Completed (ED) Shoring Up Defenses

Dessarian bolsters shore defenses at the Meraki dock.

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While Sylira is by far the most civilized region of Mizahar, countless surprises and encounters await the traveler in its rural wilderness. Called the Wildlands, Syliran's wilderness is comprised of gradual rolling hills in the south that become deep wilderness in the north. Ruins abound throughout the wildlands, and only the well-marked roads are safe.

(ED) Shoring Up Defenses

Postby Dessarian on November 25th, 2019, 5:07 pm

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Timestamp: 50th of Fall, 519 AV

A source of continued concern for Dess was the battle of the Dark of Night. To his shame, the Meraki were unprepared for the malevolent intent of the men that had captured Kalistan's vessel. The only trained fighters on hand were himself and Kelski, and only with the help of Crylon, who was untrained in battle, were they able to overcome the invaders and take back the ship. Kelski had been seriously wounded in that fight, and he received light wounds. Had either of them been incapacitated, their friends and family at the Demesne would have been vulnerable.

A thorough defense strategy needed to be designed, leveraging the strengths of everyone at the manor, and training them where necessary. While Dess continued to contemplate more elaborate magical defenses, the attack in early Fall inspired him to institute more immediate changes to ensure they were not caught off guard again.

One of those measures was to create a simple fortified point, or points on the beach near the docks. Projectile weapons could be employed with a simple defensive position to help stave off attackers and keep people from having to engage in a melee. He informed Kelski of his plans and set about devising his plan. Two positions would be his basic desire, separated to offer a varied angle of attack and more effective defense. While bows and crossbows could be fired from those positions, he really wanted something that could reach even out into the bay, where a ship may linger. They didn't have the people to man siege weapons like catapults or ballista. Dess wanted something even the less trained and fit of the residents could employ effectively.

He remembered something he had seen in Syliras, weapon emplacements that were powerful yet not huge or difficult to employ. Dess made a trip into Zeltiva to do some research. He found help, not at a weaponsmith, but at the shipyards. Heavier but semi-portable weapons were what armed ships, just the kind of hardware Dess sought. A shipwright foreman proved very helpful, for a few gold mizas, in recommending a weapon he called a scorpion. The sailors called them bolt-throwers. Powerful enough to punch through armor and weaker cover, but not unwieldy.

With a few on hand, Dess was able to examine the weapon. They looked much like heavy crossbows, but the mechanics were slightly different. a winch on the end was turned to pull back the cord, a groove in the center frame held a thick-shafted bolt with a simple iron wedge-shaped tip. A cord tied to a trigger was pulled to release the projectile. They were mounted on a sturdy tripod and could swivel and tilt for accurate aiming. One person could man them, but two would be most efficient.. He made arrangements for two of them to be purchased for the guild, along with a supply of bolts. Dess knew a reliable Sefra who stopped at the Demesne frequently. He could haul the scorpions for a reasonable fee on his palivar.

Meanwhile, Dess returned to the Demesne. He needed to plot out and construct the defensive positions where the scorpions would be placed.

Word count: 531

purchases :
From Guild ledger
1x scorpion bolt-thrower - 260 gm (Based on the price list siege crossbow with an upper)

From Dess's ledger
1x scorpion bolt-thrower- 260 gm
Bolts (80) - 200gm total
Tip for shipwright - 2gm
Last edited by Dessarian on November 27th, 2019, 1:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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(ED) Shoring Up Defenses

Postby Dessarian on November 26th, 2019, 6:10 pm

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The day after returning from Zeltiva, Dess walked the beach near the dock. He had asked Briggs to come along. The young man was a workhorse, eagerly taking on tasks when not helping work the timber taken down when the land was cleared. It was some of that wood Dess planned to use for the defenses.

"What I was thinking was one here..."
He waved his hand at the sand nearby, about forty-five degrees off from where the dock met the beach, about fifty yards from the surf. "And one at about the same point on the other side of the dock. Those positions would give a good range of coverage, and from two different angles." Turning his back to the bay, Dess spread his arms out. " A barrier about twenty feet long of horizontally stacked logs, about four and a half feet high. Low enough to fire over, but high enough to provide a good cover." He tried to help Briggs envision his idea.

Briggs pressed his forefinger to his chin as he looked at the empty sand. "We could secure them with vertical posts, front and back. They would have to be buried pretty deep, but that would work." Briggs agreed.

The men then made their way to the plot where the felled trees had been gathered near the saw mill. They decided on timber roughly eight inches thick, to keep some uniformity in the short walls and to ensure any incoming missiles, including from heavier ship mounted weapons, could not penetrate. Dess marked the logs they selected with a piece of red ribbon. Next they found a dozen thinner logs that could be used as support posts. Toni, seeing the men looking over the log yard, made his way down to see what was going on.

