You live in a country on the brink of war. The Aletsin, your ancestral enemy, have marshalled fresh forces with the aid of their newfound allies, the Namaer, who hail from a land across the endless sea.

The Namaer are a beastly people, you hear, brutish and strange. They are inhuman, possessing smouldering coals for eyes, flames for hair, and ash for skin. Their faces are shaped like those of a wolf, and their teeth are sharp like a cat’s. They wear no clothes. They paint themselves. They eat their dead.

And they are coming.

They attacked the town your brother was stationed in two days ago. Only his wife survived, battered and barely alive, her soon-to-be-born child no longer quick in her womb. The shepherd found her collapsed in the tall grass of an abandoned field, and all she would say was, “They killed my child.”

That is all she says now, a hoarse mantra she sings like a lullaby as she cries and holds her belly. “They killed my child, they killed my child.”

You try to put that image from your mind — it leads too easily into memories of death, of finding your brother’s corpse, recognizable only by the ring he wore — as you scan the horizon for signs of war from your place on the city walls. There is nothing to see but fields and pasture, cast in gold by the setting sun.

It may as well be gold to the Namaer whom rumors say search for a new homeland, forced to brave the endless sea when Nama fell to an angry mountain of fire. These rumors, always hushed, tell of how the Namaer went in peace to all the clans in all the lands to beg for a place to live until Nama could be restored, of how the Namaer were turned away by all, and most rudely by your own clan leader, the young Kamilundettet. They tell also of how Aletlussen then promised the Namaer king all of Kamitis in exchange for Namaer aid in the ancestral war, and of how the Namaer king first refused the offer until all the other clans had turned his people away.

These same rumors also tell of how the Namaer shoot fire from their hands, use clear stones to see, and fly on wings made from spiders.

Such is the way of rumors.


How This Works

Depending on the situation, you will have several options available. Leave a comment stating which option you choose, and at the end of a week (minimum), I will tally up the votes to decide which action the commander takes next and reveal the consequences.

If you feel inspired to include an nth option, feel free to do so; just be sure to include your choice of given option and reasoning for your proposed option. Depending on how good the reasoning is, I may just go with that nth option (votes be damned ;P).

Needless to say, this is an experiment.

The Factions (Thus Far)

Kamitis [The Great-Blooded People]

Leader: Kamilundettet [Future Leader, Sun of the Kamitis]

Kamilundettet became clan leader barely a year ago at the age of fourteen after the death of his esteemed grandfather, Kamilantekket. He is known by many to be bold and charismatic (though his advisors quietly lament his overbearing personality and brashness) and has yet to prove himself worthy of an honorable leader’s name.

Generations ago, the Kamitis came to occupy the fertile river valley on the southern half of the island of Dettelin. They are primarily farmers, herders, and weavers with the majority of the population living in walled towns or villages.

Aletsin [People of the Bountiful River]

Leader: Aletlussen [Great Star of the Alet]

Aletlussen has lead the Aletsin clan for almost a generation, and the many battles of his youth are a consistent favorite among the members of his clan. Though he is no longer able to take the field himself, Aletlussen’s youngest son, Aleten [Youth of the Alet], has proven to be proficient in warfare, to the extent that many in the clan favor Aleten over his elder brothers Aletluden [Young Light of the Alet] and Aletdin [Strength of the Alet].

The Aletsin settled the coastal areas of the island of Dettelin, subsisting primarily on fish and trade with other island clans, after the Kamitis displaced the Aletsin from the river valley. Most Aletsin live on their boats, with communal residences for extended stays on land.

Namaer [Children of the Fire Mountain]

Leader: King Tanamena

Not much is known of the Nama or their king aside from what the rumors say.

Basic Geography

Dettelin is one of a cluster of middling-size islands in the middle of a vast ocean. It has one river, fed by numerous streams, with the majority of streams being rainfed. Several hundred miles away lies Nama, another grouping of islands.

Until now, contact between Dettelin and Nama has been nonexistent, else long forgotten. As a result, the island clans have long believed the world to consist of only the islands they live on and an endless, empty expanse of water surrounding them.


1. Continue your rumor-musing.

2. Snap out of it and resume horizon-watching.

3. Snap out of it and go back to HQ to sift through daily reports.

4. Snap out of it and get something to eat.


  1. Clibanarius on 22 March 2012, 22:49 said:

    Option 2.

