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Threetoe's Stories, and Analysis

Olton at War

By Threetoe

The legion moved ever southward. Prairies were replaced by vast swamps. The soldiers boots began to rot and fall away, exposing their feet to venomous snakes. Olton led his troops out of the swamp. By now many had deserted or succumbed to disease. The army was mainly composed of farm boys who had never been to the crowded filthy cities. As they stepped onto the grassy field they could see the forces arrayed against them. Hundreds of goblins were positioned on the hills a half mile from the swamp. Their archers formed a line in front of the rows goblins of bristling with pikes and poleaxes.

One of the boys was trembling. Olton rode slowly toward him on his great horse Methelm. He asked the boy where he was from. The boy answered he was from the remote village of Altare. Olton told him that soon the bards would sing ballads of the great warriors of Altare. He asked the boy's name, and he said his name was Harry. The boy smiled. He knew the great general was promising that which would not be. But he cared for his men, and that is what mattered.

They marched on. Volley after volley of black feathered arrows rained onto the men. Cries of terror mixed with cries of bloodthirsty rage as Olton ordered his army to charge. As the first of Olton's men reached the hill, the archers withdrew behind the other goblins who lowered their spears. Olton watched from his horse with a group of his best knights. When the center of his line began to break he ordered his knights to fill the gap. More goblins poured over the hill and curled around Olton's flanks. His boys were beaten. Their lines broke and they turned and fled.

Olton charged through his fleeing troops, begging them to fight on. He charged past them toward the goblins, shouting behind him. Spears struck the ground all around him. The troops rallied and turned back. Olton let our a howl of joy and turned to face his enemy. An arrow struck him in the chest. The soldiers rushed passed him, smashing into the oncoming goblins. As they passed Olton struggled to remain upright in the saddle. His life blood was quickly draining away. Harry had just hacked a goblin in half when he turned to see the general fall. The troops fought on for a while, maddened by the loss of their leader. The battle had dissolved into a unorganized brawl. The goblins had taken a beating and lost the will to fight. There were not enough of Olton's men left to carry the day. Harry was crying when he found his master. He held Olton's head and wiped the blood from his mouth. Among the last living soldiers who staggered around the battlefield, there were a few that helped Harry bear the general away.


    • positive interaction with subordinates:
      • praising them and showing interest
      • telling tall tales to them, inflating their importance
      • admiration effects leading to calming if the subordinate in question is sufficiently naive
    • anybody in an important visible position can struggle against adverse health effects to maintain the position as long as possible, this can either be over a short period of time or over many years
    • gestures of love/compassion on corpses of departed friends/family
    • fletching for arrows
    • particular terrain can accelarate the destruction of clothing, especially sullied clothing like boots in muddy water
    • look from the travel map to gauge size and composition of enemy forces and in general to see the names of clouds and so on
    • desertion from armies
    • ordered charges
    • army vocalizations
    • marching speeds
    • general standing in reserve with body guards in some instances
    • the status of the army's leader can seriously affect the emotional state and morale of both sides' soldiers, but it can run in many directions
    • examples of bravery turning around fleeing troops
    • formations and tactics for armies
    • long range arrow attacks from region map (just one square), can also use this in ambush type harassment rather than just large army fights