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Author Topic: Era 2, The Nomad Spring  (Read 3582 times)
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« on: September 23, 2008, 14:56:29 PM »

The cruel winter had obviously tired to torture nomads and imperians and it was with great reluctance that it withdrew for the spring to take its place.
But it was not going to be easy for the mortal enemies.
The harsh temperature change made the snow melt extremely fast and almost all the lands of Imperia turned into a deep swamp. Many rivers came out of their beds and flooded the valleys, the crops, the clearings and the pastures. Bridges were taken away, domestic animals and cattle were drowned... including those one who were trying to save them.
The free rulers were concerned about not having enough crops in autumn.
And the nomads... were wading into the mud, disgusted, dying by swamp fever by thousands, unprepared, nor immune against such malice, which was never present in the Steppe.
And a war had to be waged in such conditions.
Xaoc knew he did not have to loosen his grip on the imperian Fortresses. They had to be sieged constantly. No rest. No mercy.
Oton was successful in weakening the economical ties between the kings, but the sudden spring snow melting and the followed floods made the campaign stall into heavy passes, and even heavier stationary and hand to hand warfare.
The nomads were starting to lose the initiative.
And the reinforcements... were still missing.
The ships captains were probably waiting for better weather to sail off. The Steppe Wolf could not blame them.
He wanted nomad armies to arrive. Not... few shipwreck survivors.
And the rampant sea was hitting the rocks of the eastern shores with its giant waves loudly and mercilessly. Each ship, daring to dock, would be tore to pieces, if not destroyed in the open sea before that.
This was not the war Xaoc wanted.
The Chieftain of the Horde could smell... the growing Imperators' boldness.
The royal forces were not stuck in their Fortresses anymore, unable to stand against the pillages and sieges. Used to the nature's fury, which came upon their lands, extremely adapted to the "sick" weather conditions, knowing just about any place in the mud cross-country terrain, the imperian armies were intercepting the barbarians while still marching, making brutal ambushes and killing them by the last man. Fewer and fewer were the returning reconnaissance units, delivering intelligence reports. The few survived ones were bringing back... messages from the enemy. Many of those messages... were mocking, insulting and challenging.
Xaoc was furious.
The free Kings were not scared.
They laughed in his face.
"If they keep like this... soon they will be bold enough to assault the camp and... kill us all like rats!"
The thought of defeat was... humiliating.
The fate was not on his side.
"This is probably the lesson I have to learn for not finishing it all last year!"
And he was so close.
Just few more attacks...
Few more campaigns... and he would crush them. All of them.
And now... instead of drowning in the mud... he would sit on the imperian throne and title himself The Soul Imperian Sovereign.
He had this dream many times. In fact... he dreamed of nothing else. And the dream was always the same.
He could see himself passing the huge hall, carrying the purple imperian mantle... and all the conquered imperian by his side, close to the columns kneeling one by one.
He sits on the throne, the main imperian priest puts the sword crown on his head, giving him the scepter.
And then... the immortality comes.
But so far this immortality... was still... very yet to come. Almost unreachable.
Not in this mud, though.
This mud in which... General Caxo, to whom he had decided to give a lesson to be remembered... was sinking almost the whole passed month.
"Let him understand that nothing in this life is taken for granted. Let him dirt for a while. Let him smell the blood. His own would be preferable. Then he will learn. Then he will be... a real soldier!"

Fourth wave results:

Imperian Fortresses destroyed: 334
Defenders' victories: 368

Fifth wave results:

Imperian Fortresses destroyed: 357
Defenders' victories: 345

Sixth wave results:

Imperian Fortresses destroyed: 70
Defenders' victories: 165

Total sum of nomads killed: 5642899
Total sum of imperian soldiers killed: 697275

Despite the spring, which turned out to be no less merciful, a vigor could be sensed in the nomad camp.
The Steppe Sons were hungry for battles and knew that the furious weather would eventually come to an end. And it was a matter of time to start driving the imperians back to the corners of their lands. Everyone want to be on the battlefield, the glory, the spoils of war.
Oton's cruelty and the sight of the broken imperians captives' spirit, with whom he returned, raised the nomads' morale. They knew the imperian forces were not unbeatable. They knew they could crush them. And they believed their Generals.
Even with his ears soaked in mud, Caxo showed everybody that despite his insane bravery, and his almost stupid boldness, he could be disciplinned, wise and clever tactician.
This time the young Blood-Thirsty did not dive with his head in front. Instead, he took the terrain into notion and deployed his forces for a long, position battles, deep front lines and slow advancement. The cavalry was useless in this sludge, so Caxo picked a veteran grunts for his armies, already smelled the harsh cross-country warfare.
Many of them fell, but nevertheless, the Blood-Thirsty managed to strengthen the nomads' bridgehead in the eastern provinces.
But that was the maximum. So much was he allowed by the cruel weather and the imperian armies.
The western nomad offensive was still out of question. Not until significant reinforcements from the Steppe arrived.
Xaoc knew that.
And he also knew that, if they wished, the imperians could mount a powerful counter-offensive and quickly take away the initiative.
The Steppe Wolf had to manage everything with the present diminishing forces.
And this fact irritated him.
It was even driving him mad. It was making him blind to objectively evaluate the tactical situation and was binging out the animal in him.
Xaoc want to kill.
And when he wanted to kill... he was sending the only one who could do the job.
The Butcher was coming.
And the hell was coming with him.

The second nomad spring had come.

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