    Because an attack could come and somehow I doubt sifting through reports will solve the current mess.

  2. Puppet on 22 March 2012, 23:01 said:

    Option 3.

    Knowledge is power, so they say. ;)

  3. theArmourer on 22 March 2012, 23:31 said:

    Unless there’s someone else to lookout.

  4. Fireshark on 23 March 2012, 00:04 said:

    I pick option 2.

    3. sounds tempting at first, but without references to technology, I can’t be sure anything useful would come in on a daily basis.

  5. Eidolon on 23 March 2012, 00:32 said:

    Option 4 (after making sure that there’s someone else to keep lookout).

    Get some food, for yourself and for your brother’s wife. She probably has been too caught up in her grief to remember to eat. She’s family, and you may be the only person she has left, so it’s your duty to aid her in her time of need—and besides, it’s the last thing that you can do for your brother. (Furthermore, she may know something useful about the Namaer and how they attack, if she can recover enough to speak of such matters. It would be most unkind to press her on this, however.)

  6. Requiem on 23 March 2012, 01:08 said:

    Option 5.

    It would be best to plan out a strategy against the coming threat of Naemer/Aletsin, sending a scout to understand the land beyond might help and gain more information on the enemy. Considering oceans/rivers are such a big deal in this, preparing a navy and army might slow them from entering. Sowing dissension between the Naemer and Aletsin might also prove to be a strategy bringing up betrayals of the past, exploiting their logistic system by intercepting their ships and cutting them off from their food supply would move them away from the borders. The last preparation I would do would do would prepare wall defenses and death traps outside the kingdom and search for any generals/strategists who would serve to help the cause.

    If I knew the logistic system, number of soldiers, if the kingdom has any generals, technology, and any other factors my strategy would be more precise. But this is what I would do, I can eat later, I can muse later,I can watch the sun later. But if a strategy isn’t taken then the kingdom will fall without a fight.

  7. swenson on 23 March 2012, 08:26 said:

    Here’s what I think about the options:

    1 could potentially give us more information on the backstory or the opinions of people. That could be useful, because at this point, we don’t really know the history of what’s going on or even what other clans there might be out there. (On the other hand, we do know enough—the Nama are helping the Aletsin attack we Kamitis, and we can figure out the rest as we go.)

    2 could give us access to a scout or something or even give us advance warning of an attack. At the very least, it would probably give us a chance to learn more about the lay of the land. Also, if we’re supposed to be on watch, I don’t think it would be very good if we just left. (On the other hand, that’s not relevant right now, and staying out there on the off chance we might see something interesting probably won’t net us anything.)

    3 would definitely give us information on both ourselves and the other groups out there, particularly the Nama/Aletsin but maybe other clans too. It could also give us a chance to plan out some strategy.

    4 could give us a look at the other people in our clan or show us more about what we’re like. That could also be useful from a story perspective. (On the other hand, who needs backstory when you have battles to fight?)

    Personally, I’d prefer to derail this thing immediately and say that we should immediately go hunt down the Nama in person, but I’ll play nice and say option 3. I think it’d give us the most relevant and interesting information (particularly about what forces we have and how they’re arrayed compared to the Nama/Aletsin) and give us an opportunity to do some strategizing.

    Can we ask questions, by the way? I’d like to know more about the person we’re controlling here. I’m assuming they’re a military type, but are they an officer? How much power do they have? Do they have access to military secrets and control over other soldiers or are they just a grunt?

    ((I also have to say that this sounds like fun. :D))

  8. Inkblot on 23 March 2012, 09:36 said:

    Option 5. Defect to the Namaer side.

    jk, jk. I’m going with three.

  9. Requiem on 23 March 2012, 09:37 said:

    ^ ^

    Completely agree

    If we are to act as strategists we need more than emotion to drive our characters we need to know the logistics, weather, lay of the land, technology, number of units, generals/strategists/scholars available, what season it is, our economy, our alliances if we have any, how formidable our kingdom is, military intelligence, what type of weapons we have. All of these are key to understanding how we are to fight in this along with our backstory to keep us emotionally invested in the character we are playing.

    If we are merely a grunt we won’t have much say at all and be more likely to die.

    If we are a general we will not only be better at fighting but if we have any knowledge on forming strategies, we can then utilize that to defeat our enemies.

    All of this is important.

