[RP Episode] [CANON] The Shifting Tides of War


#1

Lord Praprismus looked out from his tower of solitude. Far below him, where the tawny surf crashed against the shore, he could see the grey giants of the Ultorii fleet, sitting in silent majesty. He hurriedly shut the window, and headed back inside.

The home of Lord Praprismus was situated atop a mountain, like most Valkorian fortresses, and commanded a small view of the surrounding area. The walls offered some defense, while the people scrambled for a living inside. It was not a happy place.

Happy or not, it was valuable. The final stopping point for traders going to nearby Lavande, Praprismus exacted a heavy toll, growing fat off their profits. Little of it trickled down to his people, but that was beneath his worry. The second valuable thing about the miserable place was the harbor, big enough to hold large ships, and almost directly behind the Imperial territory held by the Emperor…

The guards formed up, taking unobtrusive positions inside the castle, leaving the gate open, while Praprismus waited in the courtyard for the inevitable guests. If played right, more gold would enter into the coffers of the despot.

@Ariovistas


#2

Lord Lucius Ultorius, Magister Marum and Protector of Puffin Isle was, for lack of a better word, peeved. Here he was, ascending to a hilltop fastness his artillery could level in an hour, coming to please a lord who had never done anything except sit on fat pillows with his fatter behind, stealing dues from merchants and lording over his little kingdom. At court, Lord Praprismus had always been an exceedingly irritating man whose air of self-importance never failed to offend. Now, in times of war, he was bound to have become even more intolerable.

Behind him, the lockstep march of the Ultorii family guards resounded off the steep rock slope flanking the path. No Praprismus warrior had shown himself yet, but as the company rounded a corner they came in view of the fastness.

It was, considering everything going on, not at all impressive.


#3

Praprismus walked forward to greet Lord Ultor.

”Welcome, my old acquaintance, to my home!”

He cackled, waving his hand grandly at the shoddy buildings.

”As you can see, we have prepared a great deal for your coming; I hope your climb wasn’t too difficult…”


#4

Looking down his nose at the pudgy man, Lucius snorted with scorn. “I can see that, Magnus. Rather than having to suffer you inflicting your hospitality on us, I would prefer we got down to business straight away.”


#5

Magnus Praprismus folded his hands and chuckled.

”Of course of course, up front as always…come in.”
He led the grou past the sloppily dressed legionaries on watch, and into the great hall. Several long tables had been set up, and food laid out, a sumptuous feast of rich foods, in stark constraint with the outside township.

Seating Lucius by his side at the head table, and after eating the preliminary rounds of food, Magnus looked at his guest.

”So, what is it, Lucius? What brings you to my hall? I knew your coming, but not the cause.”


#6

Lucius opened his mouth to reply, but was interrupted by a dull rumble.

A, to any naval officer, exceedingly familiar kind of rumble.

Naval guns. Firing.

His thoughts raced. Impossible. How can this be?

He rushed outside with his guards, back to the corner they rounded not ten minutes before, and beheld a breathtaking sight.

His fleet, such as it was, was burning. It was clear the enemy, visible only as dull shadows on the horizon, had chosen the perfect moment to attack. Several cruisers were on fire, and he could see hits scored on many other warships. Worst of all was the battleship that, half waterlogged, slowly capsized and blocked the exit of the bay with its wrecked bulk.

Some ships returned fire, but there was no cohesion, no coordination to the barrage. On the horizon, the shades erupted in bright flashes almost in unison, and time slowed to a crawl as the whistling of incoming artillery filled the sky.

Yet more explosions tore through the Ultorii fleet, blasting open hulls, gun turrets, conning towers, and sending men flying like broken ragdolls.

Slowly, against the backdrop of the death of his dreams, Lucius Ultorius descended the mountainside.

The war, for him, was over.


#7

As Lucius reboarded his ship, and attempted to pull the remains of his fleet out of the bay, shells screaming all around, the woods along the shore came alive with even more gunfire. Red flashes emerged from the woods, and the Imperial Legions burst out, settings up more heavy cannon with which to pummel the already breaking fleet. The few thousand soldiers under Lucius who remained on the shore rallied, and charged the gun batteries, to be met half way by the Imperial legionaries, a vicious melee breaking out.

Hundreds of bodies floated in the water, screaming wounded calling for help, drowning men struggling to reach land. Those who did not surrender if they did make it were butchered by the triumphant Caesarian troops.

The din from both fleets echoed for miles, a neverending roar that continued on and on. Great fires burned everywhere, and the shells whistled through the air, piercing steel, bone, and flesh. Despite knowing the sudden turn of events had shattered his attempt at the thrown, Lucius still struggled to fight back, a stream of signal flags racing up and down the shattered rigging.


#8

Hot air blasted the bay when one of the warships got hit in the main magazine and all but evaporated under the force of the explosion. Hundreds of miles away, in L5 orbit of the planet, an alien AI made a quick observation, noting down an unusual energy spike as an anomaly worth further investigation.

But at this point, the battle was all but finished. The Ultorii fleet had been shattered, and shattered with it had been Lucius’ designs on the throne. He stood at the bow of his once-proud flagship, and contemplated the deep blue before him. In his pocket, his hand absentmindedly played with a small bottle.

Only one thing left to do now.


#9

@staff close it


#10