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Chapter 8: The Fire King
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Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 6:02 pm    Post subject: Chapter 8: The Fire King  

The story so far: You are Lodevar, born to the race of sheepheads enslaved by the Bullroar minotaurs. Your have an unusual form compared to most sheepheads, with a small head and no horns. With the help of the merfolk race, you’ve started a slave rebellion and raided the Bullroars’ coastal towns and villages from your island base. The Bullroars, negotiating under truce, have offered to grant you your freedom if you lay down your arms and accept their King. A representative of the Emperor has come with them, and has asked you if you are a sheephead or a merman.

Last Decision: Refuse the Bullroars' offer, and tell the Bullroars and the Emperor that there will be no peace until every last sheephead slave is freed.

Your mind is clear now. Malleus is trying to provoke and confuse you, with his insults and with this "free" sheephead lap-dog he brought along. The strange Twin who serves the Emperor may be trying divide sheephead from merfolk with his question, or maybe he has some deeper purpose. But whatever they want, you have only one answer for them both. You deliver it first to Malleus the Bullroar.

"You offer us freedom if we put ourselves under your rule, freedom if we leave our brothers in chains. What kind of freedom is that?

"Your word is worth nothing, and your king's word less. But even if I believed you, I wouldn't accept freedom with this compromise. Kria belongs to us, and there can be no peace while you squat on our land and call yourselves our rulers.

"No one on Freehome is a slave, so I'll give my people your offer. But you're a fool if you think that any will take it. No one who knows what freedom is would freely put himself in chains."

"If they are to be truly free," says Malleus, still barely looking at you and addressing your guards, "let me make the offer myself, and bring Laredon to speak his part."

Your temper flares, but you give no sign that he has provoked you. "All right. If you so want my people to be free, you may speak to them. But I don't promise your safety. If they believe that you are lying and choose to tear you limb from limb, they are free to do that." The sheepheads surrounding you murmur and smile at the suggestion. It's clear where their loyalties lie.

"Do you still want to talk to them?" you ask.

Malleus snarls at you and at your guards. "You are fools to refuse the King's pardon. The weight of the axe will come down on you. The birds will eat your remains, and your souls will descend to the Coils of the Serpent."

"No," you say. "We will grow strong, and take back our lands, and when we finally throw off your decaying rule and send you back where you belong, we'll have freedom without compromise."

You continue: "I've allowed you to live despite your insulting manner because I gave you safe passage for this audience. But now the audience is over. Get back into your boat and give our answer to your king. If you speak again, I'll send him your head as an extra message."

Frustration, and fear play across Malleus' face. He clenches his fists in silent rage, then turns and ducks into the boat, with a quick "Come," to the others. Laredon slinks in behind him, not looking at you, stooped and fearful of Malleus as any slave would be of his master. Aegius and the scribes follow. Only the Twin remains.

"To answer your question," you say to him, "I'm both sheephead and merfolk. And both races seek freedom without compromise. Until we have it, there will be war."

"Of course," says Yogos. "I will convey your answer to the Emperor straightaway." Then he turns to get into the boat and Yogara interjects, "Of course, the Emperor is not officially involved in this matter."

Quickly the boat pushes off and, guided by merfolk, sails out of the harbor and back toward mainland Kria. You turn to Haman. "Bring the people together," you say. "I want to talk to all of them."


You haven't addressed everyone as a group since before you came to Freehome. There are many more of them now, sheepheads freed by raids along the coast of Kria - male slaves who've swelled the ranks of your army and women and children who've started the hard work of clearing land and building homes. Thanks to them, Freehome is becoming less of an army base and more of a city, the first city of free sheepheads in centuries.

You stand on the hill overlooking the beach where you first sailed in to Freehome months ago, flanked by your lieutenants. Haman, your second-in-command, is on your right. On the sand below are thousands of excited sheepheads milling about, filled with anticipation for your speech. You've made it a point to meet all of them, even the children, but for most that one meeting has been their only contact with you. You can feel how much they want to hear you.

"My people," you begin, "I bring you good news.

"You already know about our victories. Many of you man the ships that sail our coast, liberating villages from the Bullroar's heavy hand. Many others have been rescued and stand here free for the first time. Only a few dozen of you remember our start in the mines, but all of you know how we have grown, how with the help of our allies the merfolk, we have founded this city, stopped trade on the Great Sea, and begun to take back our homeland.

"I am here to tell you that our enemies are feeling the pain of defeat. We are making them suffer, as they did to us as slaves, so much that the Bullroar King has sued for peace."

A murmur or surprise runs through the crowd. Only a few knew about the audience.

"Who could imagine this?" you say exultantly. "When we first stood up for freedom, months ago in the mines, who expected that the Bullroar King would come to us pleading? This shows how much they fear us."

The people cheer. Yes, you think, be proud.

"Of course, their terms are a trick and a lie. They offer us freedom under their rule, with our brothers remaining as slaves. Most likely they would kill us as soon as we returned.

