like this won't happen!" she snapped with Joshua catching a brief glimpse of a pair of red eyes within the shadows of her hood before she turned her head down once again to tenderly look upon his double "as for your current predicament...you need to take control of that army before it has chance to carry it out any standing orders it has whatever they may be...as for what you do with it once you have regained control is entirely up to you; Khalid is first and foremost your sworn man, he will follow your orders even if you have to remind him which of you is king and as for Mei it is the people of Jehenna that are your primary concern and when you finally marry that poor girl they will be her concern too, not the people of Khitai which is something you may wish to remind her of” she said, leaving it entirely up to him as to how he did that “...oh and Joshua should you be wanting to retain my services as an Adviser I would expect certain...favours...in return" she said with a smile that although hidden by her hood he knew would be upon her face.


    She had hoped that Red had been mistaken and that what she had seen could be easily explained away but sadly that was not to be the case. The description the mercenary had delivered of the creatures he had mistakenly called Jiangshi, though she supposed that was as good a name for them as any, was far too close to that of the ones she had encountered within the village for there to any mistake “They are not Jiangshi, or at least not in the same sense of the stories Leilani and I are familiar with they are…something else…” she said, pausing to consider how best to add her own experiences of the creatures to that of Red’s before continuing “we had the misfortune of encountering such a group of creatures during our travels; they abhor sunlight and fire is the most effective way of slaying them and the…worms…that reside within them, I know little more than you I am afraid and I am unsure to what the best course of action would be” she said with an apologetic shrug.

    As much as she wanted to steer clear of them and try and forget that the wretched creatures existed she feared that to do so would be the height of foolishness and that they had no other choice but to try and destroy them.
     
  3. Lord Regal

    Lord Regal The West Team Sheriff

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    Well, it wasn't like Joshua hadn't known what kind of response he was going to get asking Glasya for advice, but it still smarted to be told he was acting childish. Not like it was any less true simply because he wished it wasn't. "I never thought I'd be any good at the job of running Jehanna. Why I left...especially the second time. Thought someone working alongside my mother for most of his life would do a better job than I could and all that. Should've thought better of it after the mess with the Silvertongues..." he cast a guilty look at Alia as he muttered that. He hoped she'd realize he had been serious when he said he hadn't made the call, but even so...he understood her point of view. "You're right though...my duty is to Jehanna, regardless of what people might want. Mei too, though I can't claim I'm looking forward to that conversation...technicalities aside she did grow up here, it's only natural she'd want to help. We should pull the army out if at all possible..."

    It was only then that the Ifrit's last words really sunk in, causing the monarch to look over at her, concerned. "When you say...favors...what exactly are you thinking?" Depending on what she was implying...he did owe her for helping, but some favors would be too much for him to agree to...
     
  4. braetwalda

    braetwalda Well-Known Member

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    As the sulked over being told off, Glasya would simply roll her eyes within the confines of her hood as he complained about the regents decision to eliminate the entirety of the SiIvertongue dynasty, a perfectly sound move in her opinion though like she'd said she was used to a more brutal form of politics "Joshua dear, If memory serves not only did that family betray you they tried to have you killed...their deaths not only serve as a suitable warning to others who have considered seizing the throne in your...absence...it has also removed a powerful foe from your back, I mean did you seriously think they would let the execution of two of their number pass?" she said, laughing darkly at her perceived naivety of his feelings over what had transpired. Surely Alia's rather feeble attempt on his life was proof enough of this fact?

    By this point however Joshua had realised the enormity of what she had asked of him and quite rightly wanted more information as to what exactly he was promising her in return for her services as an adviser "relax Joshua...I'm not asking for anything sinister, I'm merely asking for a place within the royal court for myself and Sync along with all of the titles, estates and rewards due our respective positions" she said chuckling lightly before delivering what was perhaps the more crucial part of the bargain "...of course I would also require you to officially recognise Sync as your half-brother with me as his...hmm...companion" she said flashing an almost predatory smile at the monarch with him catching a glimpse of what appeared to be fangs gleaming within the shadows of her hood.
     
