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File 171046008521.png - (79.19KB , 800x400 , Every Sacrifice Must Be Too Great Title Image.png )
1086407 No. 1086407 ID: eb0a9c

Note: Made with GANBot.
Warning: Not Safe For Work. May contain sexual content. Will contain gore, violence, and child abuse.
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No. 1086408 ID: eb0a9c
File 171046017816.png - (615.89KB , 606x606 , ESMBTG1-01.png )

Oh gods, it's sticking through my elbow!

Is this it? After everything I've been through, all the waves I overcame and all the duels I fought against captains and even a general, my death comes from the stupidest knob I've ever seen in my life?

I always knew I couldn't be the hero. But I really thought I'd meet my match.
Not my jester.
No. 1086409 ID: eb0a9c
File 171046021358.png - (65.37KB , 600x600 , ESMBTG1-02.png )

Mother... Father... Yenah... I'm sorry.
I told you I couldn't come hom
No. 1086410 ID: eb0a9c
File 171046042947.png - (42.85KB , 595x596 , ESMBTG1-03.png )

Did he... take me prisoner?
No. 1086411 ID: eb0a9c
File 171046044677.png - (632.47KB , 606x606 , ESMBTG1-04.png )

I... what am I-
...Why am I wearing a replica of the Overlord's gauntlets?
No. 1086412 ID: eb0a9c
File 171046047633.png - (566.64KB , 606x606 , ESMBTG1-05.png )

No. 1086413 ID: 443b73

This is gonna be weird...

Any noticeable difference sensation? Do you feel cold? Pain? Are you currently undead?
No. 1086422 ID: 1635ce

Ask the scary guy if you're in hell
No. 1086425 ID: 5ebd37

And you thought you weren't a hero. You've just been handed a golden opportunity. Are you alone here?
No. 1086426 ID: 42bb51

No. 1086427 ID: f0ca26

Dread pirate overlord roberts!
No. 1086431 ID: eb0a9c

Okay, maybe I've... something. Have to check my senses - maybe this is the torturer's idea of a joke.
This is highly uncomfortable. My... his limbs are freezing, but his torso feels like it was spitroasted. This throne isn't just hard-seated, it's got bumps and ridges - were those also spikes and got worn down?! At least there is a torso, and this skull body is some kind of illusion.
Come on, what was it... Right. Ixnias' Sensational Rule (gods that guy was messed up) states that as an illusion takes on more senses, it becomes far more difficult to simulate two conflicting sensations. I can feel blazing hot and scalding cold at the same time, I can see bright colors and dark shadows, I'm hearing both natural caws and rhythmic footsteps... carry the three... There's too many sensations. If someone is casting a full-body illusion to trick me into betraying the Coalition, they're using so much power that it would be easier to sacrifice a fraction of the magic needed, brainwash me into spilling all my secrets, and use me as a battle thrall... which means...

OH GODS. I don't want to be inside the scary guy! I don't want to be the scary guy! I WANNA GO HOME-

...I've gone insane with knob-inflicted brain damage, haven't I. Yes, that makes far more sense. This is all just a dream.

Just a dream, and now I'm no longer making sense okay man focus FOCUS.

This isn't how I pictured the Capital of the Horde Collective, though. It's so... regal. But if this wasn't my delusion, then where are the dozens of servants and captains marching through the throne room, annoying me with today's-
No. 1086432 ID: eb0a9c
File 171047893763.png - (598.82KB , 606x606 , ESMBTG1-06.png )

???: "Hey, Masta~"
Wasn't expecting that.
...Hm. I don't recognize her. She looks like a peasant, but... her clothes. They shimmer like a duchess' robes.
"We finished up on the west wing and added the new feed to the Vyskieks. Can we get started on the east wing, or is Lady Aurie still having her 'tea time'?"
How is she so cherry about peasant work?
And why the hell is her lower torso so damn long? Wait - is she connected to the horse?!
???: "...Masta?"
Crap, what do I-
No. 1086433 ID: eb0a9c
File 171047906472.png - (660.18KB , 606x606 , ESMBTG1-07.png )

Familiar Kobold: "Lord."
Ah, now here's a figure I recognize.
General Tibberloch. His one gift from the Mad Gods is a weak strain of crystal dragon blood, giving him a life span considerably longer than most mortals, longer than any Kobold I've met. He was far from the only kobold to have dragon blood, but he's the only one who survived long enough to recieve a promotion. Instead of throwing himself into the front lines for more glory, he withdrew from combat entirely (coward) and apparently worked on becoming a strategist, rising through the ranks yet always taking the long path to promotion. Most of our news talks about how he was a glorified servant boy to the real generals. That used to be true. And now he's informally the Overlord's Right Hand.
Even for a Kobold, he isn't the strongest, or the smartest. But he is dilligent and steadfast. I remember seeing him occasionally take command of a messy battlefield - and then doom us all. When the other generals would squabble, he would come up with plans. When they panicked, he'd step up and lead no matter how great the risk of getting another failure on his record.
In short, he was the one guy our armies should have concentrated on slaughtering, but the generals on both sides kept intentionally ignoring his tiny ass out of pride and arrogance - a 'stand of principle' that greatly assisted the Overlord in stomping all over us.
And nobody knows why he wears that fake hangman's noose around his neck.
No. 1086434 ID: eb0a9c
File 171047914620.png - (1.39MB , 1061x606 , ESMBTG1-08.png )

