AFTER ACTION REPORT 03 : A report to the King by Caroline Martin
RED SONYA'S REPORT TO GOOD KING MARTIN OF YENDOR
I am honoured to report that Yendor is safe once again! I am writing this from the decks of the mighty HMS Brilliant as the fleet returns triumphantly from battle. It has been a long but interesting campaign and I am sure you will be pleased to hear that all citizens of Yendor fought bravely for you.
After a little persuading, and a few reminders about exactly whom they were talking to, all members of the newly formed Captain's Council swore an oath of loyalty to the King and to Yendor. They also agreed to put personal (and racial) differences aside whilst there was a common threat to the kingdom. Having said this, there were some grumblings from Elder Grunthoss about having to fight beside the 'Pointys', an issue that was raised later when the Glammarion and the Golden Retriever collided and both sides denied fault! There were also some choice words from the Free Folk who appeared to want to do nothing but kill the enemy - I personally had a certain empathy with that feeling! But, being Lord High Admiral (a position I am honoured that you have given me) I had to turn to my trusty advisors, High Captain Rudge and Captain Ganley, to devise a plan. Put simply it was to sail to the Straights and stop, or at least slow down, the villainous Corsairs, but above all DON'T LOSE ANY OF YOUR SHIPS!!
We sent all available ships to sea under the command of High Captain Rudge, as I (and my advisors) felt it better that I remain in Yendor until later in the battle. Also I have to admit that he has a much better knowledge of how battles are fought at sea. Me - I simply don't understand how I can kill the maximum number of enemy if I am stuck on a wooden boat floating on water?!
Anyway the spies who were sent out before the fight to see how many ships the enemy were sending out were very wrong in their reports, and needless to say, once I return to dry land there will be a 'conversation' about their observational skills! The Corsair fleet looked powerful and moved fast but seemed to have a major flaw - they kept ramming each other. I know I have little knowledge of naval battles but this seemed a very strange tactic even to me. But who am I to complain if they wanted to slow themselves down and give us a helping hand in the process?
All sides of your 'Sea Guard' did well in this first encounter. The Dwarf ship, The Golden Retriever, captured an enemy galley and later converted it to a good fighting ship complete with new technology where fire was used as a weapon. Your loyal Mages also threw themselves into the fight creating a huge bolt of lightening to disable the Clan ships. Quite an impressive display of their skills as I saw it from my vantage point on land away from the battle away from the fighting away from the killing and the slicing and the blood sorry I digress. It's only a pity that the Mages didn't remember to use their protection spells in the later battle when they both got shot and were unconscious for the latter half of the fight much to my displeasure.
The Elven ship, The Glammarion, was fast and it moved well, but it took some heavy damage. However, the Elves with the bows and arrows (stupid weapon if you ask me, give me a good broad sword any day) did their race proud. The Free Folk Fleet, under the command of Shaman Jyrrix since the Big Chief had temporarily vanished, had abandoned their traditional battle cry in favour of the catchier 'Attack, Bash, Crush', and sure enough they carried out what they had promised - they attacked, they bashed and they crushed - a lot! However, they lost some of their own ships in the process.
The Yendorian Fleet did well capturing one ship (although it was only good for kindling after the fight), no ships of our own lost and only minimal damage. We also had HMS Gallant and HMS Heroic join the conflict. Back in the City, where I was polishing my sword, HMS Brilliant, the battle galley, had been made seaworthy and fully crewed ready for action.
When all contingents of the Sea Guard returned to port for repairs and recruitment, I was pleased with the reports I was given. We had put the fear of Yendor into the Sea Clans from the East, but by all accounts I had missed out on some good fighting. I instructed my advisors that for the next encounter I would be going to sea in order to teach the Corsairs a lesson in the meaning of real carnage. So I took to the water aboard the Brilliant and was itching to spill some filthy Corsair blood.
Land was spotted in the form of and island and was soon occupied by members of HMS Defiant. We had sent troops aboard a merchant transport to take the island, but for some reason they found it very hard to get there despite covering fire from the Dwarves, Rudge's ship, and the Free Folk.
As for the Brilliant and myself, we, along with some of our human ships, the Wizzer, and the Glammarion, sailed to the right of the island. My ship rammed a Corsair galley and drove straight through it so no chance for me to kill anything there! Then we rammed the Xenophon, which we attempted to board with me leading, but the Corsair Captain fought hard and, I am ashamed to admit Sir, he got a lucky strike in and wounded me. It was when that weasley little pirate said "Oh good I got her" that I got slightly angry, and despite my wound, carried on fighting on the boarding plank. Unfortunately they degrappled themselves and fled. But, they did not get away! With the help of the Mages, a huge sea serpent appeared next to the cowardly Xenophon and took huge great chunks out of it (and its remaining crew)!
Alas, ahead of us, HMS Heroic fought bravely, but was struck by the enemy and forced to surrender. However, joining the Sea Guard was HMS Active, the second battle galley of the Yendorian Fleet, who under the command of Captain Ganley joined the fight to the left of the island.
The Glammarion was in trouble for a while when several Corsair ships attacked it and although my ship was unable to turn to directly help Ship Master Elerion, some of the Elves attackers soon retreated in favour of attacking HMS Brilliant. In fact in a very short space of time, three Corsair galleys rammed, grappled and boarded my ship! You probably won't be surprised to hear, Your Majesty, that this annoyed me somewhat. Well to be totally truthful I went berserk, which I think scared, no let me rephrase - it terrified the stupid Corsair scum trying to take my ship and trying to kill me! I stress the word "trying" here, as they really didn't get a chance.
Despite being the only fighter left alive on Brilliant, (we really need to talk about how your fighters are trained, Sir - I mean they were killed so easily!), and my being wounded for a second time, I fought and slaughtered until one of the attacking ships surrendered. Another was so worried about having to face me again that it degrappled and backed off in fear. As for the third, the Xenophon II, it had only one fighter left who to be quite honest I was only leaving alive in order to let him take a message back to his leader about what happens to people who try to invade Yendor.
The war ended with the Corsairs licking their wounds, both mental and physical, on their way back to the East, and more importantly, with Yendor safe and sound again.
I suppose being Lord High Admiral, I had better mention that other people played a role in the campaign. Although everyone who participated played an important role in the battles, there are a few in particular that you need to know about. Firstly, Elder Grunthoss, who got his archers to provide excellent (and accurate much to my pleasure) covering fire when the Brilliant was under attack. Also his Dwarven technology, such as the Blast Ram, came in very handy too. On this note I should probably tell you that I had to make a deal in order to get this weaponry for Yendor, which is why Grunthoss is now one of Your Majesty's advisors, along with myself of course!
Secondly, Captain Ganley speedily steered HMS Active around the back of the island in order to come to the aid of my ship when the Corsairs attacked, and was willing to run Active aground on a sand bank to help his commanding officer. It is for these brave actions, and his excellent advice throughout the war, that I am recommending that he be promoted to the position of Commodore.
Last, but certainly not least, I must tell you about High Captain Rudge, who expertly led the Fleet at sea and put all plans into action. Despite his reputation for visiting the inns of Yendor on a regular basis, I cannot stress enough how invaluable his strategies, skills, and overall advice were to both me and the Sea Guard. I therefore hope you will seriously consider my request to promote him to Rear Admiral.
I end this letter by reiterating to Your Majesty how grateful I am for the position of Lord High Admiral, and whilst I enjoyed the experience of going to sea to fight, I must tell you that I much prefer protecting yourself and Yendor on dry, solid land!
Your loyal and faithful subject at all times,
Baroness Red Sonya
Lord High Admiral of the Yendorian Fleet