The Siege of Palingrad, Part 1
“Load the Cat-o-Nine-Pult,” commanded Lord Gomez as he carefully adjusted his jet black bow tie. Nine nearly identical Igors lurched over the piles of ammunition and selected prime candidates for the first launch. While they worked, Gomez scanned the skies. Before him lay the city of Palingrad, an undistinguished level 4 built on the banks of a frozen river. He was waiting for the League of Legends to deploy their Roflcopters, which were Turnamancer-crafted fliers, still stationed in the city. His own fliers had suffered heavy losses before managing to drive them off two turns ago, and Lord Gomez wasn’t sure his mercenary air support, the Browncoats, could croak them in time to save his only siege engine.
Sure enough, a scout unit spotted eight Roflcopters crewed by Archons rise from the enemy’s garrison and relayed the information to the command post. The flying machines stacked up with almost a hundred Zumbats and Ham Hawks before making a bee line towards Gomez’s position. The warlord turned to the mercenary leader named Reynolds to his right. “Looks like you’re up, Captain”. The merc, already mounted on a plated FireFly, sped off to join the rest of his forces buzzing overhead. The two air forces closed with incredible speed; the archers on the ground would have time for only one volley before they clashed.
Lady Morticia picked up Gomez’s intention and nocked an arrow. “Set!” she commanded, and all archer units mirrored her movements. “Serve!” Dozens of arrows flew towards the enemy fliers. The Zumbats and Ham Hawks scattered upward to use the Roflcoptors as cover. A dozen or so of the smaller fliers took solid hits and plummeted to Erf. Lord Gomez silently ordered a stack of stabbers to retrieve the fallen Ham Hawks. If all went well, the officers would feast on them tonight.
With their screen temporarily disrupted, the Roflcopters were vulnerable. Reynolds took the opportunity and unleashed a torrent of flames from his squad of FireFlies. The inferno cooked the occupants of the lead Roflcopter. Without a pilot, it stalled out and began to fall. A sandy blond Browncoat handed the reigns of his FireFly to the powerfully built warlady sitting behind him and flew off to capture the craft.
Now it was the Archon’s turn. Two bolts of powerful Shockamancy flew from each of the seven remaining craft. A few FireFlies were swatted out of the sky by the beautiful but deadly flashes of light, but Captain Reynolds handily maintained numerical superiority as the battle joined in earnest.
On the ground, Lord Gomez looked for an opportunity to loose another volley of arrows, but the air battle had already devolved into a dogfight. The Zumbats and Ham Hawks had reformed around the Roflcopters and served as a powerful deterrent against an aerial boarding attempt. The Zumbats seemed to be in some sort of battle trance, flitting in unison to some unheard beat.
It took a lot of firepower just to down one of the deadly fliers. The Archons with Foolamancy made creative use of minor smokescreens and baffles, while those with Dollamancy were able to perform limited repairs on the Roflcoptors’ armor. Before too long, however, it was obvious that the Roflcopters and their support were clearly outmatched by the swarming Browncoats. As the five remaining Roflcopters limped back to Palingrad, Lord Gomez turned his attention back to the bombardment.
“Ready the Cat-O-Nine-Pult!” he commanded again out loud. Sometimes it was fun to shout orders, rather than think them. The Chief Igor slumped over to each bucket and doused the payload with a vial of virulent poison purchased from the Magic Kingdom. Lord Gomez smiled and pulled at his pencil mustache in anticipation. “Fire!” he shouted.
The Cat-O-Nine-Pult sprang into action with an erfshaking twang. Corpses gathered during previous engagements with the League flew over Palingrad’s low walls. Although Gomez couldn’t see them land, he heard a satisfying squishing sound followed by screams. Soon the air inside the city would be un-breathable as the poison spread and units began to croak.
