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SANDS OF WAR---Foothold in Araby PDF Print
Sunday, 04 November 2007

Know you, o reader, that Araby has a coastline of many shapes, from lazy sands to rugged cliffs and even forests. The City of Maharek is a combination of all three, there is a palace and a walled fortrerss. Inside the fortress known as the Shield of Araby. The Marquis waited with his generals - - - - -

Foothold: Gone was the jovial wit, the jests, the wry commentary. On the sand table , a study in tactics, for the rumors foretold of an Army of a Tomb King was approaching from the Interiors. It was full strength at 2000 Gold. Circuit riders had been sent out to scout, spy and return

'Now our allies have made entrenchments and traps to the east through the southwestern reaches . The western approach, on the coast is undergoing the same lethal construction, or so the enemy will think.' He caught his breath. 'I hope'

There was nuance that he was joking. 'It appears to everyone that the west approach is the best approach for an army like that of our opponent.. All other approaches are prepared and well manned.' He walked around the table of the battleground. There was the Shied of Araby standing defiant, its palisades stretching out like arms of a a fabled sea monster. He noted the one road into Maharek and this was the old coast road. A raised palisade ran parallel to the road for ten miles out from the Fortress. North of the road was a gentle sloping away of terrain to the sea..

'Archers atop the raised Palisade should slow their advance' said Sir Richelieu, 'The wall is constructed defensively' The Marquis nodded adding 'Unless our adversary decides to attack the wall from the westernmost end and devour the archers as it advances.'

'Attack them from the western most end, then' said Jacques de Rochefort and the Marquis laughed. ' Yes.' 'The History of any siege of Maharek has a common theme. The defenders took shelter and installed their trenches and traps all around the place. Whatever enemy was allowed to establish camps outside the first walls if defense. The human warriors made many destructive forays into the enemy when the enemy had set up his camps. The histories are full of tales of valiant desert warriors riding out and attacking the enemy, then returning to the security of the Fortress.'

'All invasions from the South?'

'Not all, from many directions.'

'And of the Sea?'

Sir Parcifal pointed to the long coastline 'The lighthouse is tall enough to warn of any fleet foolish enough to attack there.'

'Does the enemy know we are here?'

'Probably, but we have been successful in masking our full strength.'

'The trebuchets would make a nice addition', this was said almost as an aside.'We have something the enemy does not have', said the Marquis and he motioned to a steward who ushered in a wizened old man dressed as a wizard, replete with conical hat and long robes. 'This is an Asterlgga, a Astrolad, a-'

'Astrologer' said the little old man, 'and historian, my name is Fayeed.' And he bowed a courtly bow. He was excited and gestured with his hands like a Bretonnian fishmonger describing the catch of the day. -02-'M'lords I have wondrous news! In three days there is a junction of the moon and two planets!' He was excited, the Bretonnians [with the exception of the Marquis] looked at him as if he were mad.

A commotion brought in a steward with an urgent message. That the Army of Rhaas al Anarexes was seen marching into the sea! Not 40 miles to the east of Maharek! That this strange event occurred two days ago and was witnessed by both the scouts and a fishing fleet.

What was seen were over 60 skeleton warriors, six chariots or more, a tomb guard with command, two liche priests and Rhaas al Anarexes escorted by a Gigantic female mummy. Another report lists a giant Scorpion And two units of skeletal Cavalry.

All were stunned by the news. And the Marquis, trying to stay on course asked the Astrologer what was so significant about the heavens and the little man laughed 'This coast will experience the highest tides in recent history! The waters will cover the coast highway' and he laughed some more..

It became very clear to Parcifal, the Grail Knight Leader. 'This abomination marches undersea to attack the city!' He will have the protection of the waters.' He turned to the Marquis shaking his head, 'M'Lord d'Ascoyne we are in a perilous position.'

Parcifal noted that the Astrologer was looked at with much loathing by many of the Bretonnians assembled. 'Meaning he plans to attack in two to three days', said the Marquis.

The old astrologer was still smiling! The Bretonnians were reacting to his obvious pleasure in their discomfort. The old man became more animated. 'Don't you understand in less than 36 hours the Minus tide occurs at one of the clock in mid day.'

'Minus tide?' asked one of the men and the Marquis realized this was a knight from the interior.

The astrologer clapped his hands in joy and near squealed 'The waters will run away from the shore until it reaches a minus 70 feet with such swiftness that men cannot stand in it!'

'How much sand will be exposed?' shouted the Marquis.

'Approximately 2 miles, maybe even more. The bay is not deep. You will have 4 to six hours to meet thy enemy before the tides return.'

Immediately the men began planning and in doing so pushed the little astrologer out of the tent. He fell down and shook his head. He retrieved his hat, dusted off his robes and sighed when he was helped into a standing position. The helping hand was Parcifal who spoke quietly. 'M'lord d'Ascoyne is not finished with thee, Arabian.' They re-entered the tent where the old man was greeted with three cheers by all the officers, given a small chest of gold and warmly received.

'Remember four hours minimum before the tides rush back.' And he was gone.


Last Updated ( Monday, 05 November 2007 )
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