|Mike Sullivan||Chris Warren
On the third and final day of the tournament, I was getting ready for the quarter final run when I got that not so fresh feeling in the back of my head. Reluctantly, I answered the trump call. It was Random. Great. I made placatory remarks and said I'd call him back in a few hours since I was in the middle of something. After I had won and was feelign done with the celebration thing, I called back Random to find out what was going on.
It seems that our friend Arjan had not been idle during the short time I'd been away; the kingdom (or churchdom?) of Creswali was in full surround-sound techni-color balls-to-the-wall rebellion under the leader of the (False) Prophet Arjan. Random wanted me to go in and act as a military advisor to the Creswali army who were getting the pants handed to them by the rebels. After only a littel bit of hemming and hawing, I agreed. Dad's instilled a bit to much of a sense of loyalty towards Amber (and thereby the Throne) for me to refuse a direct request by its King.
So, Random brought me through and then informed me that his daughter Gwyneth would be going along as well. (Right, no pressure...just take along my inexperienced young daughter to the site of a major rebellion, keep her involved, and oh, by the way, don't even think of letting her get hurt...but really, no pressure...just do what you can...). Who am I to say no to such an offer(order)? The short of it is that Pretty soon Gwyneth and I were in a boat on the way to Creswali. On te way I tried to teach Gwyneth a bit of the theory of warfare, and for breaks a bit of fencing. She was inexperienced, but had a reasonably good intuitive grasp of both the theoretical side of war and the actual sword play. She would survive against any trained Amberite, but she would easily beat any normal shadow dweller.
We disembarked at the major port of Creswali and found our selves in a somewhat dour but only slightly worse for wear large city. The official welcoming party was polite, glad to see us, but also somewhat subdued. We met with the local leaders and got a clearer picture of how this whole thing had started. About a month ago, the church officials (Creswali is a theocracy of some sort or other) first started hearing of this heretical branch revival being led by some one called Arjan, and then the Prophet Arjan. This branch was something that had tried to split off some long ago, but the main part of the church had held together and gotten rid of the splinter group. They had destroyed it completely enough that for 900 years or so there had not been mention of it. Anyway, the church was just beginning to take some measures (3 weeks since they first even heard of Arjan) when the rebellion happened. Most of the work force simply up and left their jobs, often after commiting some minor sabotage, and headed north to join the rebel army. Poof. In a matter of a little over eight hours the entire industry of Creswali ground to a halt.
Well, after the hellos and such, we headed out towards the front with a unit of heavy cavalry. It was couple of days ride and we made it there with little incident. The soldiers were fairly young and not very experienced, but seemed decent enough other than that. The inexperience thing might be a problem though. When we got to the field command center we were met with enthusiasm by the Creswali commanders. They were giving it their best try, but they were basically just incompetent (or at te very least, very out of practice). Gwyneth stayed around the HQ while I traveled to the lines and got some idea of how the men were holding out. Not too bad, but getting dangerously low on supplies. I also learned a bit about the rebel tactics. They had a couple of units of Gezaro bow men that could move around, concentrate briefly at a point in the defenders line and cover an infantry charge and hold off a counter attack by the Creswali cavalry, and then restabalize having gained a couple of hundred feet of ground. This had been going on pretty much since the beginning and Creswali commanders had not been able to figure out what to do about it. They weren't realy able to press the attack (which was what they should have done) because of problems with their supply lines. Since they were in an entirely reactionary position the rebels could use their mobile strike force to full advantage. When I got back to camp I looked over the suggestions that Gwyneth had made and they seemed al right to me, so I went to bed. The next few days were pretty similar and completely uneventful. The lack of supplies was becoming a serious problem, but there were theoretically a couple of caravans on the way from Desden.
During all this, some other folks were off having a grand old time on their own. Tom, Adria, and Janna had decided to go infiltrate the main rebel camp. I'm not entirely sure what went on, but round about 6:00 AM amber time they called Random in his bed while he was asleep and asked him to pull them back to Amber because they were in a bit of a complicated position and they had a prisoner with them. I would have loved to have seen Randoms face when he got the call, and their faces when they realized they forgot the time difference, but not quite enough to actually want to have been there. Well, Random pulled them through and then told them to get out of his sight for a while. I learned of all this because soon after I woke one morning Random called me and told me, and asked me if I could use a few more bodies around. In addition to Adria, Tom, and Janna, Martin was around as well. I had just learned that the caravans had experienced some difficulties in the road and woudl be delayed, so a few more bodies around would be quite useful. I really wanted to either go myself or send some one else out to lead the caravans back as soon as possible. Besides, it couldn't hurt too much to do the King a favor. I told him I could certainly use them, and a couple of hours later they called and I pulled them through.
Adria and Martin both had some arcane abilities to see things from far away, so they got the job of being look outs. Gwyneth stayed at the head quarters to keep the local command in line, and Tom, Janna, and I headed south to see what was holding up the caravan...