"That is my belief. Yet all of you are free to make your own choice. So if anyone here wants to take the Bullroars' offer, you may leave without shame. For myself, I choose freedom. I will fight until all our people are free, or death takes me."

The crowd erupts with an intensity that startles you. You knew that they were with you. But their feeling is stronger than you realized. The cheering doesn't die down. Instead, it changes into a chant – one word, repeated over and over, as the people stomp their feet and raise their arms an almost religious frenzy. The word is "Akina."

You turn to Haman. "What are they saying?"

"That's what they call you now," he says, raising his voice to make it heard above the din. "It means 'Fire King.'"

You look out at the sea of cheering faces. You never called yourself their king. You never claimed to be their leader at all, but for whatever reason, they all obey you without question. They'd follow me off a cliff, you think with a slight chill. But you smile and wave, giving them what they need.


The next few weeks bring more good news. The Bullroar armies guarding the coast react more slowly now. They still outnumber you, but now they seem to be spread more thinly. Your strategy of lightning raids along the coast brings success. Day by day your army of freed slaves grows.

Then one day you find out why the Bullroars are spread so thin along the coastal villages. The merfolk report it first, then your own scouts confirm: they've massed their forces in the town of Dorax, only a short sail from Freehome. They've fortified the town, and while their soldiers stand guard, their workers and slaves are building ships.

They're visible from the water, many large warships being built at once, capable of holding more than enough troops to crush your rebellion. They're on a low slope overlooking the water so that they can be easily rolled down to the sea once they're ready.

You call your sheephead lieutenants together. You want to talk to the merfolk too, but you meet first without them.

"The Bullroar army is building ships at Dorax." you say. "Why? They already have enough ships to invade Freehome. The only thing that's stopping them is the merfolk."

"Dorax is close," says Philos, a brave captain, only seventeen, who's already led many raids along the coast. "Maybe they hope to sail here before the merfolk can sink their ships, or to put so many in the water the merfolk can't sink them all."

"Then they're fools," says Drogas, an older sheephead with military experience. "There are thousands of merfolk patrolling the seas between here and Dorax, and it only takes one trident to puncture a hull. No matter how many ships the Bullroars put in the water, not a single one could make it here."

Haman shakes his head. "The Bullroars aren't fools," he says. "They must have a plan."

"Maybe they know something we don't," says Philos.

"What do you mean?" you ask.

"Maybe the merfolk have sold us out, and they're going to let the Bullroars come."

"The only reason we're alive is because the merfolk protect us," you say. "If they wanted us dead, we'd have been killed months ago."

"Yes, they've kept us safe till now, but who knows how they think?" he says. "Maybe they only saved us so that they could bargain away our lives. They're a slippery people. Didn't the prophet say they were going to betray us?"

"He never said that," you say, annoyed both that Nelectitus's prophecy has become common knowledge and that its meaning has been distorted. "And if the Bullroars had made a deal with the merfolk, why would they need to build a new fleet in Dorax? They could just sail up the coast from the Inner Cities; they have plenty of ships there."

"All the same," says Haman. "Philos has a point. The sea is strange and the merfolk stranger. We depend on them, but we don't know why they're helping us. And the prophet did warn us against them."

You expect that kind of talk from a young hothead like Philos, but you're surprised to hear Haman agree. You say, "The prophet said: 'The sea serpent comes to eat twelve fish. Beware the ink of the octopus! The trap set for the shark catches the bait as well.' If anyone can make sense out of that, please say so."

There was a long silence, and then Haman says, "Where is the prophet, anyway?"

"I sent for him, but he didn't come," you say. "Let's find him."

So you and your captains get up and start looking for Nelectitus the satyr. Soon you find him on the beach, crouched in the sand holding a conch shell to his ear. As you watch, he tosses it away with a look of disgust, searches the sand desperately for another shell, and then picks it up and holds it to his ear. He looks anxious, almost in a panic. You've never seen him so upset.

"Nelectitus!" you call. "What are you doing?"

He jumps at the sound of your voice, his eyes darting back and forth between you and your captains. "Listening," he says. Then he goes back to scrabbling for shells.

"Listening for what?"

"For a way out," he says. He picks up another conch shell and presses it to his ear.

"A way out of what?"

"The sea serpent comes," he says. "Since the four eyes set upon you, the sea serpent comes."

"What sea serpent? What are you talking about?"

"I keep listening for a way out. There must be a way out," he says, throwing aside his shell and digging for another. "But they all say the same thing."

"What's that?"

He picks up another shell and gives it to you. You press it to your ear, and hear nothing but roaring, the sound of the sea. You give it back, shaking your head.

He puts the shell to his ear and nods, slowly. "The name of the serpent," he says. "Leviathan."

He turns away from you, searching for shells closer to the sea. "Ask the merfolk!" he calls. "They know Leviathan."

You and your captains look at each other uneasily. "Let's do that," you say.