This isn't a dream, is it.
I'll play along for now. Maybe I can somehow report back, give the Coalition the intel it needs to win.
Me: "Tibberloch. Status Report."
The maid steps out of the way and bows. All of her. Even the freaking horse headbutt. Somehow.
Tibberloch: "Our forces have finished their assualt on the Iuria province. Casualties were higher than anticipated, but we made a tidy profit; it seems one of the 'divinely chosen' bureaucrats flipped the finger to security measures and left all his Crown paperwork on his desk. We've found enough intel to form plans for three separate assaults on the neighboring cities and fortresses, and we're already launching smash-and-grab raids on the outer towns with minimal casualties."
He throws the paperwork on the ground. It's the paperwork I just saw last month.
Damnit, didn't Boss yell at him to work on the Citadel's papers in the vault? This moron just gave the Hordes everything they needed to destroy this country! It's this kind of incompetence that invalidated all our victories in this war...
Me: "And... hm... go ahead. Let me have the buffet."
Tibberloch: "...Ha. Funny. Our first target is Murisa Valley. We've discovered a critical security breach involving an insecure smuggling route that is intentionally understaffed. This is likely because our crown agent has been attempting to make bank on the side and bypass the royal tax rate on clayglass."
Me: "Makes sense. I always thought the tax rate in that province was an illegal ban in all but name."
Tibberloch: I'd question how you'd know that, but I agree wholeheartedly. You don't forget something as crazy as a 40% total market cost tax."
Urk! Almost revealed myself! And it's 47% on average after adding the paperwork and licensing costs, but who's counting?
Tibberloch: "Straightforward, Lord. If we can get our agents to pose as merchants and lend them our current army reserve of clayglass, they should be able to infiltrate from there. We don't have enough information on the Fortress itself to know how effective they will be-"
Me: "But they will be effective. "
Tibberloch: "Second target is Glastonturvy. The terrain there is as if the Gods stomped all over it; broken, half-crumbled mountains overlooking dry valleys with rivers cracked everywhere. The fortress itself has poor infantry defenses, but their fireflame artillery is third best in the Coalition and they always have at least one fire mage sent to empower the ballistae."
Me: "Always at their best in the pits of the gods, I see."
Why am I so unfaithful?
Tibberloch: "Except they're not, sir. According to this, the latest archmage sent to oversee the seige weapons is dead. The report says it was an 'accident', if you can call being run over by a ballistae - those things are chained to the fortress for a reason - an 'accident'. It's obvious that they covered it up because the culprit in custody is a descendant of a bastard of the Emperor's family. They want to find some way to claim he died of old age, and then casually replace him as if nothing happened."
Me: "Which means the artillery won't get enchanted with spreading magic."
Gods, why? Why do you love these servants of Evil so?
Tibberloch: "And our wyverns can swoop in, take a few hits, and burn the rest to ash."
Me: "What about the third target?"
Tibberloch: "Durnkirk. Lovely little paradise, buy two shackles get one free. That one's not about weaknesses; it's about rewards. The Orb of Sundale. It's there."
...The Orb.
My family, my House, has been trying to stake their claim on that orb for generations. It was one of the artifacts gifted by the Mad Gods - before they went mad. What most don't know was that my family was once tasked with maintaining the orb, unlocking its greater powers, until it was 'confiscated' as potential dark magic after it became obvious that the ones who gifted it to us could not be trusted. And then they passed it around until there was so much paperwork that every appeal we made defaulted to them.
And now it's at the center of a fortress jokingly awarded "worst place to get promoted" by the Coalition.
If I was the bad guy, I could finally take it.
Luckily for the world, I'm not the bad guy. I'm just wearing him.
Me: "I don't need to tell you how important that Orb is to our campaign."
Tibberloch: "Which is why I'm generally recommending we find some way to weaken Durnkirk and obtain the orb before they realize we have their intel and re-locate."
Me: "So, what are the defenses?"
Tibberloch: "What aren't the defenses? The citizens have been forced to work overtime reinforcing the walls - doubling their thickness. The bulk of the province's army has been redirected there, they have triple the anti-air defenses as Glastonturvy, there's always eight archmages powering the central core, and the forces even take mandatory bonding sessions so we can't drive them apart with our agents."
Me: "So, it's a suicide-"
Tibberloch: "...Sir?"
Me: "...A suicide run. It's a suicide run. It's a suicide."
Tibberloch: "Sir? Are you okay? There's something about your voice."
No. 1086435 ID: eb0a9c
File 171047924932.png - (591.59KB , 606x606 , ESMBTG1-09.png )


I'm not the hero.


I can send all the Hordes into a ditch!
I can make them fight each other!
I can order them to die!

... No wait, the Overlord does not have absolute mind control over everyone on the side of the Mad Gods, that's just a story we made up to inspire the peasants to fight harder.
Oooh, that's going to be even more fun!

I can use my new powers and kill these two fops right now! I'll kill EVERYONE in this fortress! I'll kill 'my' whole army myself! I MEAN, WHO ON THE SIDE OF THE GODS IS GOING TO STOP ME FROM SAVING THE WORLD FROM MYSELF?!
No. 1086436 ID: eb0a9c

I think I'll get started right now!
???: "Eek!"
Tibberloch: "Lord? What is this?!"
Me: "Oh, Tibberloch. What, hypothetically, would you say the consequences would be if I sent my whole army straight at the main fortress of Durnkirk, ordering everyone to come back with the Orb or not come back at all?"
Tibberloch: "I... well, not that I would question your military genius when it comes to creating art out of intel, but I've already projected that with a full frontal assault, the 17th legion would accrue a whopping 80% casualty rate, but maintain cohesion long enough to disrupt the College and take them out."
Look at his big dumb ears. Look at them swirling around while I'm gloating. Look at those big, dopey eyes, it's like he's trying to be happy about pissing himself. Oh, I'm going to enjoy the look on his face when his 'Lord and Master' throws a wave of profane energy at his crotch. But not as much as I'll enjoy the way that freak maid will stumble over herself trying to run away and I shoot her in the back.
Me: "Thaaat's why I kept you around. Now, can you move a little- wait, did you say 17th?"
17th Legion?
Tibberloch: "Let me check my notes... Yes, Lord. 17th Legion."
There are only supposed to be six hordes! What is a legion, and why are there seventeen?
Me: "Okay, and... are there any other 'legions' nearby?"
Tibberloch: "...Um. I don't get the joke, sir. Let me just check my notes... legions in the area... five."
Me: "And of those five, how many can we mobilize to this province within... six months?"
Tibberloch: "Six... months? Sir, with six months, we could mobilize all 258 legions on rotation to vacation here."
No. 1086438 ID: eb0a9c
File 171047963511.png - (848.73KB , 606x606 , ESMBTG1-10.png )

How can he feed them all?!
No, that's not the point! If the Overlord had this many, then he doesn't need tactics, he could just throw them all at us and we'd all be dead within the month!
Maybe a Legion is just shorthand for a small band? No, how can a 'small band' take an entire fortress? Maybe he's lying? Why would he lie to the Overlord? No, what if he knows I'm in the Overlord and is just toying with me? Maybe - yeah, maybe it's some kind of restriction that lets him upkeep so many, maybe he can't use more than six 'legions' at once! Yeah, maybe he has near endless soldiers but didn't have an endless battlefield to put them on and I can stop it all right now!
Tibberloch: "Sir?"
???: "Masta, you're scaring us-"
Me: "How many legions are active right now?"
Tibberloch: "I- do you want a rough estimate or should I coun-"
Me: "Rough estimate, Tibberloch. Now."
Tibberloch: "Half. It's been a good year. Let's see, counting casualties, that's..."
Come on, thickhead, blab out the answer to the question I can't-
Tibberloch: "About 5 hundred thousand soldiers total."
Me: "Give me... some time. I thought I... I need to focus."
Tibberloch: "Yes, sir."
???: "Masta, do you want a bagel?"
Oh right, I'm in the body of an Overlord, I can eat Emperor food now.
Me: "Why yes... um... yes, I would like a bagel."
???: "Right. Must have been some party yesterday."
Sepurnicus' Favorite Law: Truth is stranger than fiction!
Me: "It was. I thought I died! And was that goblin wearing extra ears?"
???: "Aaah, thaaat guy! That's why you're so... silly today! Listen, it might take a while, but I know this really good bagel place. It's really far out into the city but oh gods it's worth the wait."
Maybe I shouldn't brutally murder her. Maybe.
Me: "Do it. How far, exactly?"
???" "I dunno, maybe... [Insert really, really, really long distance]? It's still within the city, so you can still order from Wyverison. Or maybe I can get them to megadeliver, I have a friend who works-"
Me: "I just want a ba- What did you say?"
No. 1086439 ID: eb0a9c
File 171047979943.png - (759.11KB , 606x606 , ESMBTG1-11.png )

