Vox Populi Forum
How vexatious the difficulties of communication across oceans can be! You were obviously unaware the younger Wildemoon had contrived to be aboard "May Sun" to complete his recovery. Somehow, despite months at sea and adventures ashore, I, too, was unaware of his proximity.
So imagine our surprise when Wildemoon II appeared on-deck, harpoon in hand, in an effort to capture a creature of the deep! He was unable to capture the beast, but he slew it with a single, well placed toss into it's eye. Fortunate, indeed, as our "Cog" of straw surely lacked the strength to stand up to the thrashing of the beast, doubly fortuitous that such a skilled warrior would join us for our battle against the Incago.
We brought our makeshift vessel into the bay serving as port for the capital city of the savages. There was a strange, rustic beauty to the city - terraced landscapes and sheer cliffs rose to complexes of stone. Ziggurats rose above the tops of the tallest trees, and one mighty edifice dwarfed all others - surely the home of their barbaric Emperor.
Francois, Harmon, Wildemoon II, Moridin the Pyrate Captain, Diaz and I went ashore with our two-hundreds-plus of French soldiers, and our recruited "Pepper People." Our dogs, horse and cannon were divided into units by Diaz (acting as Commander). Harmon led the Cavalry, Moridin the hounds, and I the artillery. From the beach to the city center was an uphill battle - literally. Despite the tactical disadvantages in fighting up the terrain and the sheer number of Incago, our superior skills, temperament and weapons would surely turn the tide in favor of the Godly.
The sun was starting to drop to the west as the slaughter began. The first rank of natives fell like so many dominoes, but the dogs were lost. Harmon's exhortations inspired the men and the second rank of foes was swept aside like so many tokens on a game board.
The savages threw torches into the brush. This restricted our use of horse and cannon. They were unable to advance up the narrow channels left untouched by flame. Moridin stumbled, taking a vicious gash the the thigh from an unusual native weapon of jagged, black rock affixed to a core. Moridin bound his wounds and soldiered on. Meanwhile, Wildemoon II lost his gun cleaning kit to a grasping savage's hand. Harmon, spotted a winding gully to bring us into the enemy's third rank. He rose to point the way, and was almost pierced with a spear for his actions. Tony the Fop, Harmon's loyal manservant, jumped between Harmon and the incoming missile, sacrificing himself in the process. A toast to the young Fop! His death brought advantage to our side.
With the fall of the sun under the ocean waves the battle paused. Hard rock was our bed, and fitful sleep a release for most. With the dawn came the discovery that our horses had spooked and scattered in the night. No matter. The slaughter began anew.
With hundreds of native warriors slain, it was Francois to discover that these unholy primitives sent their own women and children into the battle. Sentiment has no place in battle, so the Swashbuckler cut them down like any other hostile.
Over the screams of the battle new sounds became clear. The voices of those French troops who had been captured echoed throughout the cliffs. Those good men screamed and pled to Almighty God for sweet release from the tortures they faced. Did one man beg to not have his beating heart cut from his chest? We of the Vert Valliant steeled ourselves with prayer, but the brutish Pepper People lost their taste for their own vengeance. They scattered, abandoning us to do their dirty work. Rest assured this base cowardice will be remembered. At the time it seemed the enemy now had a minor advantage.
Diaz lost his sword and was knocked unconscious by a well-thrown stone. Wildemoon II fell back to protect him. This meant their forces were not among those who found themselves under a new and cunning ploy from the foul Incago. Baskets of scorpions and spiders were upended from the cliff tops. To avoid being stung by the venomous bugs, we needed to tread with care, and many a cloak was briskly snapped to fling off a creeping creature. With our advance slowed, the savages had clear advantage.
A cry arose from the masses of troops; these barbarians wore torcs of pure beaten gold! The more undisciplined of the soldiers began looting bodies. The skies opened with a splattering rain, and a plan of trying to shift our artillery to bring them into firing arc abandoned. Our piled stores of powder were instantly soaked. With the loss of manpower and cannon, our attacks were now at a significant disadvantage.
Francois' unit attempted a decoy run, and found themselves driven back to the beach. Harmon's force had a cliff crumble underneath them. No injuries in the mudslide, but they, too, were deposited on the beach. I brought my troops into the breach Harmon's force had created and held that line. Francois and Harmon returned the looters to disciplined ranks. This brought our odds in battle back to parity.Francois moved to reinforce downed Diaz's troops, Harmon, to bring reinforcements to the front line. The sudden charge of fine French once more turned the tide to our clear favor.
We cleared the cliffs and pressed into the city. Again, the women and children of these strange people were too stubborn to retreat in the face of the loss of their dedicated warriors. Despite barrages of rocks, more baskets of spiders and... toys? our luck stayed true - yet we were all on heightened alert as we knew carelessness would surely injure one of our own.