The merfolk are stationed all around the island of Freehome, but their generals stay by the main dock so that they can easily coordinate with your people. You and your captains meet them there. Your fiancee, the mermaid Lalomea, is with them.

"You know that the Bullroars are massing and building ships at Dorax," you say to them. "Do you know why?"

"The ways of land-dwellers are strange to us," says Petrosian. "I see no gain for them in building ships. Any that touch the water will be sunk; they must know that."

"It's a mystery to us too. But there's something else: our prophet has foretold the coming of a sea serpent: Leviathan."

The merfolk freeze. The older ones look down. The younger ones look to Petrosian. He pauses and then says, very carefully, "I see. And what is the nature of the…prophecy?"

"Nothing more. But he said that you would know the name."

"Yes, yes. There are…things in the sea that don't accept the dominion of our father. Leviathan is a great sea serpent that lives in the deep at the Wheel's edge."

"Why would it come here?"

"It would never come this far Inward. Unless…"

"Unless what?"

"Unless it were summoned."

"Could the Bullroars summon it?"

Petrosian laughs. "No, no, the Bullroars could never do that. It would take a great wizard."

"What about the Emperor? Would he know a wizard that powerful?"

Petrosian looks at you seriously. "The Emperor is a wizard that powerful."

There's a long silence. Then Petrosian says, "Don't be afraid, Prince Lodevar. We're sworn to protect this island, and we will. We've slain Leviathan before."

"You mean there's more than one?"

"No, there's only one."

"Then what do you mean you've slain him?"

"He won't die until the end of the world," says Petrosian. "But now I have to swim. I must tell our father this news, and ask for reinforcements. Continue your war as usual. If Leviathan comes, we'll handle him."

At a signal from Petrosian, all of the merfolk except Lalomea disappear into the sea. "One last thing, Prince Lodevar," Petrosian says.

"Yes?"

"The prophet who foretold the coming of Leviathan. Was that Nelectitus the satyr?"

"Yes, it was."

"I see. He's done us a great service. I hope you reward him for it." But his eyes narrow as he speaks, leaving you uncertain of his meaning.

And with that Petrosian disappears into the depths, leaving behind you, your sheephead captains, and Lalomea.

What do you do?

Read the posts below, and click "Post Reply" to post a suggestion for the Lodevar’s next action. Anyone is welcome to post. You can suggest what he would do based on his personality, what you think he should do based on what would be best, or just in general what seems like a good idea to you. Feel free to comment on other’s suggestions, but please be courteous.

You're also welcome to ask questions about Lodevar's background or about the world of the Wheel.
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Mordok
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Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 6:53 pm    Post subject:  

Whew! Man, you don't let up do you?

I still want to talk to the Mer-King. If he too, has no fear of Leviathon then by all means go on as we have. Imagine the victory it would be if we were able to defeat the Emperors wizardry. Petrosian seems to act as if its no big deal, and if thats the case, great news for us.

Something else to think about is the amassed forces that the bullroars have. While they are busy building ships we could attack, and reclaim a different village, further humiliating them and making their ships useless.
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Conor-Maccloed
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Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 6:53 pm    Post subject:  

HaHaHa First post.

Wow, this is exciting. Not quite sure what to do. If the emporer is summing the Great Serpent, then he must be against us and that isn't good for us or our allies. We need to question the prophet and see if there is any other way, and find out what the other two parts of the prophecy mean: "Beware the ink of the octopus, and the trap for the shark also catches the bait" I believe they were.

We need to start building or stealing more ships because, while the merfolk are dealing with the Serpent, we are wide open for attack from two points, with two Bullroar fleets, now that they know for sure where we are.
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Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 7:40 pm    Post subject:  

Hmmm, I seem to have an idea. For a better story, Keavney, since the sheep heads can't really do anything at all about the serpent, why don't you leave it to the merfolk, better yet, why doesn't Lodevar go on a quest with the Merfolk, and slay the serpent. And meanwhile he does that, why doesn't some captain lead an expedition to sail up with some small cog into the fleet they are building, set the cog on fire, and then jump off and let the cog sail in and burn all the other ships, knda like the the Spanish Armada. That way there could be two mutual quests at the same time, we would get a break off Lodevar for a few paragraphs, and it would also be a nice break from just talking about how the raids work and all that.


- D-Lotus
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Reiso
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Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 7:57 pm    Post subject:  

Hoooboy.

Well, it seems to me that if the Emperor is himself a great Wizard, than at the very least he probably knows about the coming of Leviathan, if he's not directly responsible for summoning it. If the Bullroar fleet times thier attack so that it coincides with Leviathan's own, the merfolk may be too busy fighting the serpent to prevent them from penetrating to the island and wreaking havoc. I would bet money that this is the plan.

It may not be so simple though. This is a strategy that any seasoned tactician would easily see through, so I am also guessing the Emperor (crafty wizard that he is), has something else up his sleeve that will further pad things in his favor, no matter what Lodevar & company are prepared for. Intense strategy sessions would be helpful.