Oh gods.
The city before me.
It's so huge.
And noisy.

Even if Tibberloch was lying-
The conscripts from this city alone... they would crush us completely.
If I unleashed everything I - the Overlord - had, it wouldn't be enough. I'd fall before I eradicated even a fourth of this capital, and they'd still have enough to march directly on the Coalition and wipe them all out.
And even if they didn't, they would rebuild. The Mad Gods would anoint a new Overlord in time.
And this miracle would have been for nothing.

...What can I do?
No. 1086467 ID: d8325e

Hah, we're a military superpower with an exceedingly good position and our job is to *lose*. Perhaps we have other wars ongoing? Here's how we lose. Set a low price ceiling on food. Justify it as a well-intended plan to 'expand food availability to all'. Farmers will lose their livelihoods and stop producing food. "Deal" with the shortages by blaming 'greedy bourgeois farmers' and nationalize. From there corruption will do the job by itself. Expect riots, looting, and famines. Direct what little food there is to the legions so they can "restore order" to these places. Should the officer corps balk at this, purge. Hail the overlord's bolshevik uprising!
No. 1086473 ID: dd3fe0

Okay, so, we need information. Say you want a report on your holdings, the status of the troops under your care, the economy, the various other power wielding groups both within and without the polity, the known status of the world in general, the state of the nation overall, spy reports, religious matters of note, potential sources of strife, everything. How quickly can a report be put together? What can you inspect on short notice?
No. 1086502 ID: 5ebd37

Better yet, say you want these reports because you have been seeing growing corruption among the officers. Start sowing the seeds of doubt.
No. 1086513 ID: eb0a9c

[Note: You may continue posting, I'm still writing the deets for this world.]
Maybe I could sabotage the food supply chain? Drive taxes even crazier than the clayglass ones? Not sure where I'm going with this. I mean, most of the farms are owned by various nobles, so forcing them to sell all the food at low prices would just convince them to gang up on me.

Like Tibberloch, the deciding factor between success and death is how much intel I can scrounge up before I begin my plans.

Yeah... but I'll need to start out by claiming it's a hunch. If I impulsively accuse trustworthy higher-ups without evidence, they'll realize that I'm the corrupt one. Gotta look at the relationships between all the generals, indirectly drive a wedge on prospective bitter rivalries, and then formally accuse them of gunking up the Horde Collective's war machine with their corrupt bickering and infighting. The shouting match will be all the evidence I need to judge them guilty.

I think Tibberloch went thataway...
I think I should get used to wearing whatever this stuff is before I sprint in it... ugh...
Me: "Tibberloch! *huff* Finally!"
Tibberloch: "Sir?"
Me: "Why weren't you in the lobby?! I needed you to help prepare my next meeting!"
Tibberloch: "Well, why didn't you just call me on the CUMM?"
The what.
Me: "..."
Tibberloch: "Please don't tell me you dropped it under the bed again."
Tibberloch pulls out... a brick? He starts poking at it.
Ack! Why is my butt moving?! Oh, there's another bric-
Tibberloch: "And stop putting your CUMM in your back pocket! Those things cost a whole month of our salary!"
Tibberloch?: "And stop putting your CUMM in your back pocket! Those things cost a whole month of our salary!"
There's some kind of funny drawing of Tibberloch on the glowing brick and I can hear him from it!
He pokes the brick a few more times and his face stops existing on my brick.
Me: "Well, as much as I'd love to humor you about these magical devices, we have matters of life and death to talk about. I need a full summary of everything we have; troop strength, positions, and even some history lessons. I've got a plan on how to take one of the targets with style, but I need to confirm every last detail and then I need to get the generals up-to-date on a ballroom of fancy movements."
Tibberloch: "Understood, but I'll need a few hours."
Me: "Fine. I'm going to eat my bagel now."
Tibberloch: "I'll send it to your CUMM!"
...Wonderful. I have no idea what he's saying, and he casually forced me to need to find out on my own or I die.
No. 1086526 ID: dd3fe0

Alright, so it is some magical communication and possibly small item transfer device. You'll need to investigate it when you have some privacy. These things sometimes are very complex to make, but are very simple to *use*. There might even be a manual somewhere laying around. Investigate it and look for such a manual when you get to a likely place.
No. 1086560 ID: eb0a9c
File 171065040520.png - (705.35KB , 606x606 , ESMBTG1-12.png )

Of all the artifacts I've ever used, this is both the easiest to use and the hardest to master. I just shuffle the objects on the surface with my hands and poke whatever I need to use. And then whatever tool comes up becomes this super-complicated mess of bureaucratic notes, complex runework, and crude jokes that should not exist on something so sacredly There's a convenient override order that forces anything that doesn't work to stop immediately.

And the Overlord kept most of his notes in one rune.

Apparently, there was some kind of cataclysm within the Mad Gods' continent. Not the Mad Gods going on another rampage, the New Continent itself... it somehow ate of a major city, containing all their 'refineries'. About two million of the Mad Gods' servants, and all their castles, swallowed by the ground in a single moment. I don't need to know what a 'refinery' is; they sent all their resources, entire mines' worth of metal and hills of stone, into this huge, would-be capital, and then the continent itself screamed 'Psyche!' and ate about fifty years of the continent's hard work in about five minutes.

So all these various nobles and merchants began screaming and panicking because they no longer had enough stone, metal, and fancy artifacts to maintain their ongoing empire. They all begged the Mad Gods to fix it, and the first one to visit said "why not go to war?"

