The Plans are SetEdit
A legitimate vote was taken the next day, and only a few voted against. Nero took up the castle, rebuilding and perfecting the building to resist Zovna. The economy rose a bit, Nero had sent word bidding Huetai advertise Zixra and buy any Zixran herbs he could use. The turf Huetai lived in followed suit. But Nero needed more help, he needed to bring in his friends of international business. They were human, all profit men he did not meddle with. The type who will cut your throat for some spare change always ended up betraying you, it had caused the death of him before. He sent more messengers off, loyal friends he had on Zixra that he knew would come back. In a few months businessmen from all the neighboring countries were coming, including Juroz.
One day, an unscheduled guest, a fikos, came. He demanded seeing Nero. The guards would not let him, but he persisted that they tell Nero that Fikar wants to see him. The guards sent a message, and Fikar was immediately summoned.
“Hello Fikar, how was Huetai?” Nero asked after they were left to converse in private.
“Fine, some guild paid my expenses. Though it would have been free otherwise.” Fikar responded.
“Yes, the twins were a little naive on that point, it got Neltor a scar in his stomach. I have had some talks with Elorn, he seems like he is more docile then Neltor. You have been out for awhile, so while you are still well and healthy, I’ll fill you in on my analysis of the twins. First I will have Neltor, he is willing to learn. He is very intelligent, but he is mainly into strategy, physics and other variables used in battle. When you went out, he took charge of the situation. The ship’s hospital had you and was apparently preparing to execute you, so he battle the doctors out and took a hostage. He followed through by cutting all the Lornis’ secondary veins and slicing everyone’s limbs. He held them humble with an iron fist. That is hard to keep stable when you are young and out numbered. In the end, I would have dealt with it differently, but wisdom comes with age and he did keep us alive. He also seems to be very stubborn, not willing to give up till the end. He truly follows the human idiom, it isn’t over until it is over. At the battle of the clock tower he proved this well by defending Elorn until he had feinted. He does show sympathy for human life, as he had not killed the doctors, but he also shows that he is willing to do what it takes to get ahead.
For Elorn though, I found that he was more docile, easily persuaded and willing to help if it does not hurt him, even if he has nothing to gain. He is interested, and excelling, in all subjects and has read the encyclopedia you gave him, as did Neltor. He seems to be more timid when Neltor is around, I'm guessing this psychological effect happened while they were on the island, Neltor intimidated Elorn because Elorn did not know about magick and therefore seemed weaker then Neltor. I did have some time with him, and without his brother, when we were in the clock tower. He seems to want to help and accepts new ideas easily. I don't think he could take charge as well as Neltor, I suggest we keep him with Neltor for their ability to soul bond and so Neltor can take charge as a unit's commander and Elorn can be his right hand. That gives Elorn authority, but not the burden of command. What was your early analysis?”
"You've stated what I was going to say, though for me it was less evident."
“Alright, so what do you think we should do with them?”
“I think that maybe we should do as you thought. But I believe that the unit should be a selected few who will sneak into the building as a diversion unit. That way, you can travel as they pretend to be the ones coming in to get Virk.”
“No good, Virk knows that I would not rely on another group of people to do the vital attack. Though we could have them ready to come in…Perhaps their telepathy will be tested. I believe that I will bring Elorn with me, and if we have a problem, Elorn will call Neltor’s unit, a selected few, as you said, will come in and reinforce us. They will hold our area, while waiting, in the general area…Not at where we entered though until Elorn tells Neltor to move in closer. As we get closer into the castle, they move in. I want you to hold the main attack, at the front. That way they can not estimate where I’ll enter. I’ll have Berlin hold the back entrance, waiting for you to smoke out Zovna. We can have some other units take the sides, but they will not be part of the main play, mainly a wall and another hassle for Virk. We need to give him many little things to deal with. He is a smart man, and can solve a problem quite well. But when the pressure gets on him and he has to make many simple choices he starts to get frazzled.”
“Okay, sounds good to me…Who is Berlin?”
“A good friend of mine, I’ll ask him to come tonight. He has a mind for strategy.”
Berlin was called forth that day and introduced to Fikar. He was explained to about their plans of what they wanted to do when they when to Zovna. Berlin agreed to cooperate and started looking through the maps of the castle, both castles. Nero could trust him to hold a secure station.
Fikar was also brought to see the twins, Elorn was the first to get out of his chair and greet him in great joy with a, “Oh my gosh, Fikar! Has it really been only a few months? How are you, please sit down.”
Fikar took the offer, as his body was still recovering.