As for a more direct course of action, I say take preventative measures: Fire the boats. I am not sure this is possible - well, anything is possible, but who can say how likely such a plan would be to see success? Nevertheless, I think it is worth the risk. No boats, no invasion. The merfolk know how to deal with Leviathan. That would only leave whatever the Emperor's ace card is to try to deal with when everything goes down.

On a side note, I never expected my simple call of freedom without compromise to gain so much support from everyone, but was very glad to see that many people agreed with me on it. I was especially happy to see the term used in the story itself. Not that I coined the term or anything, but I am very easily amused :D

I love this story!

For the record, I started writing this before my page was refreshed with D-lotus having a similar idea above. Yay Edit option! But it's good to know I'm not the only one who had the idea.
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Mordok
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Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 8:07 pm    Post subject:  

If all the merfolk flap their tales toward land we could make a giant wave that destroys or at least sets sail, all the bullroars new ships.

Ok, that was stupid. sorry
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Smee
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Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 3:27 am    Post subject:  

LOL Mordok. :)

Great chapter again Keavney, sets us up again for another great vote.

However, thanks to D-lotus, and Reiso we now how a plan I can leap on board with. Sending Lodevar off to speak with the merking, whilst some captain burns what he can of the fleet would be a good chapter.

To add to the plan, the remaining Sheepheads could be preparing defenses of Freehome, ready to repel anything from the mainland that they don't know about.

The chapter could bounce around, and we could get a real sense of urgency. See them get organised, whilst constantly worried that they're missing a vital detail that could spell their doom.

EDIT:

Q: Why is the emporer suddenly the one against us? Sure he has the ability to call the serpent, but that doesn't mean he did.

I will also add the idea of sending an envoy to the emporer. Maybe ask him if he is responsible for the aid of the bullheads, or speak to him of our peaceful intent to reclaim our lands - wishing it could be done without bloodshed; possible only by his directive.
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Key
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Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:47 am    Post subject:  

Anonymous wrote: Hmmm, I seem to have an idea. For a better story, Keavney, since the sheep heads can't really do anything at all about the serpent, why don't you leave it to the merfolk, better yet, why doesn't Lodevar go on a quest with the Merfolk, and slay the serpent. And meanwhile he does that, why doesn't some captain lead an expedition to sail up with some small cog into the fleet they are building, set the cog on fire, and then jump off and let the cog sail in and burn all the other ships, knda like the the Spanish Armada. That way there could be two mutual quests at the same time, we would get a break off Lodevar for a few paragraphs, and it would also be a nice break from just talking about how the raids work and all that.


- D-Lotus

I would like to do overlapping stories in the Wheel at some time, but for now I want to stick with Lodevar. He can always give a mission to one of his captains if you want, but he'll still be the main character of the story.
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Random
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Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:42 pm    Post subject:  

Nice chapter again, Keavney! I'm really digging this story!

I would have to agree with what has been said. We need to slow the Bullroars down and make time for the other things to pan out. Above all things we need to keep them on their toes. Bear in mind we might only get one shot at any kind of hit and run against their boats. This kind of tactic would be watched for by even the most lowly of guards.

What kind of weapons are at our disposal? Could we possibly poison their food supply? Perhaps go after the lumberjacks to slow their production of the ships?

I agree we have to attack the ships first to really hamper them. But that cannot be all we do.

I also agree that it is past time to speak with the Merking or possibly have a face-to-face with Petrosian or Lalomea to find out exactly what is going on with the merfolk. There is far too many riddles about our relationship and if we are going to carry this war to the next step, we cannot have any confusion as to who stands where.
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D-Lotus
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Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 3:51 pm    Post subject:  

Thanks for the support of my idea (which was really kinda the idea they used to defeat the Spanish Armada, but the Bullroars never heard of the Spanish Armada, did they?), but I also suggested that maybe Lodevar should help the merfolk out in their quest to kill the serpent? I don't think I explained this right so people didn't understand... Anyway, I was also going to suggest that if it's too hard to sail the cog into the harbor, maybe we could have a bunch of peole dump arrow's wrapped in cloth into oil and then set the arrow on fire, then shoot. I agree with sabotaging their food supplies and all that, but I was also thinking that maybe we should establish some sort of trade or something ourselves, I mean, where do the sheephead get their weapons, and how do they feed the growing number of people? I think that they should establish over seas trade with other countries, instead of stopping trade which is probably pissing some countries off(of course we would exclude the Bullroars), or we could let them have their trade, but make them have to pay taxes to trade(of course we would have to be supported with some of our army). I think there's so many things that there is to do at one time, it will be hard to put it into a poll.

- D-Lotus :roll:
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Mordok
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Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 6:23 pm    Post subject:  

The above posts gave me some thoughts.

Sending an envoy to the Emperor asking him about Leviathon is probably not a bad idea. We don't have to accuse him outright, but we could hint around it. This could let him wonder about how much we do know and keep him guessing. Also, who summoned Leviathon last time the merfolk fought it. That should be asked.