And that's how all this started. The Horde Collective is busy eating itself, and their duty is to take what they need from the Coalition. It only looks calm on the surface, but deep down, everyone on this nightmare of a continent is as tense and messed up as we thought they were. Most of the Legions, while loyal to the army, are suspcicious of each other and constantly fight over food supplies; if they deployed all at once, they'd still win, but not before infighting themselves to near-death just to make it all the way the Old Continent. This whole time, they've been sacrificing their most incompent and useless Legions, the ones they didn't want in the first place, while directing the bulk of their efforts towards raiding the supplies needed to restore their trade lines and blacksmiths. Once they regain exactly what they need to restore the heart of their Empire, they'll retreat.

They're not planning to defeat us now, they're preparing to utterly conquer us without a scratch decades later! That's why we've been winning so many battles; we were meant to.

...All our efforts, all the kills we racked up, have been helping the Horde Collective this entire time.

Well, at least I can finally return the favor.

They sent their weakest? I'll force them to send their strongest. I'll wage successful campaigns to steal everything the Horde Collective wants... and then secretly return them to their rightful owners, not those incompetent Chosen and sons-of-heroes who keep ensuring our endless defeat.

I'll give the Coalition the kick in the rear it needs to hunt this wounded empire down.

So... one question remains.
Which target should I attack first?
There's lots of notes from the Overlord complaining about how most of the generals bicker and sneer over each other instead of doing their jobs. I need to present confidence at whatever general meeting of generals I need to attend. I should decide now.

>Murisa Valley
Murisa's a decent place to live, if you like jogging for your life. Most of the population lives in the comfort of its walls, but goes out into the fields to work the grain. I constantly saw peasants with calf muscles shaped like a horse's, and every soldier was wearing heavy armor at all times. The wall's fairly thick, mildly enchanted, and well-staffed. I think most of the peasants will be able to flee safely, even if I hit this place in the middle of the night, but the problem is that there isn't anything in there but Speed and Grain. Sure, I can get a few forces killed off infliltrating a general unknown only to find a few stockpiles of grain, but I expect more Coalition soldiers will be killed in the crossfire than Horde Collective soldiers, and the Coalition will lose one of their major supply lines.

...Maybe I can get a few agents killed...

I don't know much about this place, only that it's filled with the best kind of earthen gifts and the worst kind of earthen 'presents'. However, I do know that based on the time and circumstances of this death, they'll probably finish covering this murder up and requesting a new archmage in about a month. That may give me enough time to hit another place. Once they've confirmed their archmage is restored, no flyer will willingly charge at this place.

The big one. Like Tibberloch said, I send an army here, the army will die, but they will win the Orb of Sundale, the object that belongs to me and mine. It's the ideal target. Too ideal.
I want that damn orb, but if I go for it immediately, the others will catch on that I'm throwing bodies at a near impenetrable fortress to obtain a single artifact that I can quickly claim for myself. If I go for this first, I need to find some way to convince the generals that whatever plan I'm going for is meant to be a calculated gamble, and not just brute force.

No. 1086599 ID: dd3fe0

Seems like, in the absence of extra information, you should lean towards Glastonturvy. The other two require extra details to set up, and until you hear that report, you don't have enough data to set that stuff up. Maybe delay the decision until you get the information requested?
No. 1086611 ID: 5ebd37

Glastonturvy makes the most sense at the moment.
No. 1086703 ID: eb0a9c

[Something fairly important happened IRL. I'll try to make a few posts, but don't expect Shakespearean writing.]
No. 1087024 ID: eb0a9c

I guess... Glastonturvy would be my best bet. Wyvern squads are relatively feeble compared to other mounts, but they always seem at full strength no matter when they're called in to slaughter us. If I can appease the Horde Collective by winning them the mineral and ore mines they're desperately searching for, I can ride the wave of approval to commission a raid on Durnkirk. Plus, Glastonturvy's mines are still hella-dangerous, filled with things the Gods haven't been comfortable telling us, so if I send the Horde Collective's best mining mages into this deathtrap, I can make the loss of mining power look like one big accident.

Okay, wyverns, wyverns... 93rd legion, more than a hundred fliers, weakness is that they're all melee units... just what I need.
Interesting how the Mad Gods didn't change how people write and talk in the New Continent for centuries. Maybe the rules of speech are sacred, for some reason? Oh well.
Now I just need to set up a meeting with... whatever Overlords do, present this mission to the other generals, and see where to go from there.
No. 1087026 ID: eb0a9c
File 171126060157.png - (1.11MB , 1061x606 , ESMBTG1-13.png )

Me: "Tibberloch. What am I looking at."
Tibberloch: "That would happen to be the Legion 138's 'high command' and a couple captains of Legion 45, arguing over what appears to be... a pile of spaghetti."
Me: "Have I gone crazy?"
Tibberloch: "I ask myself that every time I see more than two generals in a room."
I'd point out that Tibberloch is a general, but I think the situation speaks for itself. Which is great, because I can't hear anything meaningful from this crowd!"

138er: "And what part of 'Smash, Grab, and Burn' did you pansies completely forget?!"
45er: "ALL OF IT! Has it occured to you Corral-Huffers that MAYBE a bunch of farmers don't have giant chests full of gold to steal?!"
138er: "Well, now we'll never know, because YOU lot didn't look!"
45er: "We are NOT going to waste OUR armies on a random treasure hunt in the middle of bloody nowhere because YOU LOT want to pretend that every square inch of the Old Continent is paved in gold-"
138er: "You're just afraid of stabbin' a few dozen farmers, and you still wonder why you don't deserve food! And how do we know that YOU LOT aren't storin' all the rations ya stole from us in those square inches?!"
138er: "Hey! Stop pretending you didn't steal all our rations, ya rogue!"
138er: "Who you calling a rogue, corruption-player?!"
138er: "Corruption?! WHERE?!"
45er: "By the gods, how do you dope-fish manage to get stupider with every breath?!"
138er: "OI! You callin' a survivor of eighteen charges STUPID?!"
45er: "Oh, let's see. You charged straight at wild beasts, powder gangs, active volcanoes, and those Old Continent savages, mindlessly ignoring the literal hundreds of deaths your legion has taken by ignoring everything regarding strategy, a grand total of eighteen times. OF COURSE YOU'RE A MORON!"
138er: "Weakling!"
45er: "Idiot!"
138er: Traitor!"
138er: "Pervert!"
138er: "Horse-Rider!"
138er: "No, this is an insult! *PFFFFT*"
45er: "MGGRRGH!"
138er: "HA! Who's the stupid now?!"

