Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

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Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Tisis Antony on Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:23 am

Oct 29, Year 4

On the outskirts of Manehatten, far along the roads leading off to the distant lands of Equestria, a caravan traveled. Bouncing along the makeshift path, their presence was obvious to anyone traveling these bounding plains. The path was brightly lit by the October sun, and the air was crisp and clear of pollutants.

Within the caravan, four Centurions under the guise of Griffin soldiers walked along an innocuous litter. Besides themselves, the caravan was a menagerie of various lawfully migrating creatures. Zebras, Ponies, Griffins alike traveled in the mutual protection of the caravan. The caravan was safety. The caravan was law.

Besides the Centurions, several other griffin escort soldiers followed along at regular intervals, establishing the legitimacy of the caravan. This was lawfully occurring commerce, though the griffons did not follow so much as to defend the caravan, than as to ensure their would be no rebel interference. Rebel forces habitually rode out to such caravans when they were unprotected, trading contraband and victuals far from Manehatten and the watchful eyes of its keepers. These Griffins existed to stop such illegal occurrences, and to ensure that the food cargoes reached their intended destinations. Griffins needed to ensure their soldiers were fed, and any break in the supply lines meant that Griffins and loyalists would be without.

The caravan made a steady pace under the yoke of their griffin protectors, and by this time they had reached the final check point before reaching the city, a small outpost wherein goods were measured, inspected, and the occasional bribe was paid.
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Johan Tercel on Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:34 am

Zweihander waited for Praetor August, and the caravan from Los Pegasus, at the checkpoint. Griffons milled around him, civilian and soldier alike, ignoring the heavily armored griffon. Bedecked from paw to head in rust red plate, with a sallet helm covering his face, he was remaining conspicuous. His contact could not possibly fail to see him.
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Tisis Antony on Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:59 pm

The caravan was a quarter mile out, and making its approach. The inspector griffins who staffed the outpost rushed about in preparation. Scales were removed from beneath covers, barrels were emptied of trash, and blades were sharpened. Several makeshift tables were created from upturned crates.

In the rabble, a figure moved to Zweihander's side. "Greetings Centurion," chimed in the Praetor.
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Johan Tercel on Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:43 am

Zweihander barely glanced at the griffon beside him. With a barely noticeable nod of his helmet, he acknowledged the Praetor. It wouldn't be proper to publicly announce the comradeship of the two griffons. Awaiting instructions, he readied the "insurance" in his claw, to give to the Praetor.
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Tisis Antony on Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:10 am

"When the cargo arrives, I am to relay with the Centurions to insure that they understand their orders from here. You are to escort them to the Griffon Headquarters, where the Auxiliaries have been briefed as to what to do. These are Centurions who haven't ever been to Manehatten, Centurion; they are accustom to the easy life of graft and political favour. Make sure that none get 'lost' or disappear. We are testing their loyalty- as you know, caution in all things. We cannot afford disloyalty here in Manehatten. The risks are too high."

A perplexed griffin stood nearby gawking at the pair- one, a chatty raven, and the other, a mute tawny. The Praetor shifted his gaze to the perplexed griffin, sending him scurrying.

"Now if you'd excuse me, I need to see to it that our... eavesdropper doesn't get any misgivings."
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Johan Tercel on Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:15 am

Zweihander fixes the raven griffin a hard stare, while raising his visor. He was not impressed at the implications of the Praetors statement. Shaking his head, he made it clear that the torture was not allowed.
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Tisis Antony on Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:32 am

Even if the Praetor had seen the stare, it was too late now. There would be no need for torture- the griffin would be reminded of its rank, of its family, of the OGI's influence. The griffin would be completely and totally intimidated and not attempt to blab his mouth anywhere.

The head of the caravan pulled into the outpost, splitting up between the groups needing inspections, and the groups of travelers who needed their ID's checked. The group bearing the litter gradually made its way up, until they had reached the outpost itself.

The leader of the pack looked about, trying to find his contact.
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Johan Tercel on Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:21 pm

Zweihander got the pack-leaders attention with a raise of his wing.
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Tisis Antony on Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:44 pm

The Centurions placed the litter on the ground, and approached Zweihander. "Are you the Prudentate?" asked the leader. "You don't look like 'em."

"You don't look like him at all, in fact," the griffin Centurion remarked, placing his talon to his blade.

