D&D Campaigns > Game Log

Game Session 4A - War Games

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Everyone sat but remained at military attention as River watched with trepidation. Kristen had told River already what was to come next; Emmanuelle’s speech, one that which was her very first in a public setting.

He looked over at Harrison who sat a table away. The other boy didn’t have show any sign of nerves whatsoever. He was either confident in her ability to pull it off after having practiced with her all weekend in Lakeshore, or, he was really good at disguising his anxiety.

River wasn’t sure which it was, but he did have one other more pleasant thought. ‘For their sake, I hope that isn’t all they did this past weekend,’ he smiled while his own memories returned to the form of his Kristen laying with him in his knapsack this past summer. The unbidden thought summoned a fierce longing in his chest to see her, and he fought to stifle the vision so he could return to the moment.

Emmanuelle Keepsake came up the stairwell from the kitchen below, her long brown hair wrapped in fine gold threads, her lovely young form caressed in a white silk dress. The sleeves ended almost at the end of her fingertips, both the cuffs and the hem of the skirt which touched the floor an elaborated lattice pattern. Another, single fine gold chain accentuated her curves as it lay loose around her waist.

 “Hello fellow class mates, as some of you know, I am Emmanuelle Keepsake, age 15 of the Clergy house and daughter to our High Priest Fresenius,” started Emma. She had a very gentle but commanding presence, and although some whispered in the Hall (as many didn’t even know Fresenius even had a daughter) they quickly quieted.

She crossed her hand in front of her and began. “Over two thousand years ago, Our Almighty Father Kaine overcame impossible odds to create a Safe-Haven for humankind, what we do here the next few days, insures that his sacrifice wasn’t in vain.”…

...more to come, I am skipping the speech though, it would have been a self-absorbing exercise that was too much of a time-sink this afternoon...

Her speech was incredible. Not only did it convey all the elements and responsibilities they would face tomorrow, it weaved in a harrowing tale of Kaine’s history. Even Shannon, a non-believer, was touched by the sheer artistry in its creation and presentation.

The last words were accompanied by scattered applause which erupted into students cheering and rising from their seats for a standing ovation.

River, as he was sure others had, also caught some queues meant specifically for Whisper. Little nuances of her speech that spoke to them and them alone. ‘Right under your fathers’ nose and there isn’t anything he can do about it. Well done future leader,’ River thought proudly.

He looked over at Harrison who was just at that moment giving Fresenius a stare that spoke to only one thing, he wanted the man dead. ”He has to be thrilled with her performance though,” he thought out loud.

Temmit who had followed his companions stare returned, “I imagine he is River, I imagine he is.”

...death and dismemberment to come...

The group of 202 students were ushered outside and back into the cold where they received tomorrow’s war uniform which included their blood powder weapons. Each uniform consisted of a simple cold weather outfit made to be worn on top of the standard leather armor uniform the students were already wearing. Each of piece if this new gear; a cloak, leather gauntlets which had bracers that ran up the arm, and loose breeches, had been imbued with a white paste.

This was the white chemical was spoken to in Emma’s speech. When touched by the red “blood” powder it would make a red smoke that would indicate the participant’s injury within the game. If smoke came from the torso, the referees in the field could whistle you dead. If the wound came from a body part, the referee’s could whistle that body part injured, which meant a combat medic would run to you and install a combat injury cast on you, which rendered that body part very uncomfortable to use.

Once past the Wargame gear line, the students moved to the tent area.

Trained in the fundamentals of camp setup since they were five years old, the students quickly divided into teams to either set up three large bonfire or their two-man tents. Within the packs was also chocolate, snow-mellows and granite cracker treats that became the highlight at the evening bonfire.

After returning to Temmit’s side after his lieutenant had a contest of wills with Marcus, he warned him about the flammability of the blood powder, then walked off to tell all the other whisper members, asking them to pass on the information to their units tomorrow.

“Hello River,” Marcus said to his backside as he walked the camp.

River ignored him and kept on walking. He heard, “you are on the wrong side,” before passing out of earshot.

...this is getting a bit sloppy, as I have a 6-year old vieing for my attention...