...Deep breaths... I need to figure out what to shout at these buffoons.
No. 1087033 ID: acc343

Settle this with duels (which would kill off high officers) or shut up.
No. 1087068 ID: 5ebd37

Just walk right in and assert yourself. Ask them why they haven't taken Glastonturvy yet, then lay out your (flawed) plan while they're stumbling over their excuses.
No. 1087328 ID: eb0a9c
File 171167364085.png - (661.83KB , 606x606 , ESMBTG1-14.png )

In any other situation, I would be more careful. Property damage isn't punishable by execution, but nobody enforces that kind of mercy when the accused offends a god - or worse, an emperor.
I, on the other hand, am wearing the strongest mortal military commander in history. And these are the spoiled children who played with their porridge so long that they managed to twist it into worms.


Me: "Alright, numbnuts, who do I need to murder to get you all to GROW THE @#$% UP?!"

They're all silent. Indignant, but silent. Good.

Me: "You want to argue and kill each other on your own time? Fine - I'll let you turn the East Wing into your dueling field, it's about as much of a dung heap as YOU. LOT. But if none of you can talk strategy for just two @#$%ing minutes, you're all fired. CLEAR?"

Before I can hear the expected series of mewling, one of the generals gets up and begins bowing. Right into the 'pile of spaghetti'.

138er (Fanatic): "Yes, my lord. Yes, my lord. Yes, yes, yes."
138er: "Joh."
138er (Fanatic): "We are all worms before your infinite legend."
Tibberloch: "And the 'infinite legend' just told you to shut up, fanboy."
The cult freak glares at Tibberloch for a split second, but immediately sits down, stares at me, and shows one of the most polite faces I've ever seen. Wow, I heard rumors that some of the Horde Collective outright believe the Overlord is part-god, but I never thought such insane cultists would ever make it to the rank of general. Legion 138 must really suck.
Time to hit them with the shock trooper.

Me: "Congratulations, you've convinced me to give you all the simplest, least glamourous job of our next operation: Charging across some of the roughest terrain in plain view of an elite artillery base to act as a distraction."
45er: "WHAT."
Me: "Now that I have your actual attention: after contemplating our latest intel, pending current unknowns and the distinct-yet-temporary flaws in otherwise airtight strategies, I have chosen Glastonturvy as the core of our next offensive."
138er: "(Oh here we go with the gods-damned 'modern-major overlord' play...)
138er (Fanatic): "(I know, right? Such genius, such prose)
45er: "My lord, permission to speak tactics."
Me: "Permission granted-"
45er: "Why are you sending my men to die for nothing? No, seriously, no matter how many reinforcements you bring or how many other distractions you set, there is no way the magma-enchanted ballistae teams won't lob at least one casualty-racking salvo at each ground unit."
Me: "There is a way, because there is no magma-enchanted ballistae at Glastonturvy right now."
138er: "There's wot."
Me: "Children: The archmage at Glastonturvy is dead. His replacement won't arrive for at least two weeks. If we march now, we can easily swarm the fortress with the 93rd Legion. Speaking of which, why aren't their representatives here?"
45er: "Because Usural refuses to use teleportation technology ever since his brother got mulched in that portal accident."
138er: "Coward won't even send one of his lackeys to speak through the bug-sized ones. He's that scared of a firecracker."
I don't know what a firecracker is, but I can understand the fear. Portal magic has always been the world's most dangerous business, even more than learning magic itself.
138er: "But why would it take them so long to replace the one strong guy they absolutely need?"
Me: "Some crap about the Coalition's Emperor's Distant Cousin's Bastard's whatever murdering the 'strong guy' or something. You know how corrupt the Coalition is. They'd rather risk the entire fortress than admit this nobody who happens to be barely related to their fat emperor is a bad person."
No. 1087329 ID: eb0a9c
File 171167366429.png - (646.37KB , 606x606 , ESMBTG1-15.png )

138er: "Well, ya have my axes. And you definitely have Joh's undying support."
The fanatic hasn't stopped staring. It's getting kind of creepy.
Me: "First things first. What was the status of the 93rd when you last saw them?"
45er: "Still cocky bastards. They've been training up on their 'vomiting maneuvers'... ugh... to make their close-range fire attacks work more effectively. See, not sure why, but there's only like five mages in their ranks. The rest have to resort to throwing lit torches without accidentally burning themselves to death."
Wyverns. They've hurled their way to victory throughout the ages.
Me: "Good. We'll start by testing the defenses. First, a couple of 'scouts' from the 93rd will review the fortress. We'll make sure that they won't fire 'flame nets' at our forces. Then, the 138th legion begins the charge straight at the gates."
138er: "Just how we like it, my lord. But, eh, we do get genius reinforcements, right?"
The two 45ers roll their eyes.
"That's the other thing. I want the 45th legion to take flanking maneuvers across the battlefield, enough that we can trick the fortress into believing they're getting swarmed by disposable ground forces, should make them panic and lob almost all their shots at once. Finally, when they're fully distracted, we have the full force of the 93rd legion swoop in from above, cook the inside of the fortress to pure ash, and the 138ers can capture the deserters. End result: the mining base we need, and a disruption of local supply lines which will give us the sabotage we need to begin the next and primary step of our operation."
45er: "Which is?"
Me: "Need to know basis. I'd tell you, but I don't want you to spill to the worms. Start returning back to the front by portal and get your troops to rest early, I want this mission started tomorrow, crack of dawn. Finally, question time."
138er: "I gots a question."
Me: "Great! So do I! Why haven't you cleaned this table up?!"
138er: "(He's got a point, we stopped caring about the noodles after you used them.)"
138er: "(Well, I-)"
Me: "You two, clean this up personally or you're fired, good day."
I turn around and march.
Tibberloch casually walks in his own direction. I don't think I'm supposed to follow him.
No. 1087330 ID: eb0a9c

And it occurs to me that as the overlord, I can finally get all that free time I needed.
There's all kinds of things I need to do, though, to enforce my cover. I think I only have enough time remaining today to do one or two of these:

* Investigate the City: This place is too huge. I need to learn more about this city if I want to use it.
* Talk to Overlord's Staff: I barely know anything about the Overlord's staff. If I make too many mistakes, they're going to catch on that I'm not the real deal. I can only threaten them so many times before they realize I'm not packing the same magical power as the overlord.
* Attempt to Learn Magic - Trigger: And on that note, I have a huge problem: I don't know the Overlord's Triggers. So far, all the rumors in the Coalition say the Overlord has three different triggers, possibly more, but none of them are vocal like mine is. If I want to use any magic in public, I need some way to decieve them into believing I'm using a trigger the Overlord knows, or everyone's going to realize that the guy screaming at the top of his lungs while his fireballs have dirt sticking to them is an impostor.
* Attempt to Learn Magic - Component: As a side note, I can always stick to my own style and self-prepare my spellcasting by meditating somewhere. I've always wondered what components can be learned in the New Continent. I can already feel, instinctually, that the Overlord's body has a lot of components, so casting big-ass spells to kill any assassins should be easy.
* Plan a Strategy: I need a contingency plan, in case I am discovered. If the overlord had some secret passages, I should find them. I also need to be ready to take down as much of the New Continent and the Mad Gods' creations as I can.
* Something Else: Or I dunno, maybe something not off the top of my head?
No. 1087338 ID: 1181ab