"Oh, I’m fine, Huetai cured me quite well. And it took me awhile to get here, but it is good to see you two again.” Fikar responded wearily
"Well, we could use some help with this strategy.” Neltor added with a glance.
Fikar listened to the plan and looked at the castle’s maps. They looked throughout thirty floors of cobwebbed passages and chambers, estimating the safest paths to take and which drains Neltor could safely bust and which ones would be best left alone.
The plans were made, the frame was finished, the blue prints drawn. The gyro set into motion and only the ones who held it could stop it from spinning, but they must let it go at the right moment for it to spin correctly, and they had so little time that proper analysis of the variables would render the window of opportunity to be opened. But there were more then just one window, there were many. And some lay behind others. They all had to be opened at the right time, and in the right order...
The businessmen came and were sent to lounges to wait. Eventually they were all there, and that is when Nero decided to greet them. He walked in, staring at these men of currency. He opened his speech after planning it in the moments of how to persuade, "Friends, I thank you for coming and I believe you all know the risk of business. You and I know that you hold more power then the government for economy and many other factors. I have called upon thee to entreat you with a large and daring investment. I would like you to begin business in Zixra. I have made plans to make it quite a metropolis, and you would have the early foundation of Zixra. Unfortunately, if you decline this matter Zixra will continue being a hopeless continent. I know you are human, men of profit who still care. Will you not care for the Zixran people and all its potential?"
The room was silent, then Robinson stood up to speak, "If we invest into Zixra, will you invest into us?"
"Well of course, you know how investing works. I'm sure in your early days of business you hoped to have only a few grand of investment, and you were given it. You had brains and applied the money until it multiplied, and now you are some of the most wealthiest people in Synava. You know I have brains, and if you don't then you do not know me."
Etta stood up after this "I know your intelligence, you have studied for years, as you seem to be immortal. I do not put my doubt in you, but the people of Zixra."
"Do not worry, I have already agreed to fund you and the people follow me, I am one of the few they trust. They all owe me."
Karl stood now, "I think this might work, as long as we all invest. The only time investing fails is when the people you are handing the money to are idiots, which we all know is false here, or when not enough is invested. If we invest into Zixra, all of us, then we can probably have a monopoly on this place. So why don't we exploit this opportunity?"
The group seemed to be nodding as a majority, most thought a few moments and just agreed, Zixra and themselves would gain from this. Another window was opened...
Neltor and Elorn were in their sectors, looking through the maps of the enemy castle. The maps were that of the warlords, and therefore they held every secret vent and little weak points of the castle. The easiest point was where the catapults were, they had balconies that came out for wider range. The twins decided that when the shields opened, Nero could get into one, shoot down all the catapults while Neltor just walked into the castle. He would head for the intercoms and stop them, that would stop communications. Neltor would not have a unit and would also travel around, taking down the communication. Then Nero would glide in, and, hopefully, kill Virk.
Berlin also was called for strategy, as he was taking the back entrance. This was a common and vital point. It would be the exit, they needed to hold everyone inside, and reinforcements could not be allowed. Berlin was given a large unit, he was not powerful, but Nero had found that he had a honest eye for strategy and could command a large amount of people. He would hold defense at the entire back, unfortunately Zovna was in a hexagon. Berlin was given three sides, Fikar the other three sides. Nero was not going to command a unit, he was not a commander, he worked best alone. He only gave those he could trust the rank of commander. Neltor was going to get inside and give updates and cut off communication. Elorn would stay with Nero until told to go to Neltor.
All of Zixra had joined Nero’s battle, he had near eight hundred and would be facing more then twice as many. He was to commence a battle of the wits also…
The Gyro Begins to SpinEdit
Nero began to organize his units, Berlin was given five hundred troops and Fikar three hundred. For more precision, Berlin had:4 alchemist, 10 doctors, 1 cleric, 5 scouts, 450 soldiers and 30 people who were prepared to take any tasks which needed to be done. Fikar had:1 alchemist, 3 doctors, 1 cleric, 10 scouts, 35 people who would do anything and 250 soldiers. This is against:1000 soldiers, 50 doctors, 10 alchemists, 100 scouts, 5 clerics and 500 people who were free to be given any job. All figures are rounded estimates.
But Nero showed no fear, he was not afraid of numbers. Statistics were against him, probability said he had no chance, but skill said he had a fair chance. Many knew of the numbers, but they felt encouraged by Nero’s presence. Nero had any able bodied people work on many ships to reach Juroz. Five ships were made, and while they were being done the alchemist were busy working with the smiths on rune blades. The clinics were making energy tonics and other tonics while the doctors worked on bandages and practiced their art. The soldiers were put through vigorous training, a few mages selected and some archers. Farmers were busy harvesting the food and many started mining at the points Nero thought were likely to hold the highest amount of loot. Nero sat back and rested, he needed to let himself be ready.