  5. Lord Regal

    Lord Regal The West Team Sheriff

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    "When a tree branch gets diseased, you cut the branch, you don't take the whole tree down," was the slightly hot retort Joshua gave to Glasya's insistence that the regent had done the right thing regarding the Silvertongues. "I don't defend the ones who actively planned to kill me, but Tali didn't deserve to die. She had nothing to do with the plot to kill me, and frankly, I don't blame Alia for wanting revenge for that. I just wish she'd realize it wasn't me that ordered it." He trailed off, scowling, before turning to the other issue at hand. "I'll admit I'm surprised you want official recognition within the social hierarchy of Jehanna, but..." he sighed. "I won't say no to giving you a title, we can discuss exactly what when this is all over. You've saved my life, that's reason enough for people to accept, seeing as they'll jump into a war because someone stabbed me not knowing who I was...even if it wasn't really me. And ever since you and Mei officially separated you...you've gone a long way towards soothing my concerns about you, so I won't say no from that angle either." The Swordmaster was quiet for a moment. "Sync...I'll admit I still don't like the cover story you came up with for him. Like it or not it lowers my father's name. Not that I really have a better idea, but still." He looked down, concern flashing over his face as he looked at the sleeping form of his magical twin. "He seems destined almost to spend most of his time unconscious. He's still breathing fine, so I don't think he's dying, but...he should've woken up by now." Another sigh. "Look, you've given me reasons to trust you the last while. Sync I'm still on the fence about. His emotions are tempestuous, and I'd like to see more of him before I agree to anything there. I'm not saying no offhand, I just don't want to say yes carelessly either. I'll give him the same opportunity I gave you, just with...less begrudging, I guess I'd call it. Is that fair?"
     
  6. braetwalda

    braetwalda Well-Known Member

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    "...and sometimes it is better to remove the tree than risk it falling upon your house" Glasya said in counterpoint to Joshua's tree analogy, though it was becoming pretty clear that they would have to agree to disagree on this particular point or risk being embroiled in a long and pointless argument over something that couldn't be changed "either way it doesn't matter, what's done is done" she said with a curt hand gesture that signalled she was done talking on the matter.

    With Joshua moving on to the matter of the terms she had set out she would find herself pleasantly surprised to hear that he was willing to accept her as a member of his court stating that in his eyes at least that she had made up for most, if not all, of her past sins though she was still hurt to learn that such feelings didn't extend to Sync, with his comment concerning the fact that it didn't look like he would waking up anytime soon prompting a glare from the Ifrit "My powers are returning Joshua and I am growing stronger everyday so rest assured Joshua if he doesn't wake up on his own then I will wake him up" she snarled, suspecting that Joshua would be more than happy for Sync to never awaken and not liking it one bit "I am willing to accept your terms for now, though I think it is hardly fair to judge Sync when he is unable to defend himself, but for now all I require of you is a tent in which for us to shelter...I assume you can arrange this?" she asked in an imperious tone that would have given even Alia a run for her money. He just needed rest was all, once they had somewhere relatively warm and dry in which to shelter then he would be able to recover at his own pace and then he would return to her...and if that didn't work then she would go in and fetch him herself, and gods help anything that got in her way!
     
  7. johannmaximus

    johannmaximus Well-Known Member

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    Red's testimony seemed to convince May of the jiangshi's appearance in this region. Though the jiangshi from the Khitain legends did not perfectly jive with the real world examples, the name would hold up well enough for the moment. As long as everybody understood what the word meant, it didn't matter what moniker was chosen to describe these creatures. It was imperative that they develop a method to reliably remove these creatures from the picture before they caused widespread panic amongst the ranks. That a small group of people experiencing the uncontrollable desire to run away could cause an army to lose was one constant of war that was unlikely to ever change. The last thing they needed was an unknown element, unrelated to the conflict, uncaring of the conflict, sweeping through and destroying the battle lines at a critical moment. These things had to come from somewhere, and Red would probably wind up being tasked with finding that place, and ensuring that no more jiangshi came from there again. Though if the easiest way to kill them was through fire, then May would probably have to accompany the Strike Team on this mission. Her fire generating capability very well might save the group.

