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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    ~Corvus~'s Avatar

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    Default Re: Rokugan in the Shadows - Rise of the Nezumi

    The speaker chooses his words carefully. "Your second and his guards will ride with a full honor guard. Lord Toritaka will give a squadron's command to the Mage-Lord, and they will serve loyally." The messenger departs along with his other two after they bow again.

    ~~~Three days and nghts pass; Red-eye has been quiet and cooperative, peaceful, and his advisors have kept him from being approached or observed except from afar. He returns to awareness as he rides. It's early morning on the fourth day~~~

    The shinomen has a deeper stain of green than when Red-Eye last saw it--the stain of fresh-spilled blood, perhaps, that shows up even at a distance. Much of its middle is burnt, and as they ride, they do see several comapnies of horse-men that harry the Hobgoblin hosts that have traveled east, towards the Scorpion's holdings. Smoke wafts from the Shinomen and it adds haze to his ride. A nearly-imperceptible line perpendicular to the horizon becomes a tower, and he realizes its very tall and very thin, made from what must be an unusually well-grown palm tree, hollowed out to make a semi-living tower. More ingenious, it blends into the landscape around it. Lord Toritaka, a man dressed in purple armor made from interlocking metal plates and heavy cloth with a royal purple, approaches Red-Eye's company and introduces himself. He points to the tower and explains that its manned by the Unicorn, but gifted to them by the Naga nearly four centuries ago. "We saw the Hobgoblin invaders approach, but our first forces were crushed so utterly that none escaped. We've been marshaling forces for three months now, and we're ready to march. Mage-Lord Red-Eye, you and your kind have an open invitation to join in our ride for revenge."

    Red-Eye might have responded had a golden voice not then entered his head. "Finally I have found you again. I thank you for freeing me from the Wani, that had held me for so long, Snich. There is another Eshin that now wears the blood-memory of the Wani. This is my last gift as I depart forever..." and soon the voice fades away. His ears ring and he has a temporary feeling of dizziness, but he returns to consciousness as some of Red-Eye's assistants help him pull his horse to the edge of the grassy plain they've been riding on for the last three dats.

    The grassy knoll drops to a steep slope overlooking a greay valley. A hundred thousand calvary watch a man in purple-and-gold colored armor march among their ranks and he speaks to them with mage-augmented voice so that it carries across the valley to every man and woman there who looks upon him with rapt attention.

    "...have told me of how the Nezumi fled the SHinomen, and led their attackers to the Scorpion, to the Lion, and yet many of them, most of them died in their retreat. This is the extent of the dishonor of the forces of Shadow, that they slaughter a fleeing foe as if it were a beast to be hunted. I know many of you do not look favorably on the Nezumi, so let me ask you now, had this happened to your own clan-mates, how would you react? Tell me how you would react."

    A shout goes up from the crowd, "They killed our Unicorn troops to the last!" A ripple of replies, of shocked sounds, and low dissenting calls form a wave of disapproval from the troops.

    The mounted Khan continues, "The Shadow treated the Nezumi with no more compassion than our own troops! If the Nezumi did not matter, if they did not matter, then the Shadow would have passed them on and wasted no strength of arm to bring them down." He pauses a moment for dramatic effect and continues, "We are gathered here today to stand against the Shadow that would crush our Nezumi allies as well as many of our own. We are here to march and send a ripple of hope into Rokugan, that the shadow will not bring us to our knees, they will not crush our allies, no matter who or what they are!"

    The energy of the people below shift; a swirl of hope starts among the people, an energy Red-Eye knows of, a magic of hope, a force that's almost tangible to him. The Great Khan looks up to the top of the hill, where Red-eye and the forces of Toritaka's riders have now assembled, and all of them watch with bated breath. "Today we march as a tide of warriors, and we shall flow as one force, each building as a force and a tide as great as the Moon's, and with this energy wash away the mightiest army of oppression that has ever DARED to enter our domain." THe great Khan, now at the back of the valley and at the bottom of the precipice from which Red-Eye watches, turns his horse and begins to gallop towards its exit.

    His voice continues to carry over the forces as he gallops. Ride now, noble warriors, for our brothers and sisters whose lives are returned to the Void too soon. Ride now, for our allies forced to flee and live in desperate isolation. Ride now, and begin the tide to wash away this evil that invades our land. RIDE NOW, AND LET EACH OF YOU CUT DOWN THE DARKNESS THAT WOULD TAKE AWAY OUR FUTURE! RIIIIDE NOOOW!"