Half a year later, once all was prepared, the boats were made and everyone finished what they were doing, Nero took the twins and himself on his ship, Fikar and Berlin had divided their unit with the other boats. And off they went, they were at the brink of releasing the gyro.
The ride did not take long, Nero piloted about the seas and the boats followed him. Many took a rests and everybody waited, anxious and afraid. Afraid of death. Afraid of the torture and pain that lay staring in their faces. Afraid of the future generations that may be ruined. But hopeful of the greatness Nero may portray into their lives. They held loyal and were prepared to pay their debt.
Zixra had been abandoned. And nobody noticed except for the businessmen who already knew that it would be happening, as they would invest after the people returned. They were preparing to open many windows…
Juroz had a mountain range that covered most of the shore. A few areas were more hill like, but flat land was farther inland. The mountains held off the wind and water, so erosion was not at a very high rate. That led to more hills. It also held an abundance of elements like titanium and iron. Foundations were built by artificial erosion and then used. Mines were spread around the continent, to make it easier to erode later on and for selling purposes. The northern area contained minerals that were less dense. This caused less mountains in the area. Zixra was north of Juroz, and therefore Nero was heading for the northern area.
The northern area also held more people, as building a house is not difficult there. It is more humid and has more rain, which caused the erosion to happen in the first place. Father south, one will reach a lower ground as the flat lands are higher then normal. The lowest of these are marshes, and beyond them is Zovna. They give protection to the castle, slowing down there foes allowing their scouts to alert them in time.
The scouts had paths that would get them to Zovna as quickly as possible, making a relay system so that tokuru inefficiency did not interfere and the rested would carry on a message. They did not use message intercoms, long round pipes deigned to echo, as that would give the intruders an easy path and let them be able to send poisons into the ducts.
Zovna is a wealthy guild, as stated before, and built extremely well. It is thirty stories high and it’s halls were build like an ant colony, as they also went some stories underground also. Catapults were placed on the outer circumference of each floor, on balconies to allow slightly less then semi-circular aim. Physicists were placed at the catapults in order to have the highest accuracy. Intercoms were placed throughout the building, some private ones also existed like intercoms for the physicists to tell each other when the lower floor should take over. Their were many people placed in the intercom office, the core of communications. They directed intercoms with other intercoms and send out announcements.
The Zovnaian people flourished, harvests were plentiful and tools were supplied. The people helped each other, making sure that everyone succeeded. They held stable economy, spending enough to keep the merchants in business and keeping enough to keep supplying.
On past this guild, their was the one guild that had held off, as Juroz was almost totally owned by Zovna, and they were Jinva. Jinva had came to exist so that they could stop Zovna, and spared because Nero had fled. They had taken advantage of the chaos and stabilized, spreading out into small groups. Nero was prepared to plea for their help. And they would help knowing that Zovna may be overthrown with the help of another guild...
Preparations are MadeEdit
Nero’s ship hit shore. And all the following ships hurried to empty their cargo. Everyone was out, stretching their legs and hulling carts of food and water. Tents were set up and Nero had placed with him:Fikar, Elorn, Neltor and Berlin.
Inside the main tent that night, Nero smiled at their dinner. Toasting with "My friends, we have a secret agenda tomorrow, and hopefully not tomorrow night. The people think we are going to Jinva, but Jinva has a tendency to be slow with decisions, they’ll take too long. The people think we have a large plan. But here in my hand I hold this well thought plan. You may have noticed that my plans have changed drastically, this is no plan. This is a draft!” with that, the paper that had been so hardly worked on was blackened to a crisp, the twins looked shocked, "but no, this plan would not combat what we are against. It will take your wit! I have aligned myself with all of you for this battle because I believe that you can be trusted. But not only are you trustworthy, you are intelligent and can make decisions. So I toast, for victory and the success of Neltor’s and Elorn’s first real battle. They showed that they were prepared at Sharoz, at Kizo they showed more then you’d believe, even that they were willing to fight for what they thought was right. At Zixra they showed they could get into a guild. Now I tell you all this. These two are at an important point in their lives, they are going to show us if they really are ready, ready for life...” and glasses clanged as the twins sat in a slight shock.
The next morning, everyone ate bread and water before organizing themselves for the battle ahead. Berlin took his share early, as they needed to crawl around Zovna and Fikar followed a little while later. Nero waited until noon before taking the twins off to Zovna, he’d reach the field soon after everyone else had. Now was the day that Zixra’s fate lay in...