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[Conquest] The Raid

#1
Z’hedra the Orc stomped noisily through the doors of the mercenary’s current base.
“Lissen filthy oomies, me gut a jub fer us” he grunted.

The band of mercenaries around the room looked up and asked for details. The Orc grunted out the limited info. It appeared that a group of secretive but ultimately stupid oomies were quite keen to fund a raid on the city of Prevalia. No specifics, just a hit & run mission to burn down buildings; kill guards; cause a bit of mayhem.

Z’hedra swept his eyes across the room, noting who was present tonight. He counted with his fingers: ash, dub, umm… gajk? Many. That should be enough. He couldn’t recall all the names since all oomies looked the same to him.

The rest of the band debated the merits of such a risky operation, for after all Prevalia was a heavily fortified and well defended city. One of the band reflected how their current dwelling was too small, with people blocking the doors and hallways at best of times, so could do with upgrading, and perhaps this risky contract might pay towards that work. Another of the band suggested sailing sneakily across the waterway between the halves of Prevalia; apparently, he ‘knew a guy with a boat’.

After much discussion, consensus was reached, and a plan of action drawn up: sail over and attack through the east gate using the element of surprise. Now that the main details were settled, and the drinking had begun, the group turned to less significant matters such as why the female warrior chose to wear a chainmail coif rather than the allegedly more aesthetically pleasing animal headwear on display. Z’hedra shook his head and stomped away muttering and left them to their nonsense.

The next day the band of mercenaries made their way to the shore of Southern Prevalia by way of a magical gate. The one that Z’hedra thought might be named Zany Toes or Xanatoes or something led the way to a small vessel that seemed to appear as if by magic. Once aboard, the short journey crossing the channel was largely occupied by talks of how much gold would be earnt, as well as the many reasons not to wear metal helmets.

Eventually the group arrived not far from Eastern Prevalia. Plans were made to rendezvous with the boat at the main docks once the pillaging & looting were completed. Once disembarked, the group set off towards the nearby Eastern gateway. Alas, the route took the group past a zoo that was full of Prevalian entertainers in training and they were spotted.

The mercenary with the bear hat took the lead and hastily ordered a charge straight for the gates before the guards could fully mobilise. But in their rush and excitement, misfortune fell. The defenders were many; their spirit high; their blades sharp & keen. The mercenaries were mostly practitioners of the magical arts and were no match for the powerful Prevalian warriors at such close quarters in the confined space of the gatehouse. After a short but bloody battle, the attackers were rendered unconscious. Fortunately, a nearby healer quickly revived the band of mercenaries, some of whom expressed a desire that their own healers were as good as this one.

Bear Hat rallied the group and announced a new set of tactics that would draw the defenders out into the open where the mercenaries’ use of magic might see them victorious. The attack began again. The group taunted the Prevalian guards who threw caution to the wind and came running out, overly confident from their recent victory.
Bear Hat called out selected Prevalians for targeting: Fenius; Shiftys; Sal Monella and so forth (while ignoring the female mercenary’s questions about “how do you know their names, do they have them floating over their heads or something?”.)

One by one, the Prevalians dropped. The mercenaries made use of their ability to throw magical healing spells across distances, and so it was that the second battle of the gate was won by the attackers. Bear Hat barking out commands to stop chasing the fleeing survivors as this was their territory and getting split-up and lost could be fatal. Instead the mercenaries quickly damaged the gatehouse preventing the portcullis from closing for the foreseeable future.

The group’s plan indicated that they should harass their way to the arena and damage it so as to demotivate the citizens as well as prevent the guards from training. The Orc was back in charge, using his natural hunter’s instincts to lead the way. Once inside the mercenaries tore down banners and set seats alight.

Z’hedra and Bear Hat then prepared for a counter attack, basing the group in the central open area of the arena and preparing field and wall generating spells. Sure enough, the enemy were sighted. Bear Hat seemed to have developed a personal hatred for the one called ‘Druid’ by his fellow Prevalians, citing something about ‘those who use creatures are not true fighters at all’ but in a more vulgar manner. The counter attack began in earnest with the one named ‘Druid’ being particularly keen to edge forward, and he suffered greatly for his audacity, being on the receiving end of several damaging spells and passing out.