Diaz awoke on the beach in time to meet Wildemoon II, who had fallen back to reform his forces and Diaz's into a final crushing reserve. As their combined company made their way back up the now unguarded slopes, Moridin's unit is first to spot a man atop the largest ziggurat. Surely this was the Emperor himself! A fresh line of warriors stands between us and the Emperor. I brought my men into this last fray, and, together, we whittled away at the Emperor's bodyguard. Wildemoon's reinforcement charged in, and Wildemoon led the cries of "Vert Valliant!"
With the last vestiges of enemy forces surrounded, it was Moridin who smashed through the Emperor's personal bodyguard, bringing this false God-King to his knees in surrender.
Thousands of the indigene fell before our mere two-hundred, yet thousands more remained to bow to the victorious Vert Valliant. Offerings of food and native drink were brought forward and we celebrated out victory long into the night. The superstitious, uncultured natives kowtowed before the superior men of the Olde World. Before the morning Incago canoes had already been dispatched to spread the tale of our victory. The name "Vert Valliant," and even the names of many of her members will shortly be known to all the tribes of this New World.
We amused ourselves during the celebrations by planning on how to spend our riches one the plundered gold of the Incago had been taken to the Olde World. Wildemoon II intended on giving gold to the Crown to upgrade the Port of Marseilles, Harmon to invest in the burgeoning colony of "New Valliant." Diaz, of course, planned to use his wealth in the colony of Alexandria, when he returns to his governorship. Francois, in his position of Warden of the Realm, intended on using his gold to fortify his own company and use them to crush the Bavarians. Moridin the Pirate Captain chose to buy his own ship and crew (the "Petrel"), while I, of course, chose to invest in my own ship of exploration. The name "Guiding Star" has a nice ring to it...
First, however, we must return to France. Perusal of our charts indicated that it was likely a shorter voyage to continue to the west. This would have us circumnavigate the globe, so this planned suited me just fine. Captain Nag og Dag and King's Physician Conrad Gessner may have left us marooned and stolen the glory of being the first men to sail to the east by travelling west, but we will be shortly behind them, in a vessel made of twigs and straw. The glory of our ignoble circumstances will outweigh the glory of being first, surely...
Or was fortune to truly bless us? By some miracle our little boat of straw and twigs overtook the May Sun. With righteous men at the helm, the winds chose to favor the bold. Bold? To take an Olde World three deck galleon from a vessel made of straw, twigs and mud seems audacious indeed, but, once before, I and several of my compatriots took a Galleas from an unarmed raft!
Perhaps the crew of the May Sun were surprised to see our unconventional vessel. Perhaps they mistook us for natives and chose not to "waste" cannon on our ship. Perhaps it was the skills of our Swashbuckling pilot, Francois. Whatever the reasons, we pulled alongside and, while we were badly outnumbered, we began to board. I was first aboard, and my pistol ended the life of May Sun's pilot. Francois led the Assault into a spate of Carnage Below. Wildemoon II cut a swatch through soldier and sailor (later, it was agreed that Wildemoon II had become truly Swashbuckling). Harmon went even further below-decks into the hold where he discovered Nat og Dag, himself, had been ousted and marooned elsewhere. Conrad Gessner had taken the title of Captain, but the poor performance of May Sun's crew merely highlighted how unworthy he was to clam such. By now the fight was dying down, with mere Mop Up left to complete when Merd-a-din found Gessner cowering in his cabin. Merd-a-din dragged the man to the top decks.
Merd-a-din's boots met Gessner's face, ribs and crotch, driving the weakling into the deck. Gessner is oddly lucky it was Merd-a-din and not Moridin the Pyrate Captain - while Merd-a-din's boots left their mark, Moridin's knowledge of anatomy and cold cruelty would have hurt much more with less bruising and blood. The crew of May Sun, cowed by the beating of Gessner, fearfully accepted Merd-a-din as the new Captain.
That night, again, we celebrated deep into the night (with proper rum this time, not that cloying wine the savages of the Incago brew!). Diaz believes Wildemoon II is in a position to become a true Merchant Prince in Marseilles. For myself, I hope to have one last chance to Display Skill as we voyage home - one last defining deed to truly earn the proper glory and credit as one of the first crew to circumnavigate the globe. Perhaps Captain Merd-a-din will be kind enough to let me plot our final course west.
Leon Leonard L'eonce
So many tokens on a game board -- red (posted: 6/7/2018)
The mecurial nature of tale-telling. -- Mike Myke Mique (posted: 6/7/2018)
Leave some for our foes in the Old Continent to guess .... -- Bloody Harry Bolelyn (posted: 6/7/2018)
That depends on Bailey and Diaz -- Leon Leonard L'eonce (posted: 6/7/2018)
Pox shall take them -- red (posted: 6/7/2018)
Well, I have three active characters... -- Mike Myke Mique (posted: 6/7/2018)
Swashbuckler of Mercy? -- Bloody Harry Bolelyn (posted: 6/7/2018)
Glorious Fight and Reward Well Spent -- Diaz (posted: 6/7/2018)