Staff is definite. When in your shoes (boots?) you have no need to use magic alone. Leaders have people for that stuff. Probably for the rest of that stuff too. Should you manage more go with contingencies.
No. 1087350 ID: 5ebd37

Stalk the halls. Learn your way around by popping in on people unannounced "to see that they're not slacking off"
No. 1087399 ID: dd3fe0


Staff, the halls, and the parts of the city that are specifically easy for you to get to. Is there a transit system? Are people used to you teleporting or something?
No. 1087595 ID: eb0a9c
File 171195716097.png - (192.01KB , 400x201 , ESMBTG1-16.png )

So here's tha rub. Dis town's too small for the two a' us. Doesn't matter how mnay times the Domain Names a Scion, or how the Loads and the losers keep trying ta Balance us out. We's hate each otta. But it don't matta how many times we 'Deny some Services' or 'put our Men right inna Middle' of the action. We want it all, and theys want ta tear it all dawn'.
Naw. We gots ta end 'em. Scrubs think there's a truce. Think that, just cause we got our side and theys got theirs, there can be peace. But there ain't no peace in us, not while they's still a thing that walks and talks and @#$%s upon dis oith.
But see, dere might be an end ta dis war. Cause the GODfathas? They gots a plan. Dey found a way to disguise a rat as a whole capo. Called the maneuv' tha 'Spoof'.
Dat rat... is me.

It's mah first day a' hidin behind da mask of a made man, and I'm already thinkin' dese chumps don't know how ta' settle, only ta' bow. Deys needs some... "Quality Of Service", I reckon'. All them chumps meant ta' haul drugs is haulin da punches, it's a dog-eat-mook nightmare out dere, and all da good stuff spoils. Now I's thinkin' that if we was ta spend some time... 'improvin' da system, dese fools would see happy faces. Happy faces becomes greedy faces. Get 'em all 'aristocratized'. Make da bills pile up. I wonda if I can makes em even less onta me if I's set up a whole security wing... dat ansas' only ta me-

Aw, Hells! My fam's fightin' down dere! Theys' gonna get creamed!
Can't order dah Capo's boys ta back off, can't order mah boys ta scamper
Looks like I gotta Take A STANDO-
No. 1087596 ID: eb0a9c

"And that's the first episode!"
"OMGS, I can't wait to watch it!"
"And did you hear? The lead villain the next episode is going to be played by Zackie Comlock!"
"EEEEEEEEEE! I loved him as the voice of The First Amongus!"
And then they started kissing. Which is... cool, I guess. But I can't understand how anyone could be attracted to a whiny, vapant brat, even another whiny, vapant brat. If I wasn't their enemy, this would be purely insufferable.

I've been studying the help for about two hours, and instead of doing their jobs, all the maids and cooks are busy talking about the New Continent's latest glams. Glams! Those things cost about a tablespoon of pure gold to attend!
I knew something was weird about that head maid's clothes. All the servants are paid more than four times what we give ours. Which was a bad idea, because instead of working four times harder they end up working half as hard. There's muck and grime across the upper walls, nobody cleans my footsteps, and now the maids are spending their overblown wages on expensive magic-powered shows.
But, their loss, the Coalition's gain. I'm not going to tell the Horde Collective to stop wasting money just so it can murder us harder.

They're starting to suspect me, but I'm starting to learn their tells in turn. Seems the overlord has some quirks, a cut-and-dry personality when talking to anyone that isn't far underqualified for their purpose. As long as I stick to the script - keep walking, ask a few questions about whatever gossip they have going on, put military matters first - they don't look at me funny. I just need to stick to my cover story - I got high on whatever that multi-eared goblin roofied me with last night, and it's still affecting me. Never mind that he was actually on the battlefield skewering my elbows with strange excuses for swords.
...I hope I'm not dead, out there. But then, maybe that ear freak is busy turning my body into a mutant abomination. I don't know which is worse.

For now, I've figured out some of their names; the Head Maid's name is Cly, apparently. Just need to look through the brick for all instances of that name, and I'll be ready to communicate with her.

...I hear bottles crashing and some weird yowling. That must be Lady Aurie - whoever that is. Should I confront her?
>Hell No, @#$%ing JOG
>Seduce Her
>Shoot Her In The Face
No. 1087600 ID: dd3fe0

Yes, and theeaten, "If that horrible yowling and crashing doesn't stop, I'm going to shoot everyone even vaguely present in the face!"
No. 1087689 ID: 5ebd37

No. 1088434 ID: eb0a9c
File 171273249636.png - (680.14KB , 606x606 , ESMBTG1-17.png )

I got this... I got this.

"Oheeey Capn Overlordy, wassap."
I don't got this.
"I... did you..."
"NooooOOOooooOOOO? OOOOO? OOOOhat?"
"Nevermind. I'm heading out tomorrow, you're in... something. Not in charge. Just... do whatever Tibberloch tells you. Don't... break the capital while I'm gone."
"...Pffahahahaha! Wellissnthanice! You-you-you forGOT! Is MY turn! But now you take my turn! Thassnice. You're NOT giving my turn-turn, though? Or isssit turn-turn-turn? Just turn? ANYWAYS I DON' OWE YOU, YOU OWE ME AND NOW YOU PAYING THE OWE ME THAT YOU UNOWED I! AHA!"
"Why do I keep you around?"
Yes, why does the Overlord keep this drunk mess around?
"I... Iunno. Maybe it's becaussss... I MURDERED that egg!"
Suddenly all the eggs scattered in the room start floating. Huh, her Trigger must be really easy to memorize if she can do it this drunk.
"AN' THIS e'!"
Okay, now that one turned blue... cute...
...Uh oh.
A quarter of them disappeared outright. That's some powerful Components she has.
Time to go!
I'll just back away-

"Hey, Over, ya wanna spend the night here... AAAALLLL NAKED? Over?"

I mean she's hot but NO NO NO this is a BAD idea
But there's only one right answer and if I don't get it right she might get sus!
>Do it
>Go to bed alone
No. 1088892 ID: 5ebd37

Bluff bluff bluff
You can't sleep with her tonight because... ..... becausssse... because all these eggs are really turning you off. Yes you hate eggs now, and just the thought will have you not in the mood for hours.
No. 1090766 ID: eb0a9c
File 171549034397.png - (729.12KB , 886x606 , ESMBTG1-18.png )

Me: "Uh... I can't, because you murdered that poor egg! And now I have to tell her family that she'll never get into bagel school!"
Aurie: "Ohhhh noooo"
Me: "Yes, what a tragic series of events that totally-"
???: "-verlord?"
Oh. Didn't get enough sleep.
Yep, I'm awake. And this still isn't a glamour.
Me: "Right. How much longer until we reach the fort?"
45er: "Just thirty minutes."