    "I develop a plan," Red announced to May. "I must documents on zangschi to write. However, we must the zangschi to eliminate. The Strike Team will the abandon village tomorrow again to visit. We will the source of the zangschi to investigate. May, I request your assistance. You have fire. Zangschi have aversion to fire." Red hoped that May would be able to make the leap to understanding why it would make sense for her to accompany the Strike Team on the mission. But before Red could leave, one important task would have to be completed. "I will a report about the zianschi tonight to write. We must this report to distribute. Soldiers must understand the threat." It was imperative that soldiers understood what they were facing up against. Even if the jiangshi couldn't be eliminated before they started interfering with the conflict, their panic inducing effect could be minimized by the dissemination of effective knowledge. "I must a fire delivery system also to develop. It has difficulty. I will a solution to find." The difficulty in such a system would be in deciding the best way to deliver fire to the jiangshi. Fire arrows were an option, probably the first solution. But they were inaccurate in untrained hands, and archers could easily get overwhelmed. A longer term solution would have to involve a way to cover a large area with fire very rapidly. Probably something that allowed anyone to simulate May's natural ability. Red was certain such a system could be designed, it was just a matter of figuring out how to distribute the fire effectively.
     
  8. braetwalda

    braetwalda Well-Known Member

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    Between the arrival of the Jehennan army, talk of ancient dragons and now the imminent threat of the Jiangshi, a name that Mei was still not overly comfortable with, the young mage could see things getting wildly out of control if they weren't careful. They needed to make haste in joining up with the Jehennan army so that they could unite the rebel factions that covered Khitai and march upon the capital city and defeat the Emperor once and for all, which if Daner was to be believed was also the home of the dragon and yet they couldn't leave the Jiangshi to roam free within the Khitain countryside either "Ok, Leilani and myself will accompany you and your men to the village and deal with the Jiangshi, but we must keep this to ourselves! Our company is made up of superstitious farmers, if they learn that Jiangshi are walking the earth they will run for the hills" true, Cato's small contingent of Blade's were made of sterner stuff as were the Soldevi tribesmen but that accounted for less than a quarter of their force! No better to keep this between themselves and quietly deal with it before anyone learnt that such a threat existed.
     
  9. johannmaximus

    johannmaximus Well-Known Member

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    Red was relieved to hear that May was on board with the plan, and willing to come along with the Strike Team. May's ability to torch the jiangshi would definitely be useful in the coming mission. Red was also glad to hear that Ani would be allowed to join them on this journey. The poor girl had been doing nothing but learning and practicing her magic forms and absorbing as much scientific theory as Red could teach her. It would do her good to get out and put some of her theory to practice. However, May's next statement brought a pause to Red's gladness. She was under the impression that there should be no mention of the jiangshi to the soldiers. She was under the impression that they were too superstitous to handle their existence. Such thinking went against everything Red had been taught as a child. "This is the reason the farmers superstitions to have," Red replied, exasperation showing through her tone. "They have knowledge not. They receive education not. They believe gods and spirits their crops to cause to grow. We must the people to educate." Red was certain that her pamphlet would educate the people properly, without giving rise to any fear. It would explain everything known about them so far and the best ways to defeat them. "What do you if a zangschi into the camp to wander? If the soldiers know nothing, then they will have fear. Me must the zangschi to them to explain."
     
  10. braetwalda

    braetwalda Well-Known Member

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    Once everyone had caught up on the events that had led them all up to this point in time the rest of the day was unsurprisingly spent recuperating from the long journey’s they’d all had and the various injuries that had been sustained as a result of them, With Khalid meanwhile leaving to arrange suitable accommodation for the newcomers in between preparing the small company of resistance fighters to begin moving in the morning so that they could intercept the Jehennan army currently marching upon the capital, though whether it was to stop them or join them was still very much up for debate.

