[Taocow PBEM] Book 3 - Chapter XVII
mightymartianca at gmail.com
Wed Mar 30 20:02:38 UTC 2016
>> "But now, tell me of yourselves. I know you, Knight Commander Oz, are
>> a New Camelot commander, though your accent puts you decidedly east of
>> here. But what of the rest of you?"
> Oz nods with a smile. "From Cologne, General, but knighted by the
> grace of King Arr'thu." He gestures at the others. "We all have been
> fighting the Splugorth advance since they made landfall. We drove
> them back from the Millennium Tree and saved as many from them
> as we could at Belmont Abbey, as we did at the megacity with the
> Maligs and Fomorians."
>> The General shakes his head. "That is quite an account," he says. "I
>> truly am sorry that you have been cursed. When I was in the regular
>> army, I had a lieutenant who was cursed by a Faerie. Poor bugger
>> urinated wine until his kidneys failed him."
>> "You must be very valuable to New Camelot to have an entire leyline
>> ship and what appears to be a fairly significant company of regulars
>> and militia at your disposal. Even a team of dwarfs out of Wales, if I
>> am to understand things."
>> "It strikes me as a terrible waste of resources for a kingdom under
>> attack by the Splugorth to waste such troops to save a single
>> individual," the General continues. "No offense is meant, Mr. Smythe,
>> but as you can see, with our somewhat limited military force, we know
>> the value of every soldier, every gun, every combat vehicle. Why, with
>> your compliment, we could probably have a new forward ops team.
>> Besides, all you're going to do as you head north is attract the
>> Fomorians' attention, and you will all be dead within a day or two."
> It seems to be the way of social events that women tend to wear dresses
> and gowns to these sorts of things. Fatigues don't seem to be the best
> option either and her Coalition dress uniform would not seem to be the
> best option either. Besides, it was a gift from Vesper and she likes it.
> Initially, she will basically just listen and allow others to talk.
> She speaks up, "Somehow we seem to have always beaten the odds."
> Her tone is almost jovial, as she sometimes has trouble believing it
> herself. "I think that there is some sort of plan for us."
> Her tone turns more businesslike, "If there is any intelligence that you
> might share with us with regard to locations and strengths of enemy
> forces, we would appreciate it."
> "A short rest is appreciated and a meal would not be refused. Still
> we were given the ship and the task to heal our friend Ted here for a
> reason. Perhaps Merlynn the enchanter knows more."
> "As for that creature all of us would like to be rid of it, but for now it
> is something we need to endure till our friend is healed. As Alex said
> though, any information you have on these formorians or other things
> would be appreciated."
> Ted does not know anything about an overarching plan; he figures
> someone is just messing with him. He says aloud, however, "We
> have survived many things both individually and collectively, sir.
> But, as Alex has said, anything you can share with us about
> these Formorians would be appreciated."
> Given how outnumbered they were and how easily this General could
> seize their ship, Oz did not like this turn of the conversation. He nods
> at Alex and Ted. "We did not leave New Camelot with a ley line ship
> and such a large complement, General. King Arr'thu gave his word that we
> would take the leader of one of his irregular forces to the Millenium Tree
> to be healed. The Druid Council sent us north to find as cold iron. It
> seems at each of our stops we encounter monsters preying on the
> vulnerable and brave folk who stand against the rising tide of invasion
> and lawlessness. We help who we can and take on any willing to swear
> to the King's service. Everyone aboard is a King's man today, but not
> everyone started out that way."
> The German Knight Commander smiled. "I suppose it makes sense,
> the helpful outsider sworn on the battlefield ends up leading a unit of
> soldiers sworn on the battlefield."
The General seems to ponder what the company is saying for a good long time.
"I can see your quest is an important one to you," he says finally,
"and I can see that you are operating with the blessing of the King of
New Camelot. I do not take such things lightly. I too have taken
oaths, and when I started my long journey to commanding what was left
of the New Strathclyde armed forces, I was little more than a
non-commissioned officer, so I imagine you and I, Sir Osmar, have a
lot in common."
"There are two issues that I have, and you will have to measure them
as you will. First and foremost, I do not recognize the authority of
New Camelot. I do not wish to go into a long set of reasons for why
New Strathclyde will not ally itself with whomever sits on that
throne. We were betrayed in our hour of need, and while I fully accept
that the warring claims for New Strathclyde's throne were a
significant cause of our defeat and ruination, the fact that New
Camelot's forces left the field of battle is a crime so great that
without due and proper compensation I will not countenance offering
aid to that kingdom or its agents."
"Second of all, even if I were to forgive King Ebor's betrayal, the
fact is that King Arr'thu, wittingly or otherwise, is a puppet of a
demonic force that goes by the name of Mrrlyn. It is Mrrlyn who
convinced Ebor to leave the field of battle, and I am sure that it is
Mrrlyn who sowed the tensions between the rivals of Clan Galbraith.
Oh, ot be sure, it was Mrrlyn in another guise, as the oh-so-wise
counselor Seran Nohuke, but I discovered this truth myself, much", he
points to his cybernetic body, "to my misfortune."
"I have gained information that suggests your company will be
instrumental in driving the Splugorth back and saving New Camelot. So
I am afraid I am left with the unhappy choice of keeping you here. I
will, of course, have to take possession of your leyline vessel,
though I shall see to it that you are reimbursed. Any who wish to join
me are free to, though loyalty will have to be proven."
"And before you think of killing me," the General says finally, "I
urge you to ponder that this facility has three thousand trained
soldiers. You might very well succeed in harming or killing me, but
they will avenge me efficiently. Perhaps you imagine kidnapping me,
and you can certainly try, but it will avail you little."
mightymartianca at gmail.com
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