This is it. My first act of high treason against the Coalition, for the glory and victory of the Coalition.

Current Troops:

138th Legion: Thuggish Shock Troopers [Melee, Fast, Hardy] - 743 Units
45th Legion: Everyman Negotiators [Jack (variety Melee, Ranged, Magic), Charismatic] - 407 Units
93rd Legion: Wyvern Flamethrowers [Flying, Mounted, Melee, Inflicts Fire Status Effect] - 263 Units

Enemy Troops

Regular Militia [Melee] - ~150 Units
Tower Guards [Melee, Experienced, Armored] - ~100 Units
Archers [Ranged] - ~150 Units
Ballistae Engineers [Ranged, Artillery, 2 required to use ballistae] - ~ 80 Units
Pyromancers [Bard, Ranged, Fire] - ~32 Units
Archwizard [Wizard, Master, Synergy] - 0 Units
Captains [Loser] ~20 Units
Commander [Extra-Loser] - 1 Unit

Current Strategy:
Without the Archwizard, the Pyromancy team will not be as skilled at enchanting ballistae nets with effective fire magics, and will not link nets together to form a super-flaming-net, which means the overall ballistae threat is significantly lowered from its usual levels.
138th: Run Interference (AKA charge gloriously, die in droves)
45th: Surround fortress, neutralize incoming reinforcements, and fire arrow artillery
93rd: Standby, Charge when battlefield reaches crescendo

How should I alter the strategy, or is it good already?
How (if any) should I inflict sabotage on my own forces while drawing the least suspicion on me?
No. 1092206 ID: eb0a9c

Or should we skip to the epilogue of the prologue?
No. 1092232 ID: dd3fe0

The strategy is fine
No. 1093268 ID: eb0a9c
File 171903099390.png - (717.33KB , 606x606 , ESMBTG1-19.png )

I'm trying out a new battle system.
Everything depends on rank, type, and the number of attackers.
1) The difference in rank can determine everything. When both sides have even ranks, the probability of killing an opposing unit is 50%. With a +1 advantage, the probability jumps to 66.66%, but with a -1 disadvantage it drops to 33%. At +2/-2, the probabilities are 95% and 5%, and at +3/-3 the probabilities are 99.75% and 0.25%. Anything at +4 and higher is 100% defeat, anything at -4 is a total loss.
1a) Multiple factors on the battlefield can increase or decrease rank.
1b) Unit types determine an increase or decrease in rank, AND whether or not an opponent can counterattack. For instance, Ranged attackers gain +1 rank against melee attackers, and cannot be counter-attacked by their melee targets. Similarly, melee units gain +1 against artillery and the artillery cannot counterattack, artillery units gain +1 against ranged units and ranged cannot counterattack. Airborne aerial units are always +1 against ground units, and melee/ranged/artillery type rank differences are ignored; melee/ranged/artillery just determines attack range. When aerial-type units are on the ground they suffer -1 to everything, but they can counter-attack. Ineffectively.
Ranged -> Melee -> Artillery -> Ranged
Airborne units -> Ground Units -> Grounded Aerial Units
1c) Melee units can only attack enemies up close. Ranged units can attack at a medium distance or up close, Artillery units can only attack at a distance, medium or long. The former is cheaper to train than the latter.
1d) Ballistae deal 2^rank attacks, but in turn, not only do they require 2*(rank-1) units to man, they also grow exponentially more expensive. The requirements do not increase or decrease with buffs.
2) However, the number of attackers determines how much damage is actually being done. When rolling, the attacking side rolls and scores kills first, but if the target can counter, their counterattack roll is as if they had all their troops.
3) Units with Magic or specialists can alter the ranks and effects of battlefield. 3a) Units with the Magic trait have a large number of mages in their squad, and can be affected by special skills involving magic or perform special skills themselves. For instance, Pyromancers can apply the Fire trait to another unit. Magic is only effective against more magic.
3b) Captains and Commanders will increase the Rank of the unit they are Commanding, but run the risk of being killed as a member of the grunts every time a kill is inflicted. So if a captain is commanding a squad of 100 men and 50 of those men are killed in an attack, there is a 50 out of 101 chance that one of the grunt deaths will be replaced by the captain. In addition, the death of a captain may lower morale, forcing them to either take an additional -1 penalty to rank or retreat until ordered by a new captain or force. If there is a +2 or greater discrepancy between an officer and the forces they lead, they only give a +1 boost - but they can train the forces and improve their rankings over time until there is a +1 discrepancy between the two, or work on improving a single unit to the rank of Captain. Higher rank discrepancies mean faster training time. Experience earned towards the next rank counts as a probability that they will act as a higher rank for one turn.
4) When overkilling an enemy (scoring more hits than there are enemies), the units that attacked successfully but didn't score a kill gain Bonus Attacks. Bonus attacks are automatically used on a random viable target and cannot be countered!
5) If an enemy's rank is +x higher but are outnumbered 2^x-to-1, treat each attack on the enemy as if you had 1/2^x the number of people, but at equal rank. This does not apply in certain situations.
6) I'll probably change these rules later

Turn 1:
93rd Legion (Rank 3) performs Defense Maneuver against all Ranged-type troops! (+1 Rank versus all Ranged troops!)
93rd Legion (Rank 3+1r) Special Action: Survey Battlefield!
Archers (Rank 2) attempt attack!
Combat Performance:
Archers (Rank 2) vs 93rd Legion (Rank 3+1r)
Ranged type unit versus Airborne Melee Unit - Disadvantage (-1 Rank), no counter
Total Rank difference: -3!
Rolling... (for a -3 roll, I roll a d10,000 die for each attacker, if it has 9975 or higher, a unit dies, 150 attackers means 150 attacks)
0 Rolls >= 9975!
Zero hits!
93rd Legion (Rank 3) succeeds its Scan! Rank of all standard enemies decreased by 1 for 3 turns!
138th Legion (Rank 2) is moving into position...
45th Legion (Rank 1) is moving into position...
Regular Militia (Rank 1-1) are moving into position...
Tower Guards (Rank 3-1) are moving into position...
Ballistae Engineers (Rank 3-1) are moving into position...
Pyromancers (Rank 3) are moving into position...
Captains (Rank 3) cower in terror...
Commander (Rank 2) cowers in terror...

