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Operation Hydra: Day 12

by Alex Benson

Force A:

The landed troops of 6th, 12th, and 27th Cohorts remain at their beachhead defence works. Once again, Landforce Commander Gen. Xerathas sends out wave after wave of scouts to seek out Minrothad forces. Each returns without any contact.

Realising that the enemy will not come to engage, Gen. Xerathas asks Adm. Helena to march his troops onto Minrothad City. The Operation Hydra Commander agrees. They shall spend the rest of the day preparing to move out. Adm. Helena sails 1st and 3rd Fleets the short distance to Lithwillow River to lay a blockade upon the capital city. 14th Fleet and the three regiments of 9th Fleet remain off the beachhead to provide cover for the landed troops and their transports and supply ships.

Late in the day, 1st and 3rd Fleets a dozen ships coming up the Lithwillow River. Adm. Helena orders the war galleys to row up and block the river way. After several volleys the Minrothad ship turn and head back to the city. Several receiving damage. The war galleys attempt to chase but quit as the walls of the capital come into view. The war galleys are not ready to engage the capital defence works.

Force B:

The Thyatian land forces arrive inland of Harbortown and begin deploying their numbers along the city's perimeter. Gen. di Cicero is taken aback by the size of Harbortown. After much deliberation, he sends word to 20th Cohort (enroute to Bright Cliff) to send only portion of its numbers to the small town. The rest will turn and march to Harbortown.

20th Cohort commander Gen. Valicius doesn't like splitting his forces but obliges. He knows not all of the 20th will be needed for capturing the town. Valicius takes the 3rd Company from each Banner and places them under the command of Capt. Ostenphius. The captain will march onto Bright Cliff and seize the town and its lighthouse. Gen. di Cicero turns his troops about and make their way to Harbortown.

The naval aspect arrives early in the day and begins to engage the harbour defences. These attacks are sporadic and of little intensity. The Admiral wishes to "feel" out the defences first. He also wants to draw some of the attention away from the land forces.

Force C:

Gen. Nikkos orders a small assault upon Malfton. The Thyatian troops easily reach the walls under minimal fire from the defenders. Inside the walls, they discover that the town's streets are empty. The Hin have retreated into their burrows to avoid the expected artillery bombardment. They discover the defenders' whereabouts as they pour out of there retreats and assault the assaulters. The Thyatians are surprised by this sudden appearance. Attacked from all sides by the tenacious Hin, the Thyatians are forced back to the walls. Gen. Nikkos orders them back to the Thyatian lines to regroup. The Marines fair much better. They successfully land in the Prosperity Hill Suburb and quickly expand their holdings. Resistance is fierce, but the defenders are few. It is soon discovered that most of the Hill's residents have withdrawn into the fort guarding what use to be the bridge connecting the region to Malfton. Despite this, the day is spent rooting out and subduing the few Hin that remained in the Hill. No assault is launched upon the fort. That can wait.

Gen. Nikkos and Gen. Trassis confer on the matter. Gen. Nikkos of the inf. orders Gen. Trassis to send some of her mounted infantry and cavalry to join in on the assault force. She agrees as it will get her people into a more active role in the assault. Gen. Trassis sends 4th Banner/28th Cohort ( Mnt. Inf.) and 3rd Banner/28th Cohort (117Med. Cav) to Gen. Nikkos. Gen. Trassis accompanies her forces to partake in the fighting herself. Nikkos doesn't like it but obliges the 28th Cohort commander. Gen. Trassis places rest of 28th Cohort under the command of Capt. Marco di Carelia of 2nd Banner. As the day progresses, ships of Force D begin arriving at Open Island. Adm. Corso greets the arriving commanders of the Force D as they arrive. He forwards their arrival to Gen. Nikkos. Gen. Nikkos assumes command over all of the ground forces and makes plans to integrate the newly arrived troops into his assault force. Knowing that the new arrivals are not ready for a fight, he allows them time to rest.

Adm. Pentalon is given command of the new Loot Convoy. Adm. Corso assumes overall command of the naval forces as Adm. Merrik wishes.

Force D:

By nightfall, all aspects of the Assault Force have reached the mouth of the Quickhand River on Open Island. The able troops are offloaded and assembled near the coast to rest up from the short voyage (to get rid of their sea legs).

Prisoners, loot, and such from Cove Harbour are transferred to a grouping of ships that will serve as a convoy to ferry these. Due to the influx of ships, the naval forces begin dropping anchor along the course of the Quickhand River.

In Thyatis City, the Minrothad Ambassador gathers the representatives of the majority of the KW nations to formally protest the Thyatian act of aggression. Emperor Eusebius does not grant them a formal audience. No reason for this is given. Rumours reach the ambassadors that the Emperor has some vital information pertaining to the assault to give them. This leads to much speculation. The Minrothad Ambassador says the Emperor is stalling.