The enemy had a strategy – enter the central courtyard from multiple directions to overwhelm the mercenaries. Unfortunately they were ill equipped from their recent defeat and seemed unable to cure themselves of poisons, or to heal each other effectively. The battle raged on for a good long while, but the teamwork and experience of the band of mercenaries saw them thwart the attacks of the massed numbers of the Prevalians.

The defensive work of the band quickly turned into an offensive thrust as Bear Hat ordered a merciless pursuit of the broken remnants of the city defenders. Bloody battle raged in the streets outside the arena. Many of the loyal Prevalian citizens joined in by hurling strange abusive words such as “LOL noobs” but they dared not go further for the actions of the mercenaries spoke louder than the words of the Prevalian audience.

Once the defenders had been thoroughly routed, Z’hedra the Orc was keen to get back to a bit of burning & looting before the city defence could fully mobilise and so led the way towards the docks.
Several of the band had spotted a bar and were keen to quench their thirst after such a fierce set of battle. So while the Orc and others set to pillaging, the female warrior and the ones with large hats smashed their way into a tavern demanding the barkeep supply them with the finest beverages.
The mercurial magician in particular had a thirst matched only by the size of his hat.
A short while later Z’hedra had to practically drag the group out of the bar, barking at them about the need to “klomp” all the “oomies”.

Indeed, the city guard was now fully mobilised and marching upon the dock area within which the band had set fire to several buildings. However, the mercenaries were making a tactical withdrawal back towards where the boat awaited them. More street fighting ensued. The bulk of the Prevalian guard was unable to deploy in the alleyways in the dock and were savaged by magical damage and clever use of blocking spells.
However, time was running short for the group; the boat was ready to leave and the Prevalian guard numbers would soon tell. Sure enough, one or two of the mercenary band were knocked out, the recent binge drinking no doubt taking its toll.

The boat was ready and so the band started withdrawing. In the middle of the evacuation, they came across one of the Prevalian leaders recovering from his recent knockout blow.
“I am Robertus Torvus and I wish to surrender”.
Z’hedra the Orc loomed up behind him and klomped him on the head. As he fell, something shiny was seen upon his body. Z’hedra reached down and put it quickly into his own pocket before boarding the boat.

As the group made the short return journey across the channel, Z’hedra wasn’t really focussing on the conversations – the female warrior was being sarcastic to Zany Toes about why he wouldn’t have been knocked out if he’d worn a metal helmet or something. Instead Z’hedra was looking at the item he’d retrieved from the Prevalian dignitary at the dock and rubbing his green chin thoughtfully with a faraway look in eyes…
 
#3
Kael'm Randi, had a glint in his eye, as he stared down at the box of gold and other loot that had been delivered to Exile Isle by sea. Looking around at his mercenary brethren, a smirk came across his face.. "The orc actually pulled it off boys! He even managed to get payment this time! Tribute for all!" Keal'm reached down into the box, letting the gold coins flow through his fingers, his smirk turning into a grin.. Catching a diamond between his fingers, he snatched it up, along with some gold coins shoving it into his pocket.. "If you need me, I'll be in Andaria, drinking away my share of the profits!"

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As Kael'm wandered the streets of Andaria, he noticed street urchins playing a game of kickball in the square using a rock of all things, hardly even rounded.. Across the way lay a homeless man on a bench, wearing rags, emaciated, looking like he may not survive the night.. Seeing the vibrant colors of the merchants, and adventurers around the bank, calling for more gold from the banker, ignoring the strife of others made his mood grow somber..

He remembered back to his youth, a street urchin himself, not an uncommon upbringing, his few fond memories were him greedily eating up a loaf of bread, with cheese, as his mother had scraped together a few meager coins, selling her body as she had few other skills. She was taken away from him much too earlier due to the trade she plied herself too.. It had turned Kael'm to a life of survival on the streets, one that helped mold him into the survivalist he was today... Splitting the coins in his pocket into three, he decided to make a couple of stops before drowning away the memories in the tavern once more...

Kael'm sat in the corner of the tavern, already three deep, a smile flitting across his face.. The appreciation of the children, when he tossed them the light wood round ball to play with, even the man on the bench, seemed to spring to life when he was given a loaf of bread, some cheese... Small deeds, but they felt good all the same... Grabbing the mug, he thought to himself, bottoms up!! Downing it in just three gulps he yelled across the room.. "Girl, bring me another!" .. as he slapped another coin onto the table..