Friday, 18 October 2013

IKRPG 2 : Session 2, (A distinct lack of) Trials and Tribulations

It was early in the morning the next day when Captain Grey was approached by one of the camp gobbers, who efficiently, if in a way that is unrepeatable, summoned her to the pole they'd chained Sergeant Richmond to in preparation for his trial.  After spending some time training and letting him wait, she made her way over to see what he had to say, and he presented her with his deal - if she dropped the charges, he would play the good little soldier and follow her orders.  After some short and fairly one-sided negotiation, Richmond was unchained and back in the team with a few changes, primarily that he would be at reduced pay AND with Captain Close as his handler until Grey was satisfied that he would not be a liability.  In return, he would play the good soldier, and her first mission on record would not end with a court martial and a display that she could not control her own troops.

Their differences settled, or at least put aside for now, the team reassembled in the officer's tent for their next mission.  Surrounded by those who had come to view the trial, among them Major Katrina Lattimer and Earl Alexander Grey, Captain Grey's father, the team were given their next briefing.  Even as he took out the dossier on their assignment, Commander Steele could barely contain the disdain he clearly felt for what was in it, multipled many times over to make it clear for the assorted dignitaries.  Someone higher up - high enough up that it can remain a secret - has demanded their presence at a Llaelese fortress.

As far as the Cygnarans had been made aware, the fortress was essentially the Llaelese version of their own fort, watching the Black River and keeping it clear of Khadorans.  There were only two problems; firstly, the fort relied heavily on costly mercenary forces to guard it and secondly, the few dedicated Llaelese troops were only experienced in guerilla warfare, and had no idea how to fight in a siege.  The Cygnarans were primarily there to advise and oversee the final phases of construction.  Requisitioning was brief and to the point - all the warjacks were up and running and put on a boat with enough ammunition and coal to keep them in combat for a full week.  While they were there, Sergeant Fillion requisitioned a cart for the mechaniks who would be accompanying the 'jacks and Sergeant Killigan also hired a gobber to keep tabs on Sergeant Richmond, just in case.

After a two day trip upriver, the group arrived at what appeared to be the fort.  Far from a small wooden construct that had been inferred, they found a small village surrounding a permanent stone keep and, even from a decent distance away, the fact there was something off was evident almost immediately - no sounds of life were coming from the village, no sounds of talking or of work, no children playing or soldiers drilling.  Leaving the boiat behind, Sergeant Richmond stealthily moved in closer to scout the location and...

Nothing.  No people, no 'jacks and, while there were signs of struggle, no bodies.  A cursory investigation indicated that a large military unit had moved in in formation, fired wildly at the populace and then carried them from their homes as they hid.  While their movements indicated military precision and years of experience, their gunshots had gone wild, suggesting they were entirely new to shooting.  As this puzzled the team, they moved to the fort in the middle of the town, finding the doors closed but unbarred.

Inside, the team found a scene of carnage, with the corpses of many Llaelese soldiers and mercenaries in the courtyard, and every surface riddled with bullets.  A quick search found the staff roster for the fort and, cross-referencing the names with the corpses showed that three names were missing - two privates and a corporal.  One of the privates was found by Captain Grey and Sergeant Fillion as they investigated the buildings inside the walls, babbling incoherently about being attacked by "their own" and an army of "silent killers", while hints of the other two were found by Captain Close and Sergeant Richmond as they scouted the outsides of the town, notably two tracks of bootprints that came to an abrupt end next to a heavy warjack's.

While there was no sign of their bodies, the Nomad they had been next to was discovered in a hedge a full fifteen feet away with a single football-sized hole that had been blasted clean through it's chest and out it's boiler.  There were no other bullet marks, and a cursory examination showed no blasting powder residue on the hole.  Flummoxed, the team instructed the warjacks to drag the Nomad into the fort and sent the mechaniks and still visibly traumatised survivor back to to the camp to get reinforcements.