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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Johan Tercel on Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:51 am

Zweihander scowled, and with an impressive flourish of his blade, brought the sword crashing down, point first, into the ground. After he did this, he gave the fist-on-chest salute a Centurion will do to other members of the cult. Raising his sallet helm's visor, it was unmistakably the Centurion Prima under all of that armor.

"*click*".
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Tisis Antony on Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:44 am

"Oh, Prima- my apologies!"

The Centurion performed the salute in reciprocal, bringing his fist to his chest in the same manner. What a disgrace, he thought, to doubt the Prima's identity. "I apologize profusely- it's just that they've been out to get us since we left to join this caravan back in Los Paliminos."

The Centurion Custodes waved for his comrades to move forward. In all, there were five of them, and each wore the armor of the Griffin Kingdom, and bore spears, with shields slung behind their backs. "We have lost three of our brothers since we began this horrible trek, and would be more than ready to die defending our charge. But I fear that we are terribly understaffed- it takes four of us to carry the damn thing, and that leaves one of us to defend the group from threats from afar. I am the captain- I cannot abandon the litter, and I'm afraid that the remainder of these Custodes are too under-trained to properly identify threats."

"So, are you- oh, your mute. Great... no disrespect of course! I thought that the Praetor was going to be here? Is he indisposed?"
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Johan Tercel on Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:00 pm

Zweihander was confused. How could he fail to see- oh. The Praetor had left yet again. And undertrained! This chapter was a debacle. Disrespectful to superiors... undertrained... weak enough to die from a silly trek? He was disgusted. He wouldn't even need his new weapon.
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Tisis Antony on Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:18 pm

The praetor swept in from above with no warning, sending the undisciplined Custodes scattering. "Captain, what is the meaning of this? Why are your men so poorly disciplined."

The Praetor was actually quite surprised. Typically when he landed like a mysterious night owl, full of mysterious suave grace, his contacts wouldn't flinch or even turn around. Typically it was out of sheer respect for each others mutual suaveness, and mystique- the Custodes seemed to have no such respect, though their commander did. He hadn't flinched in the least bit, as if Praetor's leaping from bum-fuck nowhere was a common occurrence for him.

"Im sorry for this inconvenience Prima, the griffin rapscallion proved more resistant to intimidation then I had originally planned," he said. "Custodes, this Prima is going to be your escort. I will be following you as well, to ensure that this artifact's routes are adequately scouted. Prima, lead on. The command is yours."
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Johan Tercel on Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:02 pm

Zweihander inspected the Custodes from Los Paliminos. With his visor back on, he was quite the intimidating sight. Sighing, he turned to the group of...Centurions. They didn't deserve the term. Waving his hand in the air, he brought the Praetor to him.

Signing discreetly, he asked the Praetor; "What are these fools carrying that is so unimportant that foppish children need to guard it?"
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Tisis Antony on Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:23 pm

The Praetor couldn't say. "I was not informed of the charge- only that it was important enough that the Los Paliminos chapter sent their entire contingent of Custodes to bring it here, where the Prudentate's felt it would be better secured. I don't think that Los Paliminos is actually that dangerous- only that the Chapter there is quite... inept. It's where we send washout sons-of-nobles who can't be expelled, but can't be tasked to keep their own armor on right."

"Captain- do you know what we're carrying?"

The captain turned around to face him, having just scolded his men. "You mean, they didn't tell you? This here is a-" he stiffened suddenly, like he had caught himself from saying something he wasn't supposed to. He moved in real close, and placed his wings to forward to keep his speech silent from the crowd. "The damn things a hydra egg," he whispered. "Gotta keep it away from moisture or the damn thing'll crack open faster than a Palimino mare on Tequila."
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Johan Tercel on Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:08 pm

Zweihanders eyes went wide. A..hydra?! This wasn't an artifact; it was a trap! He drew his sword, and looked at the Praetor, warily.
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Tisis Antony on Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:22 pm

"You seem surprised Centurion," said August to Zweihander. "Were you not aware that we collected such things? If we can hoard them, they become harmless trinkets- a Hydras egg doesn't hatch if it is kept dry. We need these things, only to keep them from the rebels."