    The flood of riders that exit the valley and move towards the rear columns of the Hobgoblin army takes long enough that the sun has moved a bit across the sky before they have all deployed. Lord Toritaka and his men follow the Great Khan, and Red-Eye's advisors--and the leader of the Unicorn company now under his command--ask him only one question: Shall we join the army in its attack?
    Last edited by ~Corvus~; 2020-11-10 at 06:57 PM.
    GreedLing avatar by Ceika
    DM of Rokugan ItS | Nezumi

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  2. - Top - End - #62
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Rokugan in the Shadows - Rise of the Nezumi

    Ignoring the question, Red-Eye quickly checks the gear he doesn't remember packing. Finding his belongings and his poisons neatly packed in unfamiliar places, he quickly rearranges them to better suit his preferences.
    'Second-in-charge has packed enough for a full day, I should be able to make it to the filthy goblins in less than an hour, lucky the unicorn-things have shown their hand, will make our position better after. Hopefully I can find some proper heads, their leaders at least.'The Skaven thinks to himself as he quietly looks over his gear. Satisfied with the inspired choices in poison and the plentiful number, he turns to the Unicorn Leader riding close to him, his hands busy writing a short note: "I-I will be going ahead, after meeting your Khan. Unicorn-things can come if they are fast-strong enough." With that, Red-Eye simply rolls off the horse and as soon as he touches the ground launches ahead, dropping the note in the hands of his daughter in passing, faster and faster until he moves more than twice that of the fastest messenger horse. Determined to not lose too much time he rushes ahead, barely touching the ground every hundred meters or so, quickly catching up to the Great Khan and slowing down to fly at eye level with him quietly activating the blessing that allows his lies to be indistinguishable from the truth:
    "You wanted my attention you have it, and with this you have gained my approval, I am Mage-Lord Red-Eye, Cheiftain of the Nezumi, for what did you desire my presence?"

    Spoiler: Note and rolls!
    Show
    The note reads:
    The memory of the Wani lives on in an eshins clothing, find it, notify me when the battle is over.
    Slight of hand to deliver it successfully at speeds: (1d20+8)[21]
    To deliver it without anyone but the receiver noticing (Hide) (1d20+20)[37]

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: Rokugan in the Shadows - Rise of the Nezumi

    None of the Unicorn have ever seen a Nezumi so powerful or incredible as Red-Eye launches himself forward with speed given only to a falling stone. He leaves behind his retinue of soldiers, and he can only guess whether or not they follow at a pace more suited to standard horse riding.

    ~~~

    Although the stallion of the Unicorn Khan is a larger horse than most, it whinnies and shakes at the sudden streaking form of Red-Eye whom has caught up to the Khan. As he addresses the ruler so soddenly, thirty spear-bearing horsemen move to interpose between their ruler and Red-eye, two hundred bows arch and curve, and he can even feel the tingle of myriad possibilities of magic from others with neither bow nor spear. Although the front of the column has stopped rather quickly, the rest of the forces flow beyond them. Several men whose faces bear the face of command, look curiously but press onwards. With a wave from him, the Khan's second--a youthful woman also in purple-colored (leather) armor with a porcelain mask and severe eyes that peek out-- with her command the spear-bearing horsemen relax and step back. The Khan speaks with her briefly, an exchange left unheard over the hoofbeats of the massive army; the second turns her horse slightly and catches up to the rest of the army. Curiously, the flow of the horsemen makes it so that very soon they are at the outside of the moving column.

    The Khan appraises Red-Eye for a short time. Surrounding the two of them are the thirty spear-bearers and also the two hundred archers and the casters also, but all show an alert watchfulness instead of held actions. The Khan's stare is intense as if he's seeking something, but he soon throws back his head in laughter. I have so much more to tell you than I already told my soldiers! He turns his horse slightly and points beyond himself, to the mountains beyond the gathering-point. Those mountains and hills are unoccupied by any Rokugani, and we have noticed how you're been run down and out of the Shinomen. But even more importantly, those caves and burrows you've made yourselves at home in are not safe. Certainly its clear that they are old mines, and they're close to our own current mines. It would be a regrettable disaster should anything collapse and bury more of your tribes; and so here are some prospecting reports on the veins found just beyond the surface:

    72% iron, 17% platinum, 9% gold, and other trace metals.
    He again throws his head back and gives a hearty laugh that carries even through his armor. "Here we've been driving game towards your burrows the last several months and we could have hired an entire new team of miners and set up a few cities, whether or not it's winter! ...This sort of site could make your people rich among the empire. After this great battle, We'd like to help the Nezumi to these new mountains to begin a new life entirely your own.