If the MerKing is really on our side, he could give us a bunch of the breathing shells and we could attack the Bullroar ships in force, from what is probably the least defended point of attack. It would have to destroy the bullroar morale if a battalion of sheepheads just emerged from the sea to attack them.
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Conor-Maccloed
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Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:01 pm    Post subject:  

I agree with most of the posts so far, we need a strong plan of attack against those ships, and the rest of the bullroar fleet as well. I would imagine we are getting most of our supplies from the raids and we can't let those stop. As for the idea of getting more of the breathing necklaces, I'm all for that. We could go in spec ops style dressed in underwater camo and creep up at night. Carry all we need to burn the ships in air tight containers of some sort and sneak in, steal as many ships, supplies, and weapons as we can and burn as much of the rest as possible. At least I think thats a cool idea.

Also, Random mentioned we need to talk to Lalomea, though I think he ment more to find out about the merfolk plans. I am deffinatly interested to know where that romance is going and think there should be more about her soon, that is if there is room.
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Ravenwing
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Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:17 pm    Post subject:  

Good question Mordok. Who/What summoned Leviathon last time could answer many questions concerning it. Also if the Emperor is powerful enough to summon this monster, could that mean he is against the Sheepheads? His sending of his envoys asking whether Lodevar is sheephead or merfolk hints at the fact that maybe he is looking for a weakness in Lodevar.

Quote: "The prophet who foretold the coming of Leviathan. Was that Nelectitus the satyr?"

"Yes, it was."

"I see. He's done us a great service. I hope you reward him for it." But his eyes narrow as he speaks, leaving you uncertain of his meaning.


I am suspicious of Petrosian. How has Nelectitus done a great deed?Telling of the Leviathan's coming probably, but could it be something else maybe?
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Key
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Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 10:28 pm    Post subject: Wheel Background  

Thanks for the great suggestions so far. Here is some background about your situation to help in the discussion:

Re archers and fire:

Your people are very knowledge and skilled at using/starting fire, many of them having been given that responsibility as household slaves. And you have plenty of lantern oil captured in raids that you could use for military purposes. But you have fewer than a hundred archers, and they're not very good. You've only got whatever bows and arrows you could steal from the Bullroars, and the Bullroars themselves aren't very big on archery. And of course, none of your archers has been practicing for longer than a few months, since no one practiced archery as a slave.

Given that, it's very unlikely that, shooting from the water, your archers could hit the ships that are being built in Dorax. That doesn't mean that you couldn't try to set them afire, but you would have to get closer, at least partway up the hill, and you might also need to use javelins or spears, which you have more of, and possibly even do it by hand.

Incidentally, the best archers in the Wheel are the centaurs, who live on the other side of the Great Sea, and so far haven't responded to your requests for talks.

Re trade and supplies:

The Bullroars traded with all of the races on the shores of the Great Sea: the centaurs, satyrs, and Mist Islanders. The Bullroars are skilled in metalworking and have lots of iron ore mined by sheephead slaves, so they would typically trade finished metal products, everything from silverware to doorknobs to weaponry, in exchange for wine, food, ceramics, furs, spices, and other such things. Most of the merchant companies who ran this trade were Bullroar, although there were some ships of other races as well, especially Mist Islanders.

When the merfolk blockaded the seas, they stopped all of the seagoing trade to and from Kria, although of course the other races are still free to trade amongst themselves by sea. Most of the Bullroar merchant companies still do the same trade but take the overland route, which is much longer and more expensive.

Your people have been getting most of your supplies from raiding the towns along the coast. You've accumulated some other plunder as well, much of which is not immediately useful in your war. So far, you haven't attempted to trade or buy anything with this.

In addition to surviving off of raided supplies, your people fish and have begun to plant crops on Freehome.

Re the necklaces that allow breathing water:

You gave these back to the merfolk when you returned from underneath the sea. You don't know how common these are or how many the merfolk have; you would have to speak to them to find that out.

Hope this helps answer some questions. Please let me know if you have more.
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D-Lotus
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Posted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 3:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Wheel Background  

keavney wrote: Thanks for the great suggestions so far. Here is some background about your situation to help in the discussion:

Re archers and fire:

Your people are very knowledge and skilled at using/starting fire, many of them having been given that responsibility as household slaves. And you have plenty of lantern oil captured in raids that you could use for military purposes. But you have fewer than a hundred archers, and they're not very good. You've only got whatever bows and arrows you could steal from the Bullroars, and the Bullroars themselves aren't very big on archery. And of course, none of your archers has been practicing for longer than a few months, since no one practiced archery as a slave.

Given that, it's very unlikely that, shooting from the water, your archers could hit the ships that are being built in Dorax. That doesn't mean that you couldn't try to set them afire, but you would have to get closer, at least partway up the hill, and you might also need to use javelins or spears, which you have more of, and possibly even do it by hand.

