They're Coming - A Handful Of Units #34
"They approach, Lord."
Ronjermy looked down into his deep reflection in the rooftop garden pool. "How many?"
Namer replied swiftly. "Three stacks, Lord. Too early to tell the rest."
Ronjermy turned from the pool and moved towards the landing deck.
Together they moved towards the landing deck. They moved to stand next to Well Hung's first popped unit.
THIS was a flyer to be PROUD of! As soon as he had gone through the unit options, he immediately put this first in the queue.
The Roc was an impressive beast. A heavy of Dwagon proportions, with brown stone skin, darker brown stone feathers, and obsidian talons and beak. It didn't have the move or altitude advantages of a Kite, but this Roc could potentially beat two Kites in a fight due to it's high hit rating.
They stood together and watched the approach. The flyers were the same type as the one they had spotted last turn spying on them.
And then these arrived today, three turns after Well Hung popped. It seemed that the fish had done its job well, guiding the banner along the current to be found by the first city on the river.
Two stacks were each seven flyers and one rider. The other stack four fliers and four riders. As they approached, Ronjermy smiled and waved. Nobody waved back.
Close enough now to see physical details, Ronjermy saw the thick golden manes of the flying lions, the shimmer of sunlight off the soldier's chainmail coats, the green and gold of the uniform cloth over chainmail, the brown leather of boots and scabbards of slim longswords.
The stacks weren't in attack formation, and the stack with riders made their approach under the white flag of parley while the other stacks held their distance.
Still, the winged lions snarled and looked fierce.
Having left plenty of room, Ronjermy, Namer, and the Roc watched them land. The leader and his warlord dismounted and strode to within speaking distance.
Looking at their stats, Ronjermy saw the leader was a royal prince and his warlord a level 8. The four winged lions were strong combat units but not heavys, their remaining two riders knight class.
Were it a fair fight, 8 on 3 and Mjighty, Ronjermy wouldn't put schmuckers on the outcome.
Ronjermy stood in silence, not bothering to look Overlordly but trusting his long experience as Chief Warlord to do the job.
The newcomers stopped a speaking distance away, not looking particularly friendly. Ronjermy just smiled and neglected to offer a greeting. As did the royal.
It seems he expected to be greeted first, as he had what seemed to be the overwhelming force. His lions continued to snarl. Ronjermy found that rather rude.
There were several long moments that grew into an awkward silence. The two leaders locked gazes, one smiling pleasantly, the other getting more and more perturbed. Even the lions stopped their snarling and looked around, finding somewhere else to look.
When the Roc started to preen itself, the visiting warlord broke the silence. A big, swarthy man, Ronjermy gave him credit for having more tact than his leader.
"Greetings Overlord. Thank you for agreeing to speak with us. It would have been a shame to be forced to defend ourselves against hostility. I am Rebeche, Warlord of King Thispian. May I introduce Prince Donteder, of the Atlan kingdom."
He gave a small bow, the chainmail of his long coat of armor making that sound chainmail makes.
"Well met Warlord. It is clear that you bring honor to your King." He gave a head nod of respect. "This is my chief warlord, Namer. I am Ronjermy, this is my small side under the sun, Korse. Welcome."
He looked to Prince Donteder. "To what do I owe the pleasure of you stopping by?"
The prince clearly didn't like that he was spoken to in such a casual way. "We 'stopped by' because we have been watching you develop your city in our territory.
Perhaps we should have come sooner but it is our duty to investigate such activity. And we are curious, what brought you to this site?"
Ronjermy held back a scoff. They still wouldn't know about it if a clue hadn't been sent downriver.
"Gems." Ronjermy stated. He casually motioned behind him to the mountain. "Lots of them. Big ones. Huge vein in there."
The prince raised his eyebrows and forgot that that wasn't quite the question that he asked.
"And I was tired of being a barbarian, so….starting my own side seemed like a good idea. How hard can it be to rule, right?"
The prince narrowed his eyes again, flushing red. "As I was saying, it is our duty to investigate trespass upon our kingdom. King Thispian is not a violent king, and has commanded me to offer alliance to your side."
"Oh, alliance, great. It's good to have friends as neighbors."
"So you will ally with us then?" The prince looked disappointed.
"I admit, Prince, I don't know much about these things. What does alliance mean exactly, what terms are you offering?"
"Unsurprising that a barbarian would not know the aspects of ruling." The prince said disparagingly. "It means that you will be under -our- protection. It means that you will contribute 50% of your income to King Thispian delivered every twenty turns, and it means that you will assign unit production as King Thispian directs."
Ronjermy kept a half confused look on his face with some effort. "That seems quite expensive. And what if I turn down this offer of alliance?"
The prince smiled. "Then we will be forced to treat your city building as an invasion into Atlan, and we will destroy your tiny side and reclaim this city and its mines as our rightful property". Then Donteder paused, seemingly relishing this, "Alliance means that you get to keep your pretty crown."
Ronjermy had to work hard to keep any hint of pleasantness in his smile. "It is a nice crown, isn't it. Where is yours, by the way."
The prince bristled.
Rebeche, showing he possessed a high degree of wisdom or intuition, warned "Prince, we should go."
Before the prince could respond Ronjermy dropped his easy going demeanor and spoke in the tone he used for overseeing executions. "No Rebeche, you should have left before your arrogant prince offered me the opportunity to be his whipping boy. Offering me vassalage is an act of war."
With a thought, he triggered his crown to steal all the light from the landing deck.
Through the green glow of his night vision, he saw stunned looks on the faces before him.
"We could have been friends," he said poignantly into their darkness.
As Ronjermy drew Mjighty, the roc spread his wings and screamed a hunting cry and Namer leapt forward, his trident materializing in his hand and burying itself in Rebeche's torso.
Donteder had just turned to flee as Ronjermy lunged forward, grabbed the Prince by the hips with his free hand and then plunged his Mjighty sword into the prince from behind. The prince screamed and fell to the deck as a whir of 30 flying fish and two Marman warlords exploded from the garden pool to attack the knights on lion back.
The Roc reached out and wrapped its claw around the prince, pulling the now screaming royal under him, putting weight down on the cage of its talons. It screamed again, challenging any to come take its prize.
Namer dumped the wounded Rebeche to the ground and dashed forward to help finish the slaughter of the knights and lions. Ronjermy put a sword to Rebeche's throat, and knew that a stack of warlords were at this very moment attacking the other two stacks of flyers.
"We could have been friends." He said again into his crown's globe of darkness and the sounds of a skirmish ending, with a look on his face that showed he was not at all disappointed.
Last edited by OneHugeTuck
on Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.