Dess explained to the Dhani carpenter what his plans were for the small bulwarks made from horizontally stacked logs. Toni nodded with understanding. "I could cut you the posts easily, won't take long at all. I could also cut the main logs into beams, to give a sturdier fit. But I have to finish up these boards I am milling. The pod that is arriving in the next day or so is taking them to Zeltiva for sale." The Sea Krait nodded. " If you can get the wood for the posts up to the mill, I will get them ready as soon as I can."

Dess smiled. "that would be great!" He declared, then turned to Briggs. "If you help me move the post, you can help Toni finish up. I can get one of the horses to haul the bulwark logs to the mill." Dess suggested. Toni marched back to the mill while Dess and Briggs each grabbed a few of the logs for posts and began to drag them.

It took a few trips, but Dess was not winded. Two seasons after Kelski found him near death in Sunberth, Dess was as strong as ever. Even stronger. The harsh life of homesteading had worked him daily, aiding in the return of his warrior's body. Callouses roughed up his hands, while the frequent runs his bondmate and he enjoyed kept his endurance at peak. The Gem would insist his endurance came more so from the bonded couple's nightly activities.

Word count:551
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(ED) Shoring Up Defenses

Postby Dessarian on November 26th, 2019, 6:48 pm

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The rest of the day consisted of getting the lumber ready for the bulwark. Dess had gathered Lizzy from the pasture and placed a harness on her like Dawson taught him during the Summer. A system of leather straps and chains had already been constructed when the land was cleared at the felled trees were dragged to the yard and cleaned off. Lizzy was easy to work with and strong, and a hard worker. The chains were wrapped around several logs to secure them to the mare's harness. A guiding hand on Lizzy's halter and an encouraging click goaded her to lurch forward and turn with Dess's direction towards the mill.

Dess and Lizzy made several trips to deliver the longs to Toni and Briggs at the mill. Leaving the millers to finish the material for the bulwarks, Dess removed the harness from Lizzy and lead her back to pasture. The tack was returned to storage, and Dess saw to other chores to finish out the day.

The later the next morning, the palivars arrived. A party from the Demesne met the ships as they lined up along the Reach. The Lia of the pod came forward for a warm greeting and some fresh water brought down to share. Dess discussed a few notes of interest with the woman while the others loaded and unloaded goods. News from Zeltiva and beyond was gathered from the sun-dried leader. Dess asked permission to hire one of the pod to help him pick up the scorpions and a few other items from Zeltiva, for a fee, of course. She granted it and Dess thanked her, returning to help the others.

Dess found the member of the Pod, Kaluko, and discussed with him what was needed. The Svefra would haul the two scorpions and the bolts, as well as a few items Dess would purchase while in town. Kaluko would return in a few days, after Dess anticipated the bulwarks being completed, to take Dess to Zeltiva.

Later, Briggs and Dess marked off where they needed to dig the post holes while Toni was able to work on the main beams. Lizzy was harnessed up again and she was tasked with dragging the lumber down to the beach. The posts, which had been finished and squared off, were taken down first. Briggs had the unenviable job of starting the post holes, which was challenging in the sandy soil. As the man dug, Dess and Lizzy continued to haul the wood.

The rest of the work was simply brute labor. Sinking the posts into the holes, Dess and Briggs lifted the beams and slid them between the upright posts They were able to complete one of the bulwarks by sundown. Then next day, they completed the second. The men tested the stability of the defenses, slamming their shoulders against them to see if they budged. The walls proved sturdy enough. The final task would be retrieving the scorpions and setting them up, as soon as Keluko returned.


Word count:502
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(ED) Shoring Up Defenses

Postby Dessarian on November 26th, 2019, 7:40 pm

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Two days later, Kaluko's palivar slid up to the Reach. Dess greeted the Svefra, and after sharing a lunch in the tower, the two sailed off for Zeltiva. They were able to dock right at the shipworks, making transporting the weapons to the palivar easier. Dess examined the two bolt-throwers for any obvious defect, than accepted them. The shipwright weapon master explained the basic mechanics of the weapon, how tight to pull back the string with the hand winch, a metallic click being the key to properly cocking it. Then the trigger, of course, would release it. There were locks on the swivel and tilt functions, which Dess was shown. He was also instructed on how to care for the contraption to ensure its proper function, including treatment for the string and twisted cords that provided the torsion.

With a few workers help, the two scorpions were loaded onto the palivar, along with the bundles of iron-tipped bolts. Dess then informed the Svefra that he needed to gather a few more things, and would return in about an hour.

Dess wandered through the market and then a few shops to find what he wanted. Two sturdy chests, longer than wide, would serve as storage for the bolts. He also purchased four oiled tarps. They would cover the scorpions and accompanying bolt chests to protect them from the weather. His last search was for something very specific, which Dess had considered since the day the Dark of Night arrived. It took a while to find something that suited his need, but he finally found it near the university.

