Khevoran 2 Session Notes: 10 October 2009
The party returns from the goblin cave, delivers Gronk to the Company surgeon, reports in, rests, and resupplies. They attend at gathering of The Society at Everwatch and get their first glimpse of High-Guard Fortress. Kironius Mengst gives a speech to the assembled soldiers, transcript below.
Okay, listen up. We’ve got some new faces here – the entire Op 3 squad is coming up after the ambush last month, and I know Sergeant bin Warri has some new blood as well. Welcome to the Company.
It’s also become clear that Lieutenant Melvar isn’t going to be coming back to us – the unit I sent into the South a year ago hasn’t been able to turn him up. With that in mind, I’m hereby granting Sergeant Major Stein the rank of Lieutenant and promoting him to Company XO.
Now, if it were up to me, I’d just keep the Kisharans bottled up in the South forever, but it’s just not going to happen. As you can see, they’ve made considerable improvements in the range of those damnable guns in the year we’ve been here. All they have to do is push us far enough down the back side of this ridge – they’ll bring Stonehand’s army through the gates under cover of cannon fire, and they’ll take back the North. Make no mistake, we will lose the waiting game, not them.
We have to take this fortification.
So let’s see what we’re up against. For those of you who haven’t met him, Smoot is the Company Chief Engineer. I know a lot of you have some right terrible thoughts about gnomes, and I can’t blame you for it, but Smoot fought alongside the Emperor against the Kisharans at Aidan’s Crossing thirty years ago when they first came through the gate, and he’s been fighting them ever since. Chief?
Right, this here is the Bubblesneezer Anti-Infantry Scattershot Cannon – named for their inventor Vernon Bubblesneezer, now the Dean at the University of Invention in Penshin, and, I hear, very fondly regarded by the Lady Cyan Marinetta – and who can blame her – he gave the Southlanders the most terrifying weapon that the world has ever seen.
What you’ve got is a cart-portable long-bore gun that uses a specialized chamber to fire self-contained powder and ordinance cartridges. It can be loaded, and loaded fast, with a variety of munitions – including exploding slugs for indirect fire and a loose shot for shredding infantry formations.
The real bitch about the things is that we still don’t know how they work. The bastards have them AND the cartridges rigged with some kind of booby-trap that spites the guns, and not only makes them useless, but somehow completely destroys a component that must be vital in their operation. I shit you not, boys and girls, these things make no damn bit of sense with those parts missing. And whatever the rigging is, it’s easy to set off, and the gun crews will die making sure it happens. In the eight years since their push into the Northlands we have yet to get hold of a single one of these guns in a functional state, and believe we, we’ve tried. Better men than the lot of us will ever be – beggin yer pardon Cap’n – have died trying or, at best, come back with busted guns.
And the news gets worse. We’re received reliable intelligence that Bubblesneezer is about to unveil the next generation of the gun. This one has a special barrel which will increase its range by several hundred yards, and…an auto-loading mechanism. Allowing the gun to fire many, many times in a single minute. One of these guns with an infantry formation, or on a ship, could completely dominate the battlefield. Our time…is up. These weapons aren’t in production yet, but word has it that Bubblesneezer is hard at work perfecting the design. We can likely expect to see them by the spring.
Now, you may think, given our particular circumstance, that those guns being easy to disable is a good thing, but you’d be wrong, because unless some other miracle happens, there’s an army much bigger than ours right on the other side of those gates, and they’re itching for a fight. Even if we take the fortress, they’ll blow the walls to hell with cannon from the ground and be over them before we can fortify the place.
Somehow…some…how…we need to infiltrate the fortress, bar the south gate, open the north gate, capture and turn the guns on the Kisharans and make them pull back out of range. Oh…and let’s not forget the ten-thousand-year-old geomancer with a direct line to a dark goddess…he’s in there too…and he did that… [points to the statues]
I’ve got no problem admitting to you lot that I have no idea how we can accomplish this. That’s where you come in. Discover the things I don’t know, discover that which is hidden, discover that which will give us a chance. This is The Society’s imperative. This is our mission.
Lieutenant, you have your orders.