Incidentally, the best archers in the Wheel are the centaurs, who live on the other side of the Great Sea, and so far haven't responded to your requests for talks.

Re trade and supplies:

The Bullroars traded with all of the races on the shores of the Great Sea: the centaurs, satyrs, and Mist Islanders. The Bullroars are skilled in metalworking and have lots of iron ore mined by sheephead slaves, so they would typically trade finished metal products, everything from silverware to doorknobs to weaponry, in exchange for wine, food, ceramics, furs, spices, and other such things. Most of the merchant companies who ran this trade were Bullroar, although there were some ships of other races as well, especially Mist Islanders.

When the merfolk blockaded the seas, they stopped all of the seagoing trade to and from Kria, although of course the other races are still free to trade amongst themselves by sea. Most of the Bullroar merchant companies still do the same trade but take the overland route, which is much longer and more expensive.

Your people have been getting most of your supplies from raiding the towns along the coast. You've accumulated some other plunder as well, much of which is not immediately useful in your war. So far, you haven't attempted to trade or buy anything with this.

In addition to surviving off of raided supplies, your people fish and have begun to plant crops on Freehome.

Re the necklaces that allow breathing water:

You gave these back to the merfolk when you returned from underneath the sea. You don't know how common these are or how many the merfolk have; you would have to speak to them to find that out.

Hope this helps answer some questions. Please let me know if you have more.

About the archers, I was thinking that they would get close to the ships before firing. That way they wouldn't miss. Maybe we should also get the bullroars to pay huge amount of taxes to be able to pass, or to release sheepheads to free home. If all the bullroars are on that one city, maybe after we foil their plan, we could go and try to take another city by the coast or the inland, and start building up there until a bullroar army arrives. If the army is too powerful, we could always retreat. Could we do all these things in one chapter? Is the merking a very powerful magician too?If so, he could certainly afford to get one of those pearl neclaces for his son, right? Does Petrosian distrust in the satyr because he talks too much?Anyway, hope you can answer my questions Keavney.
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Key
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Posted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 5:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Wheel Background  

D-Lotus wrote: Maybe we should also get the bullroars to pay huge amount of taxes to be able to pass, or to release sheepheads to free home.

One of the options last time was to negotiate peace based on the Bullroars paying taxes in sheephead slaves for crossing the ocean. You can still do that, although now that you've sent the emissaries home it might be harder. You could also try to get the merchants to pay taxes without negotiating peace, although the Bullroar king might not be willing to let his merchants contribute to someone who was at war with his kingdom.

D-Lotus wrote: If all the bullroars are on that one city, maybe after we foil their plan, we could go and try to take another city by the coast or the inland, and start building up there until a bullroar army arrives. If the army is too powerful, we could always retreat. Could we do all these things in one chapter?

A lot of the things suggested so far are not mutually exclusive, but Lodevar like anyone else has limited time and resources. Once we've got the options defined, I'll probably ask something like "What do you do next?" or "What's your first priority?" and write the chapter based on the answer. If you think it's really important that Lodevar do multiple things at once or in succession, say so in your posting and I'll take that into account in coming up with the choices.

D-Lotus wrote: Is the merking a very powerful magician too?If so, he could certainly afford to get one of those pearl neclaces for his son, right?

Good question. You don't know if the merking is a magician or not. You do know that he gave you one of those necklaces before, and he gave two others to your companions.

D-Lotus wrote: Does Petrosian distrust in the satyr because he talks too much?Anyway, hope you can answer my questions Keavney.

Another good question. I can't answer that one either. Feel free to ask away, but if it's not a question Lodevar would know the answer to, then it's part of the mystery... :)
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D-Lotus
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Posted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 5:26 pm    Post subject:  

Well, then I think that at least two of my ideas can be used. Oh, maybe we could block trade of other countries who own sheep head slaves and make them pay? Maybe if we emerge victorious from this battle, we can start taking cities, we need to start stepping forward, cause were kinda stuck in freehome, and anyway, the mountains are our land, we would have advantage! I don't know... Another idea I had was maybe boarding the ship in the night and maybe steal some!!
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Ravenwing
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Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2004 11:48 am    Post subject:  

D-Lotus wrote: Well, then I think that at least two of my ideas can be used. Oh, maybe we could block trade of other countries who own sheep head slaves and make them pay? Maybe if we emerge victorious from this battle, we can start taking cities, we need to start stepping forward, cause were kinda stuck in freehome, and anyway, the mountains are our land, we would have advantage! I don't know... Another idea I had was maybe boarding the ship in the night and maybe steal some!!

Thats a big step to go against many countries, while you're only a newly founded group. But midnight raiding of ships does not sound like a bad idea.
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Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Wheel Background  

keavney wrote: Thanks for the great suggestions so far. Here is some background about your situation to help in the discussion:

Re archers and fire:

Your people are very knowledge and skilled at using/starting fire, many of them having been given that responsibility as household slaves. And you have plenty of lantern oil captured in raids that you could use for military purposes. But you have fewer than a hundred archers, and they're not very good. You've only got whatever bows and arrows you could steal from the Bullroars, and the Bullroars themselves aren't very big on archery. And of course, none of your archers has been practicing for longer than a few months, since no one practiced archery as a slave.

