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Operation Hydra: Day 21by Alex Benson
Force A: The siege of Minrothad City continues. Though they have not grasped the sport of Hardball, the scrimmages continue to be popular. The level of play is high enough to warrant a few matches in the coming days. The Alphatians decide to form their own team "to show the Thyatians how the sport is really played." This move is unpopular with the Thyatian teams as it forces them to play against the Alphatians who know the sport. It also robs them of the bulk of their coaches and their best players. Adm. Helena contacts Nikkos at Malfton to order him to begin assembling the bulk of his troops to participate in the war. The troops will be needed for Alfeisle.
Force B: In Harbortown, events are pretty uneventful. The Thyatians continue in their occupational duties. Ostenphius' riders leave to return to Bright Cliff.
Force C: Gen. Nikkos greets the order to reorganise his troops with misgivings. Part of him is happy to see the war moving along. Part of him wishes that their numbers would remain to bolster his forces. However he obliges and begins reorganising.
Force D: Adm. Pentalon's fleet raises its anchors and departs Thyatis City. They escort the supply ships. With Harbortown being the most needy, they head for that city first.
Force E: Capt. Ostenphius and his troops continue their lonely vigil at Bright Cliff. They have heard no news from Harbortown. Morale raises with the sighting of the three war galleys of 14th Fleet (7th, 8th & 9th Reg). By nightfall they have dropped anchor and their marines have joined the troops on shore. They will remain there with Ostenphius to guard that stretch of coast and the peninsula that Bright Cliff rests upon. This bolstering of forces gives Ostenphius' troops the feeling that their charge does hold some importance. The arrivals also offer them news of how the war is proceeding.
Group F - The ships Captain Dregarius converge with those of Group G (Adm. Serpico) twenty miles north of Bright Cliff. See Group G description.
Group G - After a hard day's sail the ships of Adm. Serpico link up with those of Group F (Capt. Dregarius). The Admiral summons the captains of both groups to dine with him and discuss a battle plan. After dinner, Serpico announces his desire to break from the plan and go after Thadder shipping. Pointing to a map, he cites the overabundance of Thyatian ships already patrolling the central sealane. He asks his subordinates what they would do if they were in the Thadder's situation. As they mouth off various scenarios, he stops one captain and asserts his support of that scenario. As he sees it the Thadders are running out of ships, men and options. The apparent lack of the Navy of late denotes the remnants are up to something. He thinks that they are massing to strike the Thyatians. Serpico proposes that the two groups remain in the area north of Bright Cliff. Such a position will allow them to be able to mobilise quickly to support the ships in the sealane, Harbortown, or Min City. Likewise this change still keeps them within the boundaries of their orders.
Group H - Capt. Xappellus and her ships continue their hunt for shipping.
Group I - The 14th Fleet continues its trek towards Seahome.
Group J - Adm. Corso's ships continue on through the northern sealane.
Group K - Horatio's ships sail on through the southern portions of the sealane.
Group L - Adm. Perdry's 23rd Fleet sails on to Fortress Island. Progress is good and by midday they are well on their way.
Group M - Arogast's decreased paced trek to Blackrock is uneventful. Damage sustained the previous day is repaired.
In Minrothad City, members of the populace and garrison assemble on the ramparts to watch the Thyatians attempts at playing Hardball. Their amusement turns to horror as several forward Thyatian positions open up with heavy crossbow and ballista fire. Most are able to scramble to safety. However, they leave behind a score or so slain troops and civilians. The event is a stoic reminder that the city is under siege.
Oran and Warheart meet to discuss matters. The earlier barrage on the spectators on the walls is quite disturbing. Not only for the loss of life, it is also a sign that the Thyatians have established firing positions capable of reaching over the walls. They expect an assault pretty soon. In light of the incident, civilians are prohibited from spectating from the ramparts.
They also go over a report from the Blue Eels in Thyatis City. They are encouraged by the taking of the hostage, but worry about what good it'll do. Neither is certain that the hostage will hold any sway in bringing Thyatis to the negotiating table. Still, they congratulate the Eels and tell them to continue...but to be careful.
Warheart tells Oran of his readying of the two ships of (1st & 2nd Squad/3rd Fleet). Optimistically Oran asserts his approval as a fighting force instead of acting as his means to escape. As he puts it, he will flee only if it is absolutely necessary. Given the Thyatian blockade, he offers the likelihood of the fleeing vessels being sunk. Instead, Oran will flee using magic. Warheart agrees. The two do come up with another idea. They order the outfitting of the city's tug galleys to make them into floating fighting platforms. As they see it, these could come in handy in disrupting the Thyatians as they cross the river to assault the city's walls.
Warheart reads to Oran the progress of the remaining Thadder vessels, the Privateers, and Captain Delorno's ships. The Thadder vessels are nearly together. If anything they will have to await the arrival of Delorno's ships. Warheart dispatches a message for the Thadder vessels to begin sailing towards the Ierendi vessels to save time. If things go right, the vessels should all converge within a day or so off the western coast of Trader Island. A target for their first attack is decided upon. They will sail along the coast and strike the Thyatian ships at Minrothad City.
In Thyatis City, the Blue Eels abort a planned attack upon the Imperial Granaries. Still a bit shaken by the previous night's attack the Eels feel that things are not right for the attack. They think it better to wait a day or so before attempting anymore attacks.
In Thyatis City, Emperor Eusebius is startled to hear reports of NACE troops on the march. Though the reports are hasty and incomplete, it seems that the Alphatians are already in Dunadale and have already overrun the Thyatian defence in Deirdren. Other Alphatian troops are reported to be marching upon Kendach, Newkirk, and West Portage. Likewise a NACE assault force has been seen off the coast of Aegos and another off the coast of Gaity. Eusebius is furious at the assaults and at himself for not expecting them. He should have known better than to think the Alphatians would just sit there while the Thyatian forces were embroiled in the Guilds. Obviously the Alphatians are taking back Dunadale and the Alatians and expanding their hold on the Isle of Dawn. Eusebius dispatches messages to Imperial troops on the Isle of Dawn. With Dunadale a lost cause, he orders the troops there to fall back to Redstone. He stresses that Redstone, Kendach, and West Portage must be held. As for the Alatians, he could care less as they offer little to the Imperium. With things going so well in Minrothad he sees the loss of Newkirk and the Alatians as no big deal.
Oran and Warheart are stirred from their sleep. Meeting in Oran's offices, aides inform them of the NACE offensives on the Isle of Dawn and the Alatians. Both are visibly excited and hope that the Alphatians' moves will draw some troops away from Minrothad.