The next morning was incredibly cold, but through the thanks of the Lord Kaine (or whatever god the Whisper students believed in) there was no wind whatsoever. All of the students were assigned one of four general posts.

 The first, and perhaps most important tactically, was the mangarel, a four-man light catapult. This catapult vaulted fifty pound sacks of blood powder at an incredible maximum range of 1000 feet. Modified for the war game, a very light steel wire was attached to each pack of ammunition, with increments of 20 feet marked along its entire the length. When loaded, the wire would be wrapped around the range-marker (a wooden post attached to the side of the mangerel) at the distance decided. After launched, when the ammunition reached the distance denoted, the wire would allow it to go no further and rip off the covering, scattering blood powder in a 30 foot radius explosion of red dust.

The second, was the Siege tower, a thirty-foot tall structure that served in this game as more of watching post, each having a two-man operated tower light. From this vantage the mangerels could be directed more accurately.

The third, was the front line defense. Beyond a fence of 300 yards long made of barbed wire, the footmen, armed with pike, bow, shield and sword awaited the frontal assault from the military men who would be playing the part of the Karh’Thul.

The fourth, was the position held only by clergy students, the combat medics. It was their thankless job to put on the injury casts when directed by referees. They also had to decide who to let live and who was expendable, for they had the important task of healing the critically wounded on the field when they thought necessary. They had five vials of (fake) potions to heal, and had to use them wisely.

...I know that I am leaving out a lot of stuff, but
you guys were there
*I am running out of time...[/color]

The battles went very well and years of military school had paid off for every one of the 202 students. Another contributing factor to the victories was the Whisper Guild members being scattered about the four different regiments. With their leadership and encouragement, the waves of Outer-Rim Defense soldiers (playing the part of Kahr’Thul) were defeated time and time again. It was only when the spider machines advanced on them (with the young children driving) did the students actually see real battle.

But in the end, the entire invading Kah’Thul army had been vanquished and, more importantly, no one on either side had been killed or even seriously injured.

It was now night, the evening after the battle on the third day of the new year. River stood alone in the stables, his back against the wall of one of the stalls. He had been brushing out Ruse, Kristen’s Deaconess charger and had stopped to take a break. The other students had long since abandoned the stables, along with all of their equipment, and gone on to the mess hall where a celebration was being held in their honor. River lacked the enthusiasm for so many people and decided to stay behind to take care of the dozen or so horses. They kept him far better company than the foolish children from his school.

His long-time friend Ruse nuzzled him with her nose. He smiled knowing that he was going to have to brush her out an additional time if he wanted a good report from her going back to Kristen. He continued on happily.

When Leslie appeared out of nowhere behind him, he nearly jumped out of his skin. The girl was getting very good at her stealth and he had no idea how she had gotten into Ruse’ stall with him seeing her come through its opening.

“What are you…” he began but she put up a finger to her lips. The look in her eyes stopped his speech as much as the hushing motion. He suddenly heard a group of boys enter the other end of the barn. He turned his head and then took a few steps to the gate of the stall to hear them better. They were laughing and carrying on about someone mating a horse. It sounded like that there was at least five or six of them. Although neither River nor Leslie could see them from their vantage point, there was also no way to leave the stall without being seen.

He looked back at her for a signal as to what was going on. Something told him that this wasn’t simply an innocent story of a few boys wandering away from the party.

His instinct was verified when he saw the fear in the little girls’ eyes, one of those baby blues still seeing from under a large yellowing bruise that the poor kid had endured only a week ago at the hand of a kidnapper.

She mouthed the name ‘Marcus’ silently and a chill went through River. He quickly surmised that Leslie must of taken it upon herself to trail Marcus and had come here to warn him. And Leslie wasn’t skittish, she wouldn’t have come if she thought Marcus had simply wandered in here in happenstance, Marcus was definitely up to something.

“Shannon went to get Temmit,” she whispered.

“Why is Marcus specifically targeting me?” he replied in the same hushed tone.

As if on queue he heard Marcus yell out, “River? You in here?!”

…stay tuned, more forthcoming…


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