“Reconnaissance in Force” by Ayrlego

Colonel Sir Dirk Allcock has been busy since landing in Westface. As commander (land), Corlander Forces Terraversa, he has had much to do. Most of his time has been taken liaising with L’Ouis and his Terraversan staff in Westface, finding billets for the Corlander Expeditionary Force and ensuring there are enough supplies to campaign. Before leaving for Pamu, his old friend Montoya and remarked his preparations would be in vain, and that the proposed peace talks would prevent conflict.  Allcock was not so sure. He had not been in favour of war with Oleon, although that nation’s aggressive and irresponsible actions attacking King’s Port had left the Crown with little choice. Since the declaration, old enmities – animosity Allcock had hoped buried with expansion into the New World – had spilled to the surface. He felt certain the war; which to date had been relatively bloodless between Corrington and Oleon, would not end without a major blood letting.

Finally the arrangements in Westface were competed to his satisfaction. Still, his work had only just began. He strongly believed that information won battles and wars. The Corlanders had limited knowledge of the environment and terrain of Eastern Terraversa. This would have to change. Together with his second in command; Major Nathaniel Brickford, he has left Westface to conduct a thorough reconnaissance eastern Terraversa. Not wanting to risk capture or ambush, this will be a reconnaissance in force, accompanying Allcock and Brickford are a retinue of staff officers including Colonel Agnolino de Silva, the Terraversan liaison officer assigned to Allcock’s staff, Captain Nardo Bonzi, a militia officer and expert guide. Escorting the force are a strong force of cavalry including a troop of the Corlander 2nd Regiment of Hussars and a troop of elite Terraversan cuirassiers.

Allcock is paying particular attention to ensuring the force’s maps are up-to-date and enhanced with local knowledge. The locations of river crossings, seasonal weather patterns. The thirst for knowledge that saw him a founding member of the Royal Society of Natural Philosophy is now applied to his military command. If battle was coming, he was determined that the Corlander force would not be defeated due to a lack of local knowledge.

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