Given that, it's very unlikely that, shooting from the water, your archers could hit the ships that are being built in Dorax. That doesn't mean that you couldn't try to set them afire, but you would have to get closer, at least partway up the hill, and you might also need to use javelins or spears, which you have more of, and possibly even do it by hand.

Has anyone ever shot a bow. I've done archery in Boy Scouts so many years ago and if you can shoot a broad tipped arrow in the right direction and your bow or string doesn't break, you can easily hit a large wooden target. Are they using long or short bows? The only real difference is the range and the pull. If any of them are strong enough to really pull back, they should be able to get quite a good bit of range. You might, if your are worried about range, put them on the mast of he ships so they are shooting downward which would greatly extend the range, but make it harder to light the arrows before hand. they could also use drift wood, or trees with targets to start working on accuracy. BTW, what kind of boats are we talking about? Big galleons, viking style long boats with many ores?(spelling??)

Just thought I would through my $0.02 in.
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Conor-Maccloed
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Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:23 pm    Post subject:  

Hi all, that guest was me, didn't know I wasn't logged in when I posted it.
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Smee
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Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 2:35 pm    Post subject:  

Hey there Conor.

It's 'oars' by the way. Ores is the spelling for the stuff from the ground, like iron ore.

I agree. I've shot a long bow a couple of dozen times. It's relatively easy to shoot the length of a football (soccer) pitch, quite a bit further with the height idea you had.

Wanders off muttering... "purple = Ravenwing , red = Conor, orange = Emperor, white = any guest but probably D-Lotus

Ha, got it sorted for when you all forget to log in 8)
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Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 3:35 pm    Post subject:  

Smee, you need some kind of special signature. Like this

- D-Lotus :o
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Reiso
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Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 3:47 pm    Post subject:  

Smee wrote: Hey there Conor.

It's 'oars' by the way. Ores is the spelling for the stuff from the ground, like iron ore.

I agree. I've shot a long bow a couple of dozen times. It's relatively easy to shoot the length of a football (soccer) pitch, quite a bit further with the height idea you had.

Wanders off muttering... "purple = Ravenwing , red = Conor, orange = Emperor, white = any guest but probably D-Lotus

Ha, got it sorted for when you all forget to log in 8)

Silver=Reiso (and half a dozen other people, but dammit, it's cool.)
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Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 8:03 pm    Post subject:  

Reiso wrote: Smee wrote: Hey there Conor.

It's 'oars' by the way. Ores is the spelling for the stuff from the ground, like iron ore.

I agree. I've shot a long bow a couple of dozen times. It's relatively easy to shoot the length of a football (soccer) pitch, quite a bit further with the height idea you had.

Wanders off muttering... "purple = Ravenwing , red = Conor, orange = Emperor, white = any guest but probably D-Lotus

Ha, got it sorted for when you all forget to log in 8)

Silver=Reiso (and half a dozen other people, but dammit, it's cool.)


YAY!! I have started a trend. Everyone is following my colored worded posts. I am genius!! :D
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Key
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Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 10:59 pm    Post subject: Archery  

Anonymous wrote: Are they using long or short bows? The only real difference is the range and the pull. If any of them are strong enough to really pull back, they should be able to get quite a good bit of range. You might, if your are worried about range, put them on the mast of he ships so they are shooting downward which would greatly extend the range, but make it harder to light the arrows before hand. they could also use drift wood, or trees with targets to start working on accuracy.

Your people use a bow called the plexus, which was crafted by the centaurs of Sagita, who are the premier archers in the Wheel. The plexus has a hazel core surrounded by wood from the limbus tree, and varies in length between four and seven feet. It's capable of shooting quite far.

You yourself have never shot a bow, and for your archery tactics you're relying on a sheephead captain named Beledirus. He never shot a bow either before being freed, but he was a slave for a time in the centaur kingdom, where he watched many of them shoot and helped maintain their bows. Since joining your army, Beledirus has done his best to practice and to train the other sheepheads, using the bows you've stolen from the Bullroars. Your people don't really have a knack for archery, but Beledirus trains them hard and their accuracy has improved.

Beledirus was on one of the scouting ships that sailed by Dorax, and he reported back to you on the practicality of an arrow assault on the ships. His judgment was that the archers would need to be at least halfway up the slope before they could make an effective attack. Shooting from the masts is a good idea, but given the distance and the upward slope of the hill, they still wouldn't have enough height to reach.
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Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 4:37 am    Post subject: Re: Wheel Background  

D-Lotus wrote: Is the merking a very powerful magician too?If so, he could certainly afford to get one of those pearl neclaces for his son, right?

