03.30.3014: Arboren War Room
Summary: A meeting to discuss the options for fighting the Hostiles in the Arboren Woods.
Date: 15 December 2013
Related: None
Anabethe Declan Solon Brienne 

Arboren War Room
Deep below the Grand Rotunda and within the very bowels of the gargantuan Wise Wood lays the War Room of Arborenin. From this place, the entire Spine is surveyed for signs of enemy activity and from here the entirety of the continent's military actions are coordinated. The top of the vaulted chamber is so far above that it disappears into darkness. The room itself is vast. It contains nearly four dozen military officers and technicians sitting at computer consoles and illuminated holo-terminals arranged in circular patterns. The decorative nature of the polished wooden floor; natural walls; and computers placed into frames of mahogany or hornwood give the impression that the designers were only interested in the aesthetics rather than the utility.
At the center of the chamber is an elevated tier a meter higher than the floor with several staircases leading up. It is the central hub, the primary command center where the Knight-Captain of Arborenin and his staff operate. At the center of the hub is a circular apparatus which emits, upon its briefing-table-like surface, a glowing holographic map of the entire continent, occasional dots and blips tend to blossom and disappear here and there. Around the rim of the central command tier are large computer terminals equipped with multiple monitors supported by chrome appendage arms. These computers are constantly staffed with high ranking commanders often peering over the operator's shoulders. The entire war room seems to glow with light from natural illumination emitted by lanterns hanging from streetlamp-like posts spread out over the vast chamber.
March 30, 3014

Declan stands beside a number of Arborenin officer at the command center, leaning over the holographic map of the Spine. They are gesturing to red dots that line the region between Arborenin City and Beacon. Declan shakes his head at something and the Knight-Captains look up at a nearby monitor showing amplified images of what appears to be a camp of Hostiles in heat-spectral vision.

Anabethe has been deep in the fields of the Crescent for the last several weeks, supporting the troops and doing what she can to push back the Hostiles on every front. So it can't be much of a surprise when she shows up in armor that looks like it's seen heavy wear, scratched, dented, and not entirely clean of bloodstains. She does have the helm retracted, and her pike is retracted and locked onto the back plate of her armor for convenience.

Young Lord Sir Solon Cindravale is normally known for his sense of style and decor, but it would seem that this is not one of those times. As he comes to the door before the Arborenin War Room, he turns to a youthful Valen knight, whispering instructions for the man to see too before he steps into the War Room itself. His blue eyes, normally bright and burning with energy are tired, and appears to be slightly haggard, his brown curls slightly desheveled. Not wearing his normally flashy clothing, he comes in his stylized armor, which appears to have several scratches on the chestplate and right gauntlet, as well as a puncture in the upper chest near the shoulder. Faint traces of what could be blood specks surround this puncture and in several spots on his right gauntlet, which is, along with his right arm, in a sling. His helmet is off, not even wit him, but he does wear a ceremonial sword at his side adorned with Valen fittings. Spotting Anabethe Khournas first, he offers her a tired nod in greeting before offering Declan Arboren a nod as well. "My Lord, I must make apologies for my appearance, and I hope that both you and the Young Lady Khournas are well."

Since Brie'd been in Arborenin City, or the fringes anyway, today already, when Declan had sent her the message, she had prolonged her stay. Putting off her departure for the night, she'd come to the War Room at the designated time. Wearing her usual tunic, pants and boots, this time with only a leather jerkin.. her spurs make a slight sound as she walks, as does her sheathed blade at her side. Noticing those already gathered, she gives each a respectful nod in turn before facing her brother, a solemn expression upon her features.

Declan spins around when he hears the clanking of Anabethe and Solon's armor. He is garbed in clothing and armor quite similar to his sisters, his tradition light brown jerkin with the symbol of the Arboren emblazoned over the chest, and the typical green surcoat layered beneath. His expression transforms from one of stern focus to one that is far warmer. He strides down from his place at the chamber's raise tier and moves to bow his head curtly to Lady Anabethe, Lord Solon, and his own sister, to whom he also offers a wink. "My lord and ladies, thank you for coming. As I mentioned in my missive, the forces of Arborenin are planning a multi-pronged campaign to eradicted the festering hives the Hostiles' are forming in the forests…and I require the insight of the tactical and military gifted."
Declan then gestures they follow him further into the War Room, passing specialists manning computers and terminals here and there. He takes them to the central hub of the room and gestures to map of the Spine. You can see that so far our short term aims have been to use small patrol forces to clear various subsectors outside the ring of military encampments. While simultaneously we are send full companies out into the engagement zones to attempt to herd the Hostiles into singular focus points. The hard part is crushing them once they are there."