    Likewise Red, in between writing her various reports concerning her encounter with the Jiangshi, would find herself organising the strike team for its expedition back to the village, which mainly comprised of her arguing with a Khitainian man by the name of Cato, who upon learning that Sun Mei was to accompany Red insisted on having a company of local swordsmen called Blades escort the young Queen to be. Needless to say this was completely unacceptable and not only ran contrary to the highly specialised doctrines employed by the strike team but would also reduce their pace to a crawl, not that that idiot Cato would accept Red’s clearly logical explanation as to why the Blades couldn’t accompany them on the mission with him simply stating repeatedly that they were honour bound to protect Sun Mei and so would be coming regardless of what Red said. In the end after much shouting, and more than a little mediation from Mei, it was agreed that four Blades would be joining the team to act as escorts for Mei and Leilani who, as it was rather bluntly pointed out, would be unable to maintain the strike teams usual pace anyway and so would require someone to stay behind to keep an eye on them. Needless to say this generated yet more paperwork for Red, though with Leilani unable to join her due to Mei’s return Red had more than enough time to spend on such matters.

    And so it early the following morning that Mei would find herself embracing Joshua as a light snow fell around them, as the strike team broke down their camp and prepared to move “It’ll only be for a few days…I’ll be back before you know it” Mei whispered, though whether this was to comfort Joshua or herself was unclear. It would be the first time that the two of them had been apart since meeting in Tiran yet as much as it pained her to do so they had no choice but to separate and complete the tasks that lay before them alone.
     
  11. Lord Regal

    Lord Regal The West Team Sheriff

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    The morning had come all too early, and Joshua was struggling to contain his bad mood so that it didn't show. "A few days is far too long, we keep finding trouble when we're apart," he groused. "If you meet a magical version of yourself, be sure to win," he continued, chuckling darkly. "Or I guess yours would be an expert weaponswoman? Sorry, sorry," he raised his hands in placation. "You have the twin to my sword with you, don't hesitate to use it if you get into trouble." He didn't elaborate further, nor did he think he needed to. The Wind Tome, the Soul of Jehanna, Excalibur...it was safer the fewer knew what it was, and Mei surely knew what he meant. "Be safe, my love. If anything befalls you...just...be safe. Please." He gave her one last, tight hug, and a kiss before letting go, knowing the longer he prolonged their goodbye the harder it would be to actually leave. He had his own task to do, and the more he focused on it, the less he'd have time to worry. Or at least, that was what he told himself...

    -------------------------------------------------

    It was with a gasp that Sync awoke, breathing hard as he looked blindly around the darkened tent. He had maybe all of a couple seconds to process his surroundings before the hunger hit him, almost causing him to be fruitlessly sick with the force of it. Someone had given his unconscious self water, for while he was thirsty it wasn't painful. The hunger was, and in a way his three month coma hadn't been. Perhaps it was due to overexertion? Still, he couldn't find the energy to sit up or cry out, or in truth do anything but curl up on his side. He was alive, but in no condition to do much of anything. If he could get food...then he could assess the damage on his body and repair what he could...but how was he going to manage that?
     
  12. braetwalda

    braetwalda Well-Known Member

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    They had eventually found her a tent, and although it was nowhere near as spacious as her previous dwelling and she currently lacked the energy to bend the fabric of reality to her will in order to do so, it would more than suffice for her and Sync's needs. She had spent the remainder of the day caring for Sync's needs; making him warm and comfortable under the blankets she'd acquired as well as drip feeding him small amounts of water from a chipped porcelain bowl before eventually falling into a fitful sleep beside him.

    Upon hearing the explosive gasp of air followed by pained whimpering Glasya much to her delight found that her baby boy had finally awoken some time in the early hours of the morning "Gods be praised you're awake!" she exclaimed, fiercely kissing him upon the lips as tears began to stream down her face "Oh Sync I was so worried I was starting to think you'd never wake up! Are you ok? you're not in pain are you?" she asked in a frantic whisper willing to do anything to aid in her beloveds recovery...anything.
     
  13. Lord Regal

    Lord Regal The West Team Sheriff

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    (Has it really been a month since this was posted? That's awful on my end, apologies...I'm kind of embarrassed about that...)

    It was through a fairly large haze that Sync realized that Glasya was there, and that she wanted to help. A mix of emotions rushed through him, but he didn't have the energy to express any of them. "I'm starving," he mumbled, working through the discomfort to relax into a more neutral position, though every motion was labored. "No energy. Not really pain, but not good. Need to eat." He twitched, grimacing, before falling silent, breathing hard. This really, really didn't feel good. He didn't think he was in danger of dying in the next half hour, but...another day of sleep may have been permanent. And he couldn't do that to Glasya...