Turn 2:
45th Legion (Rank 1) performs Defense Maneuver in cover against all artillery-type units! (+1 Rank versus all artillery troops)
93rd Legion (Rank 3) performs Defense Maneuver against all Ranged-type troops! (+1 Rank versus all artillery troops!)
93rd Legion (Rank 3+1a)
138th Legion (Rank 2) uses Special Action: Dash! Legion 138 (Rank 2) dashes into melee range of Regular Militia (Rank 1-1) and Tower Guards (Rank 3-1)!
Archers (Rank 2-1) attempt attack on 138th Legion (Rank 2)!
Combat Performance:
Ranged-type Unit versus Melee Unit: Advantage +1 rank, no counter
Total Rank difference: 0!
Rolling: (+0 roll, 50% chance of kill per attack, 150 attacks):
69 Kills!
138th Legion (Rank 2) reduced to 674 Units!
Regular Militia (Rank 1-1) attempts attack!
Combat Performance:
Melee unit versus melee unit - Neutral (0 rank), counter
Rolling... (-2, 5% chance of kill per attacking unit, 150 attacks):
6 Hits = 6 Kills!
138th Legion (Rank 2) reduced to 668 Units!
Rolling... (+2, 95% chance of kill per attacking unit):
635 Hits = 150 Kills and 485 Bonus Attacks!
Regular Militia (Rank 1-1) has been defeated!
138th Legion (Rank 2) Bonus Attacks Tower Guards (Rank 3-1)
Combat Performance:
Melee Unit versus Melee Unit: Neutral (0 Rank), counter nullified by bonus attack
Rolling... (0, 50% chance of kill for 485 attacks)
255 Hits = 100 Kills + 155 Bonus Attacks!
Tower Guards (Rank 3-1) has been defeated!
No remaining targets in range! Bonus attacks nullified!
Pyromancers (Rank 3-1) are applying general fire magic to Ballistae!
32 Ballistae charged with (+1 Rank, Fire status effect)
Ballistae Engineers (Rank 3) open fire on the 138th Legion (Rank 3), Fire-enchanted units only!
Combat Performance:
Artillery Unit (Rank 3) Versus Airborne Melee Unit (Rank 3+1a): Disadvantage (-1), no counter
Rolling... (-2, 5% chance of kill for 32 Ballistae *4 = 256 attacks)
15 Hits = 15 kills!
138th legion (Rank 3+1a) reduced to 248 Units!
Ballistae Engineers (Rank 2) open fire on the 45th Legion (Rank 1+1a)
Combat Performance:
Artillery Unit (Rank 2) Versus Jack (Melee/Ranged) (Rank 1+1a): Neutral (0), no counterattack
Rolling... (0, 50% chance of kill for 4 Ballistae * 4 = 16 attacks)
8 Hits = 8 kills!
Fire status inflicted on 15 units! 5% chance of death per turn for three turns! (But since this unit is fire-type, reduced to 0.25%)
Captains (Rank 3-1) cower in terror...
Commander (Rank 2-1) cowers in terror...

Current Stats:
Horde Collective Units:
138th Legion (Rank 2): Thuggish Shock Troopers [Melee, Fast, Hardy] - 668 Units
45th Legion (Rank 1): Everyman Negotiators [Jack (variety Melee, Ranged, Magic), Charismatic] - 407 Units
93rd Legion (Rank 3): Wyvern Flamethrowers [Flying, Mounted, Melee, Fire] - 263 Units

Coalition Units:
Archers [Ranged] - ~150 Units
Ballistae Engineers [Ranged, Artillery, 2 required to use ballistae] - ~ 80 Units
Pyromancers [Bard, Ranged, Fire] - ~32 Units
Archwizard [Wizard, Master, Synergy] - 0 Units
Captains [Loser] ~20 Units
Commander [Extra-Loser] - 1 Unit
No. 1093269 ID: eb0a9c
File 171903134001.png - (347.88KB , 606x606 , ESMBTG1-20.png )

Newscast: Winning with Broken Promises; Overlord Scores Massive Victory but Fails to Meet Stated Objectives

45th General: "DAMNIT!"
Me: "Okay, so we didn't score a total victory. We lost some soldiers, and they lost an army."
45th General: "That's still eight of my men who died on your half-baked strategy, 'Overlord'!
Me: We just murdered all their melee units. The battle is won. Hell, if you want, you can issue a full retreat to your legion right now and I'll claim you fully participated, with... appropriate shares of the loot.
45th General: "Gods, what-... something is wrong with you today. And I won't be privy to this mess any longer."
A beastial scream erupts from within the fortress.
Me: "Okay, but shouldn't you help me arrest the-"
45th General: "We were going to persuade the fools to surrender... but this whole situation is stupid. Take your brutes and mop one set of corpses with another."
Me: "Hm."
The general of the 45th legion leaves me alone... alone to decide the true flow of the battle.
This is an important moment. Right now, I can intentionally increase the number of casualties among 'my' troops by issuing asinine orders. The 138th is stupid enough to believe anything I tell them; if I told them an incoming wave of melee cavalry was coming and they had to stand their ground, they'd stand their ground and get pelted by arrows. Or some other strategy that could even get more of the 93rd legion killed off, somehow. But maybe I should just let the 138th legion kill anyone who doesn't surrender - or maybe leave no survivors.
Some important stuff:
Hatred - The Coalition, on principle, generally hates the Horde Collective. But every time you inflict war crimes that go against the already brutal standards of warfare, such as leaving no survivors or performing less savory acts than murder, their vendetta will grow. Increase this to increase the general fighting strength of the Coalition's forces, but you must not allow it to rise too high or you risk sending them into the same self-destructive cycle that the Horde Collective is currently suffering, exhausting their resources just to kill you.
Panic - The Horde Collective, while massive, is internally breaking down. Unexpected losses, infighting, and general unease among the citizens will increase the stress of their society. At maximum Panic, you win.
Suspicion - The Horde Collective suspects something is wrong with you. Generally, they won't care as long as you bring home the victories, but if you start losing in ways that seem intentional, they'll start accusing you. Achieve victories in combat to lower suspcion - a lot - but lose in a way that is obviously intentional and suspicion will spike.
And there's one more trait that's hidden for now...

>Order the 138th to purge Glastonturvy (Battle continues until total defeat or retreat of all Coalition forces, lowers Suspicion of Horde Collective, increases Hatred of Coalition)
>Attempt to order surrender (All Horde Collective units unable to attack for 1 turn, high chance of Coalition surrender)
>Goad the 138th Legion into doing something stupid (medium chance of Retiring the 138th legion, increased Panic, low chance of increasing Suspicion)
>Other (unknown consequences)

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