*This tale is from a completed forum game: Empires X - Erflia

 

“Ta-ra-ta-ra-ta-ta!”

UnNamed looked at Unnamed. Something was happening. Enemies. Enemies in the hex. On the ground, but burrowing units present.

“We’d better go.”

Unnamed nodded. “Yes. Good luck, UnNamed Warlord.”

A grim nod back. “Same to you, Unnamed Courtier.”

Telegraphia had already fallen, sometime before the turn started. Dawn had come, and so had the flying lizards of Savage. Now Goanna City was under attack. The Grand New Eastern Alliance had moved quickly. Semaphor lay between the two Empires, and was an inconvenience.

UnNamed arrived on the wall and stacked with the desert stabbers. Morgan, the Hatamancer, raised an eyebrow as he joined them.

“Tough break, this.”

UnNamed tilted his head. “Sir?”

“To pop this morning, and croak before you’ve even seen a turn begin. To never hear the Ferrr-Durrrp of freedom. Tough break.”

UnNamed nodded. “I suppose.” Pause. “Wait, what? You think I’m going to croak?”

Morgan laughed slightly. “No, Warlord. Not you, specifically. I mean us, generally. This is a put up job. The Titans handed us a size 5 hat and a 55-inch head.”

He rolled his eyes at UnNamed. “I mean we’re all going to croak. You, them, her…” he waved a hand towards the Mute Princess, who was stacked nearby with the Giant Goannas. “Even me. No Portal room means no escape for Casters, which is why I’m stacked up here. Never mind. At least I’ve lived a little. Well, I’ve never left this city. And I’ve never seen the Magic Kingdom. And I’ve never made…”

He broke off as the Mute Princess started waving her little flags.

“Show time!”

Morgan took off his bowler, and pulled out four pieces of parchment, rolled up and tied with blue ribbon. He pulled at the knot while UnNamed watched, fascinated.

“Nothing up my sleeves.”


“Abra-ca-Zap!”

 

*****

 

Thorin Oakenshield looked over at the Duke O’York. They had marched up and down this desert together for as long as he could remember. Apart from one minor skirmish at a hunting site eight turns ago, they had done nothing but march and train and forage for extra morsels on the side of the desert roads. The Duke was fond of Wabbits, wascally though they were. Oakenshield preferred Wenison, but the one time they had found a deer, popped in the wrong hex by Titanic oversight, the Duke had taken the best parts.

They had quarrelled.

Now Duke O’York was Chief Warlord, and even though that argument had been four turns ago, Thorin doubted it had been forgotten.

He doubted it because here he was, stacked with the Knights and the stinking Hammer-Heads, tasked with burrowing under the walls and attacking the city via the dungeons. Unpleasant work. But the worst part was the defense. Oh, the Knights were alright. But the Hammer-Heads? The useless things were just bags of flesh. No armour, no dodging capacity.

Thorin was stacked with the group with the lowest average defense on the field.

And that meant two things.

One: Duke O’York had not forgotten their quarrel from a few turns ago, and Two: Arrow fodder.

The chime inside Thorin’s head dinged, and the first phase started—no Parley—straight to first fire.

Thorin stiffened himself in his saddle, and pulled his shield closer.

“By the fires of Kadesh, I will make him pay for this…”

 

*****

 

679 first fire attacks—239 hits.

 

*****

 

Thorin opened his eyes. He saw the Titans…

 

*****

 

UnNamed blinked away the blaze of light before his eyes. Titan's torches! That had been impressive.


A full stack of Knights and their Mounts had ceased to exist—blasted with magic, showered with arrows, and buried under the natural dirtamancy of the Goanna beasts.

He turned to Morgan. “What else can you do?”

Morgan shrugged. “Nothing. I’m done. Can’t cast if it isn’t your turn. Yes! I know that’s been retconned, but I am an old fashioned kind of 'mancer—I don’t hold with these modern ways of thinking…”

UnNamed looked back at the field, away from the eternal griping of pedants. The remaining Downtown units were advancing to engage in combat. The wall would protect them. A bit. Surely.

 

*****

 

Combat: Round 1
Veshtu inflict 127 hits on desert slingers, who return the favour with 103 hits.
Duke O’York orders his Siege units to ignore the walls and concentrate on the defenders. This will be over before the walls can be damaged.
35 hits inflicted on UnNamed’s stack.
UnNamed and Mute Princess stacks reply with 42 hits.

 

*****

 

UnNamed saw the stack with the enemy chief warlord angling towards the Mute Princess. Something inside him kicked, and he ordered his stack to engage, shielding the ruler from the attack.

“So that’s what loyalty feels like.” UnNamed mused as he dodged one blow, only to take another. He struck back. It was innate—the old battle cry: “Croak the ruler, end the side!”

Not today. Well, not yet, anyway.

 

*****

 

Duke O’York grinned behind his helmet. Things were going well. Two of the five enemy stacks eliminated, and two more virtually wrecked. Thorin was croaked, and the Veshtu were taking serious damage, but mercenary blood is cheaper than your own, and that whole “you took my Wenison—I shall be avenged” nonsense had been very wearing. Oakenshield just did not know how to live and let live. Well, now he did not know how to live.

He had four stacks remaining, the enemy three. Time to end this little fracas. Time to earn some extra glory.

“Prisoners! I want prisoners!”

And the best way to get prisoners was to end the side…

 

*****

 

Veshtu 1 engages the remaining Desert Slingers, eliminating them with 30 hits. The slingers give 22 hits back.

Veshtu 2 and Duke O’York engage the Mute Princess Stack, inflicting 97 hits, croaking the ruler and her Giant Goanna escorts.

Veshtu 3 takes hits from UnNamed stack without fighting back. Well, I say takes hits. Out of 18 attacks left to the stack, none strike home.

The battle is over. Goanna City falls to Downtown.
Downtown take 53% casualties.

 

*****

 

UnNamed looked at the sword in his hand. Useless. He had done his best—he had swung with all his might and skill—but nothing had hit home. The Veshtu did not even try to strike back—they just laughed and jeered—did one of them flash him? Wardrobe malfunction seemed more likely.

He looked over at where his ruler lay croaked on the ground, a small white flag flapping defiantly in the breeze. Semaphor would wave no more.

“Turns out I was wrong, Warlord.”

UnNamed turned to see the Hatamancer, bleeding heavily, but living.

“We don’t get to see the Titans this turn.”