Warheart Cleaver begins assembling a strike force to relieve the inhabitants of Open Island. He relays his intent to Oran Meditor. The Ruling Guildmaster is not pleased at the Mercenary Guildmaster's focus of attention on the Hin. He voices his concern for the people of Trader Island. Warheart advises that by retaking Open Island and the surrounding waters, the Thyatian sealanes will be cut. Once that is secured, the Home Guard and Navy can turn its attentions to Trader Island. Warheart informs the Sea Elf that Minrothad City has some of the sturdiest defences in the Known World. It has adequate garrison troops and plenty of stockpiled foodstuffs. Oran Meditor is satisfied by this. He apologises to his military commander for his manner. Warheart waves it off, but accepts it. He is insulted but knows that the Ruling Guildmaster is under extreme pressure. Meditor's rule has been trying with its multiply assassination attempts. He imagines that the situation in Minrothad City is pretty tense.

Warheart contacts Kimber Nimblefingers in Malfton. The Hin GM reports the Thyatians have overrun Prosperity Hill and have made several assaults upon Malfton proper. Kimber conveys that the Hin defenders have thrown back the assaults but do need help. Morale is running high after the fight, but Kimber is aware that the Thyatian assault was small and was successful mainly due to surprise. Kimber also reports that the Thyatians are moving troops around to supplement its assault body. It is also reported that some of the Thyatian ships have been moved into the river way and dropped anchor. Kimber suspects a concerted assault to be soon in coming. Warheart agrees and urges the Hin to hold on as help is on its way.

Warheart looks over his available forces. His Home Guard units have been decimated or tied up garrisoning the cities. His main commodity is his naval units.

By midafternoon, Warheart has compiled an assault force to aid the Malfton defenders. It consists of:

3rd Reg/2nd Home Guard- 180 Med. Cav.
1stReg/3rd Home Guard- 80 Lt. Cav.

1st Squad/1st Min. Fleet- 100marines, six sailing ships per squadron
2nd Squad/1st Min. Fleet- same
3rd Squad/1st Min. Fleet- same
4th Squad/1st Min. Fleet- same
5th Squad/1st Min. Fleet- same
6th Squad/1st Min. Fleet- same

2nd Squad/2nd Min. Fleet- same
4th Squad/2nd Min. Fleet- same
6th Squad/2nd Min. Fleet- same

1st Squad/3rd Min. Fleet- same
2nd Squad/3rd Min. Fleet- same
3rd Squad/3rd Min. Fleet- same
4th Squad/3rd Min. Fleet- same
6th Squad/3rd Min. Fleet- same

1st Privateer Fleet
2nd Privateer Fleet
4th Privateer Fleet
6th Privateer Fleet

(each Privateer Fleet consisting of three sm. sailing ships with 30 pirates aboard. and one lg. sailing ship with 70 pirates aboard)

Since the Minrothad War Machine is lacking in available infantry, the naval units will have to supplement the two Home Guard Regiments with Marines. The force is to sail and converge off the Malfton coast. They will find and land at a suitable spot down from Malfton and march overland to break through and relieve the Hin defenders. The Privateers will not land with the regular troops. They will instead harass the Thyatian naval forces and if possible break their hold of the Quickhand.

Warheart orders the ships in Gapton to set sail at quickest speed. He sends orders to forces already at sea to proceed. The tricky part is getting all of the forces to arrive at the same time at the same area. The forces will land down from Malfton and march overland to surprise the Thyatians. Using their superior seafaring skill as well as knowledge of the waters, the HG forces make excellent headway through the dark of night. A problem does arise. 1st and 2nd Squadrons of 3rd Minrothad Fleet cannot break through the Thyatian blockade. Despite their best attempts, the ships are forced back to the city after coming under heavy fire from the Thyatians along the Lithwillow River which connects the capital to the sea.

For the Hin, Kimber Nimblefingers calls upon the Hin to arm up further. The large contingent of irregulars are supplemented by even more untrained civilians. Adequate weapons are rarer to this new batch. Many Hin arm themselves with farming tools such as pitchforks, rakes, and shovels. Even broom handles and table legs can seen carried as weapons. Rudimentary sling are made from pieces of leather and even cloth. There are ample stones laying about. Though most won't acknowledge that these sling stones be the rubble from several of the Hins' homes. Nor do most realise that few of the defenders have actually used a sling. Despite their rag tag semblance, morale is high. In their eyes, they have defeated the Thyatians once today. Help is soon in arriving.

In Harbortown, a riot breaks out along the harbour section. It is small, and quickly contained. Investigations conclude that the riot stemmed from residents that were told to leave their shops along the harbour ways. Many took offence at this and protested. Any ill feelings are dropped as a missile weapon from a Thyatian war galley overshoots its target and crashes through the front of one of the shops.

In Minrothad City, a larger riot breaks out during the night. This one is unlike the one in Harbortown. It is founded upon fear and hate. The riot is much harder to quell. Investigations reveal that the attacks centre upon taverns, businesses, and warehouses that cater to Thyatians or are owned by people of Thyatian heritage. Several lynchings occur. Oran Meditor orders the arrest of all people of Thyatian heritage and has them placed in the Palace dungeons for their own protection.