    As we ride--and you fly, as your great magical being dictates--to defeat a common enemy I urge you to consider our offer as a gesture of friendship and reconciliation for the ills you've likely had at the hands of the others within the empire.
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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: Rokugan in the Shadows - Rise of the Nezumi

    Correcting the Khan as he keeps pace with the horse while mulling things over: "I-I am using no magics-tricks, Khan-thing talks of much-great things, but earth holds many-big monsters, will think-decide after goblin-things lie dead-slain. Great Chieftain Red-Eye shall go-see enemy, will kill-slay, cause chaos-confusion, offer is tempting, must seal in blood-pain. Talk more after battle-win."
    With that, Red-Eye allows the Khan his parting words before jumping ahead, weaving between the horses, but not letting his ability to actually fly be seen. The Skaven heads towards where the enemy is thought to be, keeping an eye out for scouts and traps during the traveling.

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: Rokugan in the Shadows - Rise of the Nezumi

    The Khan gives him a salute: Left hand crosses across his chest to touch the opposite shoulder. "Of course. If you do all of this without magic, what wonders you must work with its powers. It will be a pleasure to see what you can do."

    The Khan, ostensibly unflappable, looks for Red-Eye's departure and exults in his powers as much as his other attendants, but simply keeps his enthusiasm to himself. He smiles, and tells his others, "This is going to be a favorable battle. We must watch him closely. Perhaps his prowess can change the minds of the other clans.

    ~~~

    Red-Eye's flight takes him north-and-east, and at the peaks of his arcs he can see the multitudinous swarm that is the Hobgoblin army. In the centre of each cluster moves several balls of un-light, where the brightness of the sun disappears. In the vast distance where the Hobgoblins have begin their engagements with the Scorpion and Crab armies--Red-Eye can just see the banners beyond the Hobgoblins' reach--the disappearing light also appears at the front of of the Hobgoblin army. He's too far away to see how the front-battles are going, but he CAN make out the pockets of space where catapult-arms and even what look like huge, inverted "T" structures poke above the created darkness.
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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Quickly thinking over how best to apply his talents, and explosives, Red-Eye finds himself gnawing on a mushroom, the ones keeping him from the grasp of insanity, prepared with pieces of meat and roots as he decides that the darkness will have to be stolen away, preferably for his own personal use. As he investigates he finds it maintained by no magic he knows of, the profane energy wafting off the ritual setting his fur on edge.

    As he mulls over how best to dispatch the spellcasters maintaining the darkness, he discovers the nature of the structures poking out of the darkness: Trebuchets. Leisurely setting up explosives on the trebuchets and the catapults, all set to go off as one. As he moves between the siege weapons, the Mage-Lord amuses himself with sniping the standards and banners, silently amused at the scramble to find suitable places to hang the, now poleless, cloth.

    Before he can finish with setting up the last of the bombs, a loud explosion can be heard as some hobgoblin stumbled upon one of the explosives and removed it. With renewed speed Red-Eye swiftly sets up the last few bombs and briefly appears in the sky, laughing dangerously as the trebuchets and most of the catapults suddenly explode, gets devoured by a multitude of ethereal jaws, or spontaneously catch fire, before once again turning silent and invisible.

    Still having hours left before the Unicorn army arrives, Red-Eye decides that if HE can't have the darkness, neither can the hobgoblins. Setting to the task of extinguishing the ritualists that keep the darkness going. Silent arrows, anathema to the hobgoblins, duplicate before striking the casters. Before they can even react several arrows follow up, all find their marks invisibly and silent, the unnatural silence surrounding the arrows and their targets even as they disintegrate. The Nightlord jumps between spots of darkness, leaving only silence and cooling bodies.

    As he traverses the Hobgoblins camp, Red-Eye keeps his eye out for the targets strong or important enough to warrant a visit as the darkness is dealt with, the hobgoblin champions and leaders must fall, even if a disciplined army like this may not lose much more than their experience in duels and tactics.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    The Hobgoblin camps strike him as one of incredible efficiency. Each rank, file, and section is so meticulously arranged that it's practically impossible to tell he's moved while in each section. If it wasn't for the slightly changing and scarred faces he might never have found his way among the army. One thing's for sure, as he tries himself in battle among several hobgoblins: they hide their experience well. It's nearly impossible to tell the powerful ones from the non-powerful ones; even the ones with extra-gaudy face and chest decorations are no guarantee of better power or experience.