After burying the dead, the next five days were a boring slog as nothing happened while they remained on high alert.  While Captain Close and Sergeant Killigan kept the majority of the watch, Captain Grey performed rudimentary last rights on the graves, practised with her guns and crafted more Rune Shots, Sergeant Fillion took to carving a piano and Sergeant Richmond took it upon himself to become unit cook with food scavenged from the surrounding village.  On the afternoon of the fifth day, the boat arrived with reinforcements - a full unit of Long Gunners, the Trenchers from their last mission and a small group of CRS Investigators to look over the scene that had remained more or less untouched up until that point.

With the fort guarded by a group of professional soldiers and looked over by a team of investigators, the team returned to base to receive new orders, and hopefully give the Cygnaran military time to uncover details of this new threat...

Thursday, 10 October 2013

IKRPG 2 : Session 1, I Fort You Said Something Else...

Firstly, the party!

Captain Alexis Grey, Gifted Arcane Tempest Gunmage/Cygnaran Warcaster, Unit Commander, Secondary Support
Captain Dexter Close, Gifted Cygnaran Trencher/Warcaster, Unit Sub-commander, Secondary Sniper
Sergeant Charlie Richmond, Mighty Ranger/Trencher Commando, Unit Rookie, Secondary Scout
Sergeant Duff Killigan, Skilled Investigator/Rifleman, Unit Sniper
Sergeant Harrison Fillion, Skilled Ranger/Pistoleer, Unit Scout
Sergeant Joseph Caspian, Intellectual Alchemist/Stormsmith, Unit Support (Absent from this mission)

In the aftermath of the annexation of the Thornwood by Khador and the subsequent ceasefire, a new branch of the Cygnaran military has been set up, a specific Unorthodox Engagement Team in Corvis tasked with keeping the Black River clear to allow trade with Rhul and Llael.  Taken from several local units, the new team has been set up with a base of operations on a platform just north of Corvis, complete with a veritable army of armourers, medics and administrators.

With the team set up with their new base, they were given a quick mission by their CO, Commander Reb Steele - a forward base set up by Khador less than fifteen miles north of the city limits that desperately needed to be razed to the ground.  Despite a quick discussion on the ethics of attacking a fortification during a ceasefire, it was determined that orders were orders and they began the planning, while simultaneously going to Father Brown and Sly, the armourers.  After requisitioning all the ammunition and equipment they felt they would need (including a modified Hunter's Longarm) and finalising their plans, they moved upriver with a unit of Trenchers.

The plan was simple - wait until nightfall and send a military boat disguised as a trade vessel with a unit of trenchers up the river while Captains Grey, Captain Close and Sergeant Killigan set up on the other side of the fort in various sniper positions to take out the sentries and cover Sergeant Richmond and Sergeant Fillion as they scaled the walls, set up explosive charges and get out, leaving the munitions stocks to obliterate the majority of the base.  Any survivors could be quickly and efficiently picked off by the team and the trenchers.

What could possibly go wrong?

In a stunning display of pig-headedness, Sergeant Richmond decided to stay behind with the bombs to "ensure they went off".  After twenty seconds and a quick sneak around the buildings, he fired off a round - the signal for the Trenchers to attack, causing them to open fire on the Winter Guard nearest to them, throwing the whole camp into chaos just in time for the first bomb to go off.  As the rest of the team ran in to extract their errant member, he managed to break in to the officer's quarters to quickly loot as many papers and maps as he could get his hands on before planting another bomb inside.

As the team met up at the fort entrance, the second bomb in the munitions store detonated, sending a large section of the fort up in a fireball that killed the majority of the remaining guards, showering the rest in shrapnel and fire.  After attempting to convince Richmond that he'd messed up and having him blankly disbelieve him, Captain Grey decided to convince him of his desire to be court martialed for disobeying orders and endangering his team with a solid right hook.

Richmond woke up back at base, chained to the post that doubled as a brig.  It appears the Cygnaran army wasn't going to forgive and forget...