“Another volley, Igors! Morticia, my dear, come watch with me” cried Gomez. The Igors began to reload the Cat-O-Nine-Pult. Lady Morticia sidled up to Gomez and he put his arm around her slender waist. “Isn’t it marvelous, my dear?” he whispered in her ear. “Yes, my love” she responded, “but we are in battle.” She delicately extricated herself from his embrace. “There will be plenty of time to celebrate when we destroy the League of Legends, their so-called champions, and the entire Twitch Alliance.”
The massive siege engine heaved again, and more croaked bodies flew over the walls. This time, however, there was neither a sickly squish nor cries of alarm. “Lord Gomez,” called Reynolds from his aerial vantage point, “perhaps you’d better come see this.”
“Again, Igors!” shouted Gomez, as he waved over a domesticated Jabber-Pocky. It wasn’t his favorite, but it was the closest flying mount. “O-hi-o,” screamed the Jabber-Pocky, “O-h-i-o!” Gomez mentally ordered the beast to be silent and slipped into its makeshift saddle. He ordered his mount to ascend, and bat wings sprouted from the Jabber-Pocky’s back. It hopped into the air and flew uneasily upwards.
Lord Gomez joined Reynolds in the air and gave him a questioning look. The mercenary warlord simply pointed to Palingrad’s courtyard. Although it was packed with assorted infantry, there was one figure that immediately caught Gomez’s eye. Right in the center, surrounded by knights, stood a pasty man in dark robes. Gomez would have recognized the pale, shorn head anywhere. It was the arch traitor, Fester. Once he had been Gomez’s brother in arms, now he was Chief Croakamancer to the League of Legends.
The Chief Igor launched another barrage as soon as the Cat-O-Nine-Pult was ready, and Gomez got a first hand view of why the previous attack had failed. As the bodies flew over the wall, Fester uncroaked them so that they dusted harmlessly upon impact. Lord Gomez’s scream of rage could be heard three hexes away.
NOTE: User will be given Shmuckers at the end of the series. -Rob
This seems promising. I'm wondering how Pugsly, Wednesday, Lurch, and It will fit into things as units. Only note I feel I should make is that it is slightly confusing who's turn it is. I just want to remind the author that changing from Ground to Air counts as Movement and cannot be done off turn in a contested hex, and since the Roflcopters were attacking, it seemed to me to be the League's turn. You may wish to address the "Who's Turn Is It" matter if the question nags at you at all. One quick edit, etc.
But ya know. With me, sdub, and llama's upcoming project, the site may need an organizing method for ComStream Published items. Since I know that I've been working at finding a way to keep my chapters available to the readers even after they fall off the front page.
Perhaps another Tab at the top menu, "Published," with sub divisions of "Art," "Fiction," and "Community Interest." For the serial stories, the links could connect to the first chapter (and the authors could provide in chapter links to the next part(s) ), or if the web-designer wishes to get creative, mini-directories for the chapters of the stories. I only mention this because it's somewhat easy for Rob Picked submissions to be lost in the pile.
I assume the Roflcopters were allowed to attack because they are somehow turnamancy-based. Maybe they may spend their regular move off-turn as well. Or was the turnamancy merely referring to the rotor?
I admit I didn't get all the references. Maybe you could list them somewhere?
The story itself is nice. I'm tipping you.
I think it has to be Gomez's turn, with the firing the Cat-o-Nine-Pult (awesome name by the way) into the city. Plausibly the Roflcopters took off into Palingrad's airspace and then the FireFlies crossed the hex to attack them there. But I don't know where the Roflcopters were going if they couldn't cross to attack Gomez, whom they're described as making a beeline towards.
Still, a pretty cool start, and I look forward to more.
If it was Gomez's turn he'd be firing siege weaponry to down the city wall. We already got the hitsies from the archers upon entering the hex. Air appears to have that ability with their ranged strikes. Obviously the Cat-o-Nine-Pult's biggest flaw is that it must have 9 identical things fired at the same moment. He very likely doesn't have siege ammo due to the previous attacks from the twitch alliance 2 turns ago. This would mean his last piece of siege has to improvise.