"Glad to help," Anabethe says with a tight smile for Declan, nodding to the others as well and following behind them. "Needed a break anyhow. Doc's are on my case about not straining things too much, so they should be happy I'm not making anything worse for a few hours at least." She follows behind the young lord, looking over the images with a practiced eye. A wry smile curves at his explanation of events. "Funny, I've been having the opposite sort of problem," she drawls. "Not hard to crush them when you get them where you want them. It's getting them to politely file in that's a little more complicated."

Offering Brienne a nod as she enters the room, Solon focuses his attention on Declan as the Young Lord begins to speak. He cannot help it, but a slight smile forms at the goals being spoken of here, it would seem that more and more of Haven are going to muster up and crush the Hostile plague that is blighting all of their lands. "I am happy to offer what advice I can give, my Lord." He turns and follows both Declan and Anabethe further into the War Room. "As to crushing the Hostiles when they are amassed? I would offer the advice of bringing in heavy cavalry to charge in and make short work of a group of the enemy in such a cluster, or perhaps even fighting them with heavy infantry." And to this, he offers something of a nod in the direction of Anabethe.

Brie listens, though her gaze roams over the others with the conditions of their armor. A return nod is offered to Solon, though the movement is brief. She remains standing, her hands behind her back, her posture stiff. At the greeting from her brother, she offers him a nod in return, a grudging smile curving her lips on one side. Further into the war room, she allows her gaze to settle on the images. Both brows arch at the words of Declan and she shifts a little uneasily before nodding a little towards the Khourni at her own words. "I agree, Young Lady Sir Khournas. They are much easier to dispatch once they are gathered." Curiously, she looks back to Declan, certainly surprised. "I run patrols out regularly and have had no difficulty in killing those that we come across."

Declan turns to Solon and says, "Unfortunately, this continent is one of few horsemen. And even if we did have them, the vast majority of the Hostile's positions are in the deepest portion of the forests where cavalry has little effect." He turns to Brienne and smiles, "Ah, yes, well your patrols are a part of the effort intended to contain the Hostile's majority in the seven major clusters. So you would not be facing them at full strength…but you will soon once we have organized this new offensive."
Declan leans over the table and nods at Anabethe's remarks and with a chuckle he says, "If only every company of Arboren came equipped with ten Khourni berserkers then I dare say this matter would have been resolved a few months ago. Unfortunately, at this point, scouts in the Northern Holds' engagement zones inform us that the enemy is fabricating sensor echoes and magnetic ghosts to trick our ground sensors." He turns from the map and points to a nearby monitor. It shows live images that flick through the forests. Declan leans over to the technician and says, "Display Five-Four-Theta." The tech nods and the monitor's image changes to show something that appears to be coming from a literal bird's eye perspective of the forest.
"Occasionally, we attach surveillance murmurs to wild hawks. They are easily overlooked by our foe." As the images change as the bird flies Declan says to the tech, "Replay index three by fifty eight earlier today." The image shifts to one more stationary, as though the bird was perched on a branch. Sure enough there are Hostile elites and scouts moving beneath the the trees. Dozens seems to pass by before the bird takes off again. Declan turns to the others and says, "You likely did not see it, by our analysts notice piles of freshly dug earth in the background of that image. Frankly, we are baffled by that as well. Some are speculating that the Hostiles are trying to create a network of tunnels." He crosses his arms and continues, "So you see, it is not as simple and charging in anymore."

Anabethe watches the display, but her gaze flickers across the monitors as she does, tracking details. "That's not inconceivable," she muses after a moment. "Records indicate Cantos is relatively inhospitable in comparison to Haven. So it would make sense to imagine they might have dug tunnels into the planet itself to set up their own settlement. And since we don't, for the most part, it would give them a tactical advantage to do so here. Explain part of how they keep popping up everywhere. And giving the damage we're inflicting on them, I'm guessing they can't keep up with demand for the cloaking devices their scouts of been using, so tunnels would give them cover for more soldiers."

