Best Laid Plans

Llael- formerly a free nation and now largely conquered and occupied by Khador

Gywen steered his massive warhorse Beucephalus up to the edge of the wood line where Lord Agean sat on his horse looking out from the hilltop toward the nearby mountain valley below. Seeing the Amethyst Rose gun mage engrossed in studying the valley and the tell-tale rising smoke of several Khadoran warjacks, Gywen sat in silence waiting.

Several long minutes passed before Lord Agean turned to his friend and subordinate (previously in the now-disbanded Llaelese army and presently in the Llaelese Resistance). “Gywen, I count three, maybe four, heavy warjacks, plus an assorted number of infantry- most likely Winter Guard.”

“Indeed my Lord” Gywen replied, “the forest hides much of their force, but the scouts have reported that they have significant numbers, too much for us to take the fight to, even with the terrain to our advantage.”

“The Khadoran bastards are worried” Agean laughed. “Probably tired of us running amuck across the country sabotaging their supply lines and infrastructure, tired of us killing their countrymen. Serves them right for invading us, they should get the hint.” Agean turned to Gywen, seemingly in good spirits despite the approaching Khador force. “Has Darren plotted a course to our next target? It’d be really pleasant to hit that big ammunition depot on the outskirts of Elsinberg.”

“It would indeed my Lord, but something else has come up, something most urgent. Our forward scouts have reported another force advancing on our position, this one from the north- Protectorate led by a Scrutator. They also are too sizable to attack head on.”

“Is it the same Scrutator that our contacts warned us about- the one that has been making inquires about me?”

“Unknown my Lord, but it seems likely as we are quite far from the main Protectorate lines. It could also be a deep reconnaissance force or saboteurs like us interested in harrying the Khadorans. Morrow knows they aren’t friends either.”

“Sounds like we’re in a bad spot either way” Agean signed. “Either both forces are looking to attack us, or they are going to attack each other and we’ll be stuck in the middle.” Agean stared in thought at the rising trails of smoke from the approaching Khadoran warjacks. Beucephalus snorted and shifted his stance in the silence.

Finished with his contemplating Agean spoke, “Go with Darren. Take the majority of our force and continue the campaign. The Khadorans will follow you and hopefully the Protectorate as well. I’ll use the distraction to slip away and meet up with you back in Elsinberg for the fireworks.”

“My Lord, don’t go at this alone. Let me accompany you. My sword will…” Gywen started.

“Be needed with Darren and the others” Agean stated. “We don’t have many here that are true soldiers. Motivated, patriotic, yes, but not fighters like you and Darren. Who will step up if things get hairy? Gywen stay with them. I will take some of the more capable of the bunch and two of our scouts.”

“But…” Gywen started again.

Gywen, this way is best and you know it” Agean cut him off. “A small group will be easy to miss in the confusion of three larger opposing forces converging on each other. Send word to Darren. I will head out in the hour.”

Gywen knew that his friend’s mind was set and there would be no convincing him otherwise. He spurred Beucephalus into the woods to find Darren.

Six weeks later in Caspia

Lord Toryn sat down and accepted the cold drink that the servant handed him. Its taste was a refreshing delight after his afternoon constitutional visiting various family business holdings. But now it was time to get down to some business of his own Toryn thought as he opened the financial ledger for his ‘Jacks of All Trades mercenary company. Toryn expected his treasurer, Loomis, to arrive at any moment.

The servant walked back onto the patio, “Lord Toryn, my apologies sir but you have a visitor.”

“Yes, Reginald. I have been expecting Loomis. Go ahead and send him in” Toryn replied. “And bring one of these out for him” he said holding up his drink.

“It’s not Loomis my Lord. He says his name is Hubbard and he has some dire news about your uncle, Lord Agean.”

Best Laid Plans

For Profit and Glory! taddow