Good question. You don't know if the merking is a magician or not. You do know that he gave you one of those necklaces before, and he gave two others to your companions.

uhh what about when the merking mentioned he used very powerful magics to become human what abiout them?
huh huh huh
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saxon215
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Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 4:42 am    Post subject:  

well if the mer people are busy attacking this levithian and these ships are comming destorying some of them might help but obviously on something like that security would be very tight.
sometimes its best to defend, build a sea wall out at the point where the bullroares are most likely to attack, use a slingshot or catapault system to throw large rocks over the sea and at the warships and on the most easily accesible beaches build sand traps tripwores and other boobie traps to trip any invaders up and maybe even dig the beaches so that they are steeper making it harder for the bullroars to get up. also to increase archers power and range have them in the tree's around the beaches so they can easily pick off the bullroars.
your men are in good spirits keep boosting morral and they will do the work even faster
sorry but those are my ideas and thats what I would do we've had all these posts on attack stratergies what about defensive measures.
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Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 4:52 am    Post subject:  

Quote: To add to the plan, the remaining Sheepheads could be preparing defenses of Freehome, ready to repel anything from the mainland that they don't know about

I did mention it needed to be thought about. You have some good specific ideas though.
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saxon215
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Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 5:52 am    Post subject:  

oh sorry my bad i dont read posts fully sometimes
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Mother Goose
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Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 7:24 am    Post subject:  

Does Lodevar ever get a chance to talk to Lalomea? She must know something about the Leviathan, and if she's not too much under the thumb of her father, and Lodevar has succeeded in winning her trust a bit, she might be able to tell him something useful.
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Ravenwing
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Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 8:17 am    Post subject:  

Mother Goose wrote: Does Lodevar ever get a chance to talk to Lalomea? She must know something about the Leviathan, and if she's not too much under the thumb of her father, and Lodevar has succeeded in winning her trust a bit, she might be able to tell him something useful.

Good point, Mother Goose. That escaped my mind when I was reading the chapter. Lalomea probably would have heard legends or something.
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Conor-Maccloed
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Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 2:05 pm    Post subject:  

I know this isn't the best of times, but is anyone else actualy interested in the relationship between Lodevar and Lalomea? Just though I would ask, the Merking is only going to wait so long and we haven't heard much about the time they were suposed to be spending together.

Also thanx Smee for the spelling fix, I really can't spell very well.
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Smee
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Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 2:20 pm    Post subject:  

Quote: thanx Smee for the spelling fix No problem, happy to help. :)

Quote: anyone else actualy interested in the relationship between Lodevar and Lalomea? Certainly. But that damn Keavney writes such a great story with so much going on it's hard to find time for the lighter side of things. :wink:

A marriage is a big deal, especially as a coming together of two species, but with everything going on it's easy to see how it got put aside. Maybe pushing forward with the wedding, making time for it, is actually a great idea. It could finally cement relationships between the Sheepheads and the Merfolk, whilst the happy event that a wedding is could really boost moral amongst all the fighting troops, Merfolk and Sheepheads alike. :)

Well spotted Conor. :P
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Mordok
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Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 3:11 pm    Post subject:  

I wanted more of the happy couple earlier in the story but, now seems very unlikely. With a fleet of ships and Leviathon both set to attack, I doubt if anyone (MerKing included) would want to waste time party planning. If it could be done quickly, it would probably be a good idea, to cement relations and such.

I was also wondering if we are still trying to contact the mistfolk? Seems like we should be trying to establish relations with the other tribes.
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saxon215
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Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 10:52 pm    Post subject:  

yeah good pooint about the mistfolk mordok lets see what more these stange folk we havent heard omuch of have to offer
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Conor-Maccloed
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Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 9:21 am    Post subject:  

Didn't we send people out the the Satyrs, Mistfolk, and other races? If not, we really should, especially if we are about to fight a sea war. Before it was rebellion and piracy, now it's going to be civil war, and in that, we need as many allies as we can get.
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Ravenwing
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Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 4:36 pm    Post subject:  

Conor, the thing is that we don't know their reaction to such an action. They could all be against this whole civil war. We don't know. But I guess it won't hurt to send out messengers to them.
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D-Lotus
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Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 9:29 pm    Post subject:  

There's so many things to do! and the best thing is, you have the people to do it all at once!!! So why not? Maybe the options should be:
Do everything everyone mentioned
Do only half
Do nothing
Do only this and that, and so on

Well, if were going to do the burning down ships, or hijacking them (or hijacking and then burning) I think that our dear captain Belisaurious (was that his name?) should lead the squad....
- D-Lot...darn, I'm logged in....not that that's ever stopped me...let's try again...
- D-lotus :arrow:
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saxon215
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Posted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 4:26 am    Post subject:  

you cannot do everything at once, you dont have enough resources or manpower to acheive such a thing , you have to determine what are the most important thing to do and devot your resources to them
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Ravenwing
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Posted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 2:50 pm    Post subject:  

Thats true, Saxon, but D-Lotus has offered some interesting choices for the vote.
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