It was a small crossbow, designed to be fired with one hand. Dess's only true ranged weapon was fire, and circumstances and environment didn't always make for a good mix with his reimancy, as the Gem and Reach were wont to remind him. But Dess relied on flexibility and agility in his fighting technique, so even a crossbow like Kelski's would be cumbersome. But the small hand held weapon would offer some form of distance offense. He purchased the weapon and a supply of bolt, along with a case and a strap.

Giving a couple silver miza's to some street urchins, Dess was able to transport his goods to the palivar where his Svefra friend waited. They finally set sail for the Demesne. Reach welcomed their return. Dess and the Svefra disembarked, leaving most of the gear, aside from Dess's new personal weapon. They made their way to the tower for a meal and another brief visit. As the sun began to set, Kaluko, Dess and a few others returned to the boat to unload the new arms.

A scorpion was carried behind each bulwark along with a bolt chest. Dess helped get each one set up on their supports and secured. The bolts were divided between the two. Then a tarp was placed over each bolt-thrower and the bolt crates to be tied down. The next day, Dess planned to test out the new weapons and show a few others how the worked.


Word count: 511

purchases :
From Dess's ledger
2 chests - 2gm/ea.
4 tarps- 12gm/ea.
Hand Crossbow - 100gm
100 small bolts - 10gm
tips to street urchins - 5sm
payment to Kaluko - 18gm
Last edited by Dessarian on November 27th, 2019, 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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(ED) Shoring Up Defenses

Postby Dessarian on November 26th, 2019, 8:17 pm

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The following day Kaluko set sail to rejoin his pod. With some excitement, Dess planned to test out the scorpions. Kelski had some things to tend to and asked if she could join him later to check them out. Dess invited Briggs, Dawson and Ebon down to the beach. They pulled the tarps off of one of the bolt-throwers and its bolt chest. Dess looked over the weapon again, ew-acquainting himself with its construction and function. The wood and metal device seemed to have survived transportation without damage.

"So, its use is similar to a crossbow." He began to explain, as much for himself as for the others gathered around. "First, you cock it." He began to turn the winch, a wooden wheel that was turned buy rods set in the wheel like spokes. It took some effort to get the string drawn back the last few inches, but aside from the older women, anyone at the manor could work the wheel. Life at the Demesne had made them all stronger.

A click indicated the weapon was cocked. Briggs had already lifted a bolt from the crate. It was not as long as one might have expected, but was thick with a wedge-like iron tip, designed to penetrate armor. Dess took the bolt from the man and set it in the groove in the main body, making sure it was against the string and trigger mechanism. Then Dess leaned around to reach for the swivel and tilt locks. Once free, he could lift it from the rest and rotate it. It was heavy, but again, not unreasonably so. There was no target so he peered over the bulwark out at the water. He aimed clear of the Reach.

Though he could hold it and pull on the trigger cord, it seemed better if he focused on aiming and someone else pulled the trigger. "Dawson, can you pull on that?" Dess asked, turning his head slightly towards the farmer and then down at the cord hanging from the weapon. Dawson grasped the cord and with a moment of hesitation, yanked on the trigger.

With a metalic sound, the trigger released and the mechanics rang as the tension was released and the bolt was flung out over the beach. Dess's gaze narrowed, focused closer like an raptor's vision by the magic in the enchanted wrist razor embedded in his arm. He followed the shaft out until it lost momentum and nose dived into the water. The distance was impressive, as was the force of the launch. Dawson whistled, also impressed.

Those won't be on fire, will they? A voice lifted in Dess's mind. The Reach was suspicious of Dess's new defenses.

"No, my friend, I promised you, no fire." The Damazar smiled to himself.

Each man was given a turn to test out the new weapon. Then the sound of a clearing throat was heard behind them. All four men turned to see Lynneah standing, hands on hips, flashing a smirk. Her gaze fell to Dess. "Having fun, boys?" She teased, then pushed them aside and walked up to the scorpion, inspecting it. She began to crank on the wheel.

"I didn't think you were interested in learning how to fight."
Dess asked her with a wry grin.

"I said I was not interested in learning your juju magumbo arm flailing fighting stuff." She replied, taking a bolt from the crate and loading it.

"That's not what its called."
Dess replied with a flat tone.

"Whatever." She tossed back at him. She lifted up the butt of the weapon and shifted it a bit, getting a feel for it before pointing it out at the bay. She hooked her arm under the body and grasped the trigger cord, giving it a pull. The weapon fired and shot another bolt out over the water.

Lynneah nodded. "Hmmm. Doesn't seem so hard. Put me on the crew list." She said with a small, teasing smile at Dess. She patted he friend on the shoulder and turned to walk back up the trail to the tower.

Word count:674
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