IMW: A War Stalled
Iron Moon War: Subchapter 4: A War Stalled
Commanders from both the north and south meet in secret a few weeks after the Knight of a Thousand Howls.
“Lady Vansen is good to see you in some health. We heard that you were gravely injured yet still participated in the defense of the south. Truly a story suitable to your legacy.” The Lord Commander of the Western Expeditionary Force said as he lowered himself to seated, having only stood when Sivian walked in. “I think that we are all here so we should discuss the plans for winter.”
Everyone in the tent sat around a large rectangular table. Heads of each knightly order, commanders for each of the larger state run regiments and even a representative from the Knight valiant and Priestess of Wenna was present.
A clerk who was one of many sitting on the edges of the tent stood and flipped open a large leather bound book. Unlike the other clerks his face was painted with a modified version of the Key of Zayl. “Commanders, due to the gathered stock of the Werewolf tincture, the more refined processes in diagnosing and treating the wounded, and the church force brought by High Priestess Millianna Marvell we should see only one or two, if any new shifted during the next full moon. Casualties during the Night of a Thousand Howls were lower than expected and we maintain a very actionable force as reported from all regiments. Supply lines have been further secured through Novia by the newly formed Vansen 2nd Regiment.”
“Who commissioned the 2nd Regiment?” Sivian spoke up.
The clerk move a hand to flip through some pages but didn’t. “Helvarin Adam Vansen, it was seconded by both Auratavia and Mazlan. The Regiment stands at 30% strength but is purely a defensive force of the supply line over the Omari River….um, I mean the Spirus River.” He corrected himself to use the name of the river as the Vansen called it.
“I see.” Sivian said but didn’t continue the line of questions.
The clerk sat down and the Lord Commander stood up and sighed as he placed his hand on the table.
“We are slated for an early winter, and are faced with a choice. March hard into the Orc’s do not stop, penetrate deep into their lands and hit them with our full force and pray they flee or die by the first snow. Or...we wait out the winter. Dig in at the southern river crossing and at the fortress crossing to the north and wait for a thaw. Both are easily defensible, but will add likely a year to this campaign and give the orcs time to regroup and potentially reinforce, we have no idea.”
The Pathfinder Commander of the 1st Pathfinder Division from Hyperion drummed his fingers. “The wood is dense beyond the river, and the threat of wolves means every engagement could be a death sentence or worse. If it is ordered I could pull some volunteers for more deep reconnaissance, but there are no guarantees.”
Everyone present was surprised at the admission. Often Pathfinders were seen are fearless and resourceful beyond words, able to survive and adapt to any situation even very far from help and home. Perhaps the wolves were more of a problem than just on the open field.
“Get the volunteers, winter experts, after the first snow I want them out.” The Lord Commander said.
“It will be done Lord commander.” The Pathfinder said.
“So, I take it we are not marching then Lord Commander.” The leader of the Masters of the Sea knightly order of House Worden spoke up. Sir Ryan Euland, The Captains Word.
“No, we aren’t, Sir Euland. I think it best to wait. We can consolidate ourselves and march in the spring.”
“Then you will spend the winter without the Valiant.” Sir Dormer stood from his seat which was really just a large rock they had carried in for him since there was no seat they had that would have supported his weight. “I can perhaps leaves Squires who may wish to stay but we cannot spend a season sitting on our hands.”
Millianna sighed. “The priestess also cannot spend the winter away from their posts if they are not needed. I can leave only those directly assigned to the expedition but others will have to return.”
The Lord Commander sighed. “Sir Crashing Bell, should there be shifts we cannot be fully unprepared. I am sure your squires are capable but we will need at least a single Valiant per posting.”
Dormer pursed his lips. “Then I will remain in the north and I will see if Michael will remain in the south.”
“I will speak with Michael myself.” Sivian spoke. “He will remain.”
“Then let us solidify the plans for winter.” The Lord Commander spoke up and sat back down in his seat. Sir Dormer excused himself and Millianna was soon after him, neither were needed for the lengthy conversation between the commanders.