The Praetor took off abruptly, to scout the route ahead for any small pools of water, to ensure that they avoided those areas. The captain looked to the Prima of Manehatten, waiting for an order.
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Johan Tercel on Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:22 pm

Zweihander kept wary. He, as a rule, avoided monsters like the plague. Too many variables, completely unlike a Griffon warrior or a pony soldier. They were inpredictable. If they did something, you could almost never plan for it, like you would an animal. Monsters, and Zweihander knew this from...personal experience, that monsters were savage, but intelligent. They premeditated, and thought out what they were to do, but did not restrain themselves with morality. He would keep an eye on that box. Jerking his head forward, he led the group down the path.
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Tisis Antony on Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:24 pm

The Praetor watched as they moved down the path, abandoning the rest of the caravan as they were searched. His eyes flickered over the field below, along the path on the approach to Manehatten. The amber grasses of fall had set in, making the clearings a sea of gold. Wintery wisps of frost blew in, taking the gold-tinged grasses and tipping them with white.

This was the last leg of the journey, a long one that had passed through many such fields. The Praetor had been tasked by the receiving of the 'insurance' to make sure the Hydra egg reached its destination. He was rarely given missions involving actual footwork, but when he was it surely meant that he was being tested. Being a Praetor was like a dance with drunken goddess- you never knew what movements were tests or just the mad gyrations of an incomprehensible mind. The Praetor knew that this was a test though- the tell tale signs all shown. The 'insurance', the incompetent Centurions, the 'Hydras egg' that was just as likely to be some heavy rock bundled in a crate. This was a test, no doubt, and his continued existence relied on its successful completion.

His eyes danced over the road ahead, imbibing on the grooves and twists it took. The walk-worn sandy highway rose over a hill, and converged with a larger, paved road on the bare outskirts of town. From there, the path forward would involve navigation of precarious streets under the eye of the Griffin occupiers and the Rebels alike.

The Praetor returned his gaze to the litter below. Five Centurion 'Custodes' and a Prima were more than enough to escort the 'egg' through the city without consequence. August's informants suggested that the rebellion was in remission- there was no need to worry about attacks. With no external chances of sabotage, the only conceivable means of attack came from within the caravan. Either the Centurions weren't centurions, or the Hydra was no bluff.

__________


The Centurion Custodes followed the mute. They bore the litter with apprehension, often making vocal grunts as if they strained to carry it for much longer. One Custodes slipped from underneath the bearing arm, forcing the others to lower it or have it twist to the ground.

"Ey- its your turn to carry it Mr. Big Griffin. We're tired of hauling this shit around."

The other griffins looked to him with daggers in their eyes, and the Captain quickly took up the litter to mitigate any perceived backlash from the mute.
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Johan Tercel on Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:42 pm

Zweihander looked at the one Centurions face. Walking forward, slowly, he gave him a glare. Punching him in the face, he quickly took the arrogant Centurions position on the stretcher. Moving forward, he insured that the bloody thing would not fall. He did not need an incident.
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Tisis Antony on Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:55 am

(((The truest mark of a poor GM- if the action gets dull, the scream DRAGON and throw random shit at the scenario. I'm not like that. If our action gets dull, I try to describe actions and scenery more, both to pad things out, and to make the scenario more interesting when the action DOES happen. "I want to use that axe you mentioned"- referencing an axe I mentioned in a throwaway comment about the decor of the room. See how I focus on the Centurion's dispositions so that players are aware of how the other characters are behaving. Though this scene is arguably a throwaway one with me responding to the act of punching; in addition to the act of taking up the litter- I am able to reveal some background information about Praetor practice and the dispositions of the Centurions that may prove valuable play-wise later.)))


The Centurion sprawled out over the ground, completely comatose from the abrupt fist to the face. The other griffins cheered a bit at this, and noone seemed to care about leaving him there. Shortly later the Praetor would return and handle the unruly Centurion, though it is likely best that noone know how or with what amount of prejudice.

The litter, minus its uncooperative left leg, made quick progress up the road and down the path. The others seemed bolstered by the Prima with all the energy, and made way without fuss or quarrel. The heavily armored entourage approached the outskirts of the city without difficulty. The watchful eye of the skybound Praetor never strayed too far from their path, swooping in and shooing off the random passerby or vagrant along the road.

The Praetor signaled the Centurion to begin his approach into the city outskirts.
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

Post by Tisis Antony on Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:37 pm

(((Addendum post, as per request by Zweihander. You ever get that feeling where you see earlier work and feel like it's complete shit? I just got that feeling...)))


The group moved into the city under the watchful eye of the Praetor. The previous leg of the journey had been largely uneventful, though whether this pattern would hold true was another matter.

The Praetor noticed a crowd of ponies congregating around a cart. Seeing no other route to take, he motioned for the Centurions and their Prima to proceed.
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Re: Caravans, Cargo, and Centurions- what could go wrong?! [Closed] (Dated)

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