    As for questions: If magic exists in this world then finding a sorcerer/mage would be extremely valuable to our cause. Does this world have them?

  10. Kyllorac on 23 March 2012, 11:13 said:

    Can we ask questions, by the way?

    Yes. :3 I was counting on it.

    I’d like to know more about the person we’re controlling here.

    The person you’re controlling is the commander of one of three garrisons in the city of Kamilvan, the larger of two Kamitis cities and the one located farther inland. The garrison he’s in charge of numbers 200 men and is responsible for watching the river.

    Basic Kamitis military structure goes Clan Leader > War Master(s) > Field Commanders > Regional Governor > City Garrison Commanders > Town Garrison Commanders > Squad Commanders. Ranks are often combined, and currently the Regional Governor of Kamilvan (responsible for the welfare/governance of Kamilvan and its surrounding towns villages) is also a Field Commander.

    It’s currently the dry season, so the river is not a viable means of transportation. The Kamitis have not been a seafaring people for generations, so their only boats are small canoes for personal use and rafts for the transport of goods, when the river is high enough. Most travel/transport is conducted on foot.

    The Kamitis are perhaps the most isolated of the clans, with the Aletsin being very skilled at water-based warfare. Any boat the Kamitis send to other islands runs a high risk of being captured/destroyed.

    There is no magic in this world.

  11. Creature_NIL on 23 March 2012, 12:32 said:

    I agree with Eidolon’s option 4 elaboration.

  12. swenson on 23 March 2012, 13:46 said:

    @Kyllorac – so we’re the city garrison commander, and under the command (more or less) of the regional governor?

    In that case, we definitely aren’t responsible for standing watch, so I’m more certain than ever that we should go back and read reports.

    (On a side note, if we want to go to other islands, we’ll need to capture some boats from the Aletsin, but we probably don’t know how to operate them very well.)

  13. Kyllorac on 23 March 2012, 15:57 said:

    @Kyllorac – so we’re the city garrison commander, and under the command (more or less) of the regional governor?

    Yup. And of the three garrisons, the riverside is the smallest, since not much traffic comes in through the river except for during the rainy season.

  14. Requiem on 23 March 2012, 17:08 said:

    Then perhaps the best option would be to blockade the river with a dam, and begin training soldiers in ambush tactics to surprise the enemy if they come on land by making death traps and using the forest as an advantage. If the Namaer do fly then they won’t be able to spot the ambushes and using water based attacks on them may prove deadly, however if they actually do shoot fire then using wet cement/clay may trap them.

  15. VikingBoyBilly on 23 March 2012, 21:18 said:

    I’ll also go with Eidolon’s reasonings for option 4, and the name Eidolon is a cool Hexen reference =)

  16. drkeiscool on 28 March 2012, 03:39 said:

    Different option entirely.

    I immediately start promising glory, riches, and power to whatever poor suckers brave adventurers will come to my city’s aid.

    It always works in the video games, so why not here?

  17. Tim on 28 March 2012, 07:08 said:

    If you’re going the videogame route, clearly the right answer is to contact Samus Aran and ask her to investigate the problem. She’ll investigate the problem, solve it, save the universe, and then you can remind her you only contracted her to investigate it and pay her the initially agreed amount.

    Three days later two dozen missile expansions, eight energy tanks and a gravity suit show up on eBay.

  18. swenson on 28 March 2012, 08:52 said:

    Or do what videogame heroes always do and immediately abandon your responsibilities to run off, gather a ragtag team of misfits, and try to save the world on your own.

  19. Creature_NIL on 28 March 2012, 13:28 said:

    Don’t forget about spontaneously becoming a kleptomaniac. And maybe a some amnesia to top it off.

  20. Puppet on 28 March 2012, 16:22 said:

    If this was a modern RPG these would be the options:

    “Join the winning team. +5 Neutral Evil

    “Gather an army and ride into battle. +5 Lawful Good

    [WIS/INT] Decipher ancient book to learn more about your enemies”

  21. WulfRitter on 29 March 2012, 20:00 said:

    I’m late . . . again.

    I’m choosing 3. If I’m the commander of the garrison, it is in the best interest of my troops to make sure that I am informed of what information my resources gather; among those resources would be the guards I dispatch to continue watching the horizon.

    Also, wouldn’t it be possible for me to eat while reading the reports? So I’m cheating and choosing to combine 3 and 4. ;)