It takes a few moments to shake off the weariness of the tough week-long ride up through the increasingly barren foothills and jagged peaks.
Twice the winding column passed through that invisible line of the Weird sending snorts through your sweating horses and long moans from the wagon oxen. Though it's early spring back in the cantons, this forlorn region seems to have forgotten that fact, especially at night when cold winds buffet the tents and drive soldiers back into their own thoughts.
Worn out and saddle sore you finally have spied the bustling camp of the company arrayed in a chaotic sprawl of pavillions, rough tents, and hearth fires around the tight, bleak walls of the watchfort.
Up here in the mountain pass you can see way off below you to the east the vast horizons of the steppes. A feeling of sudden apprehension wafts over you as you also note that out there in the Sea of Grass and dark, unfamiliar foothills lays a cruel, measureless enemy. Just down the road in the valley below lies the burned-out shell of the ill-fated border colony of Trnova as a grim reminder of that fact.
You, the motley, trans-dimensional crew of fresh column leaders and their deputies, are ushered into the largest of the tents, a tall-poled glittering mass of black and silver silk stripes to meet your Captain, Raugraf Androj Andimachus the Younger.
Centered around an elaborately illuminated map on a rough campaign table stands a young man, really almost a boy. The simplicity of his unadorned field plate stands in strict contrast to the elaborately flourished burgonets and breastplates of the ancient-looking and foppish staff officers around him. He greets each of you with a too-firm handshake and a cold, hard stare that belies his boyishness.
He's quick to get down to the brass tacks, stabbing at the campaign map with his dirk for emphasis: “Our mission is simple gentlemen...and...err...less gentle but useful others,” he states briskly. “Find and destroy the enemy without remorse or mercy.”
“Now here's we are at for the next fortnight. The froghemoth's share of the company will remain here at the fort until we can ascertain where the enemy's main body is. The following detachments will reconnoiter in force the surrounding area.
Ba Chim's column will head along the ridge lines to the north. Evagoras's command will head northeast along the edge of the bowl. The Sea Blood's column will head east and investigate the trade road and kozak camps while the not-so delicate ladies of Barbarella will head south and east. Last but not least we send Angorax down south towards those ruins and caves.
Your standing orders are thus:
1. Scout all potential hiding places in your zone for the next fortnight before reporting back here. Every third day you should send a messenger back here reporting your current status.
2. If you engage the enemy in inferior numbers you are to give battle.
3. If you find them in equal or superior force, you are to disengage and either a. combine with any close columns to give battle, or b. delay the enemy while sending word back to the bulk of the company here.
All the rest is in your able hands. Any questions?”
OOC info for players.
Personal Stance. On a weekly basis (minimally, feel free to drop me a note at any time), you will let me know what your character's basic attitude to risk and reward is: foolhardy, normal, or craven. Taking more risk will make you more likely to be harmed or lose property in a battle, but also much more likely to reap rewards. The converse holds true (your not likely to get much out of a battle at craven level for instance).
Personal Decisions. I may drop you a short email from time to time asking for a simple decision. Say if you are facing a particular opponent in a combat or you or your unit encounter something. Do not feel all hung up on
Graft. This being the Hill Cantons, chances to make a little “bonus” dosh abound in the chaos of the company. CHA, position in the company, being a mountebank or thief, and whatever precautions you take will help determine success. Drop me a line if you wanted to go the crooked route.
Column Stance. You will tell me your column objectives, line of march, and standing orders a couple times a week. Including hex numbers will be very helpful when talking about things on the map.
Column Decisions. I will be sending you short emails as above asking for choices of what to do based on what's happening with your column. If things get to overwhelming with the email part I may call for a special G+ session to sort through it all.
Supplies. Your column can carry up to a week's worth of trail rations, feed for horse, and other supplies without supply wagons. A half-week will not penalize movement, over that will you will get a small penalty to movement. If you want to hump supplies over a week's worth, you'll need to drag along some wagons which will slow movement especially in areas without roads (you are assumed to have access to enough wagons to do so).