Studying the image of the hostiles as they move underneath the surveillance device, Solon reaches up with his left hand to run it through his hair, his expression thoughtful. "A network of tunnels, you say? Well, as the Young Lady has pointed out, it is conceivable that they are constructing something of a settlement. It could be that they are working on making it quite defensible as well." His gaze shifts over to Anabethe, and he asks, "Ah, you know, I too have seen their scouts use more mundane methods of hiding themselves. Truly, I had not given it much thought before, but what you say makes sense."

Green eyes flicker over him, keeping her expression carefully neutral. "My apologies brother, I had thought my role perhaps larger, in the grand scheme of things." Further words from Declan has her stiffening, her lips thinning. Brienne bites her tongue and uses every single ounce of self control she possesses to keep her calm. "Pardon," she finally inputs again, once she is almost certain she will not lash out irrationally. "Young Lady Sir Khournas, Young Lord Sir Cindravale, if you would both excuse me that I might take my leave, for I should get back to my.. containment practices." Her gaze settles on Declan once more, her tone flat as she delivers her parting words. "Please inform me of any decisions concerning me and my patrols. Good day." Absolutely no inflection of tone in her words. A bow is offered the trio before she executes an about face and walks towards the door.

Declan waves to Brie as she moves off. He remains so transfixed on his work that he is rather dense in regards to his his sister. He nods at Anabethe and Solon and then looks to his House's Knight-Captain, who nods as well. "It is possible that if they do get underground then it might be possible to use a…a…" He has to look at a technician's nearby computer monitor to recall the words, "A sub-harmonic baryon sweep…" Returning to the map he continues, "Essentially, these…baryon particles would dissipate in a matter of seconds if released into the open air, but if they are underground, it will take them a longer time to move through solid matter and when it does, it leaves behind and temporary spectral resonance that prevents our scanners from detecting them. Of course, that assumes they are creating a network of tunnels. Therefore, we would not know from standard sensory devices if anyone or anything is underground. It is our fear that these….focus points." He gestures to a location in the northern part of the spines where there are three plump red dots surrounded by green squares on all sides, "We are afraid that from here they could reasonable have dug out interlinking tunnels. But once again…mere speculation still."

"Tunnels are a bitch to build," Anabethe points out. "Especially if you're going to reinforce them properly so they don't fall down on your head. If your people have actually found some, I can talk to my people about the terrible things that makes mines collapse. Usually we try to avoid that sort of thing, but by knowing what not to do if we don't want the mines to collapse, we've got a pretty good idea of what to do when that's what we actually want. I'd guess the Peakes have a similar skill set," she points out, though she turns to watch Brienne go. "Wow. It's like younger sibling-itis is terribly catching."

Solon has to admit that his eyes sort of glazed over with some of the technical speak coming from Declan. Specific science and technical things are just not his forte, after all he's no Orelle. Once things are coming back to his speed, he offers a nods, "I believe that your concerns are quite valid, my Lord. Have you done any sort of further reconnaissance on the area? Though, I must agree with Young Lady Khournas here, digging those sorts of tunnels, not to mention the distances they must be crossing, that would require a good deal of time and manpower." After this, he turns to offer Brienne a nod as she leaves, and then offers Anabethe a quizzical glance. "Pardon? Younger sibling-itis?" He offers a tired smile and a shake of his head, "Oh, I see. Forgive me, I find myself rather exhausted."

Declan turns to look where Brienne walked away, suddenly realizing his error. He sighs and turns back to his work. "Yes, ideally, if we found that they were tunneling then I suppose it would be easy to drop a few seismic artillery shells on top of them." He frowns and rubs his own eyes, "Yes…it is rather late. Each of you is a guest here at Arborenin tonight, so I will have someone show you to the guest quarters. If you are up to it, I hope you would be willing to go over some garrison alterations and review some of our tactical simulations tomorrow."

"Sounds like a plan to me," Anabethe nods to Declan. "I'm guessing we could all use a night in a bed." She turns a faint, rueful smile on the others as she steps back from the display, letting out a slow breath. "Thanks, Declan. I'll see you in the morning. Solon," she nods to the other heir, then turns to seek out a nice, warm bed.

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