    Red-Eye dedicates himself to the spots of darkness after the siege engines have been loaded with explosives, and he finds that the mage-casters have single star shapes on the shoulders of their studded-leather coats; hardly any way to identify the important Hobgoblins until one is in stabbing range anyways. This makes his job a tad bit easier, and he becomes a little efficient at taking out the darkness-makers as the army begins to converge with the front lines of the Scorpion and Crab clans. But he's not prepared for the powers they unleash.

    As the Hobgoblins get within a half-mile of their foes, they stop their advance. The Rokugani send forth their skirmishers but lightning courses through the front of the Hobgoblins. They direct great arcs of energy through the skirmishers, so that many--if not all--of the spear-throwers and archers' forms cook and fry in a terrible expenditure of energy. Bolstered by their allies' power, the Hobgoblins then send their own skirmishers forward and advance many ranks of spearmen to greet the onrushing cavalry of the Rokugani. The humans falter at the great magics unleashed, but soon recover and the battle begins with a great rush.

    Not long after Red-Eye's witnessed the hobgoblins' circle magics at the front of their lines, he can hear the great thunder of horses that announce the arrival of the Unicorn's great cavalry force to the rear.

    ~~~

    At Red-Eye's direction, the soldiers given to his command held saddle the many Nezumi given horses, and there are many thousands of others besides that desire vengeance against the Hobgoblins; many Unicorn, curious about their ratling allies, decide to march with those on foot (though they bring their horses of course). With the reports of these new mountains given to his seconds, Red-Eye's administrators know what to do: Find these mountains and begin a relocation. It takes them the better part of a day to pack in the many supplies--the Magma Ooze is a tricky issue that they expend more spells than usual making secure--but soon the Mage-lord's laborers and non-combatants, under a light escort, begin their march towards a better location at the edge of Rokugani space.

    As the troops are marching south-east to meet with their faster cousins, however, one newborn Hybrid finds himself singled out among the many by Ekchik, Second-in-Command. "Red-Eye told us to watch for one that bears a great present from the Wani. We have sensed a great magic from you; is this false?

    The cloth on Drip billowed against the wind, as if the wind was blowing in the opposite the direction it currently flowed. Might as well give up and tell them, right? This is our time to get free.
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  8. - Top - End - #68
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Rokugan in the Shadows - Rise of the Nezumi

    Grinning as a disadvantage of such a regimented and well trained army shows itself: Tightly gathered formations of spearmen, against other infantry and even cavalry is a great tactic. Against a murderous arcane archer like Red-Eye, it is nothing more than packing the corpses closer together, leaving both several dozens dead, but also a mass of difficult to traverse corpses behind with each fireball unleashed.

    Targeting the closest packed groups that would hinder the momentum of the hobgoblins and be in sight of the Great Khan, Red-Eye releases Thirteen black arrows in a steady rhythm, each arrow exploding into a wave of fire momentarily shrouding those caught momentarily before the sound of the explosion is heard and the aftermath is seen: smoldering corpses and burnt earth.

    Repositioning between the explosions, Red-Eye fervently prays as the fires consume his foe, not daring to fire additional arrows that may fail to take a life:
    'Receive-take this offering of lives, see-feel my devotion, eat-feast their corpses, delight-laugh in their pain, hate-despise their existence, direct your wrath-envy and take-steal what they had, grant me the will-power of the blessed Thirteen'

    As the last explosion rocks the front and the last litany is silently screamed, Red-Eye moves towards the Great Khan, waiting for a few minutes to gauge if communication would be possible or if a stealthy retreat to a hidden place to rest for a few hours to recuperate from the monumental exhaustion of his resources, magic and otherwise.

    ~~~

    Nodding at Ekchik, the Eshin Assassin, Drip, known for his skill at frustrating enemy scouting efforts replies cautiously:
    "A sacred relic was given-gifted to me, by the great-mighty Mage-Chieftain himself. It has matured and grown alongside myself. He knew, we will serve-kill in his name. It grants me great-significant abilities that will help-support in my tasks. It was kept a secret, but our Divine Chieftain has decided to unveil it now, for reasons no doubt more complicated-wise than We-I can understand, Warlord Ekchik."

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