Hammer and Anvil
Military Officer / Pistoleer
Captain Tobias Flint of the venerable 35th Foot & Rifles Regiment of His Cygnaran Majesty’s Army.
Tempered time and again on the anvil of battle, and equally as good with his signature mace or his pair of ludicrous 1.5 cal ‘slug-gun’ pistols, ‘Thunder’ & ‘Lightening’, Tobias cut a mean sight in his shining armour plate. Originating in the rank and file, and through skill, sheer bloody mindedness and a reputation for always getting the job done he had clawed his way up the ranks and gotten field promoted to captain. He currently operates outside the framework of the military, completing special ‘excursion’ assignments always with a hand picked squad of talented companions known for their discretion and skill.
His last excursion was quite high profile (a summary can be found below) and as such he is operating as a free agent until the gaze of unwanted attention has moved on. Due to his military connection Mortlock has provided him with an introduction into the ‘Hammer and Anvil’ company, where no doubt countless new ‘excursions’ await him.
An Ordian Excursion
We were all lined up, our lot and theirs. Our squad positioned on the left flank but doubled up in ranks, ignored by our own lads. We were here with a purpose, the rest of them just bystanders, spectators of a greater event set on a stage larger than their comprehension. In fact they were all there just to die as a cover for our mission. The cap’n had given us the gist the night before, and we didn’t get much rest whilst our preparations were made. Uniforms were acquired, introductions made to the boys who would be providing us cover and at the same time pretending we didn’t even exist.
A quick inspection just before the dawn muster and we looked the part. the cap’n disguised as a corporal and the rest of us with only the bare minimum of uniform not to get jumped on by our own boys. Mud splattered before the battle even began, to make identification even harder and to set the right tone for the inevitable rumours that would spread like a fire after the rout. That’s right. You heard. We knew how it was going to go down before a sword was even drawn, and that’s because we were the firelighter, that would be tossed into the bone dry tinder box that was the battle.
The plan went well, no surprise, the cap’n had thought of everything as usual, where they found him I’ll never know, but I thank my stars that he was on our side. Gods, just thinking about him makes me shudder.
As we formed up on the line it started on the right flank. An organised and deliberate breaking of the ranks as our boys charged the enemy before the order was given. No-one else knew but us that it was a sham, arranged to draw attention away from us and what we were about to do. As a bonus it also meant our direct opponents were all looking the other way when our parent regiment charged.
We each had our signature throwaway ‘boom stick’ blunderbusses we used, fired all at the same time, concentrated on a small section of the enemy line, to punch a bloody hole through which we would push. We fire, and the front two rows of five poor bastards clock out, and behind the front rank of our cover regiment we push on through.
Fifteen minutes, a distractionary cavalry charge and a hundred yards of butchery later, and we were on the cusp. The steamjack artillery barrage was timed perfectly and with the exception of the odd shell, the accuracy was admirable at such a range. The bodyguards of the streak-of-piss noble who was in command of their side, summarily shat themselves. Their horses spooked as half their number disappeared in a shower of mud, blood, and indeterminate bits, and thus the scene was set for the finishing blow our coup-de-grace.
Why the cap’n used a mace was unknown. What was known was how well he used it and how much it hurt, judging by the screams of the poor souls that were ‘touched’ by it. Flesh tore, skulls caved, femurs shattered. It certainly produced the right results, but it never failed to draw derision from the cock-‘o-the-walks we seemed fated to continually meet on our ‘excursions’. “How can a stick be better than a sharp blade?” was the usual response followed by quips of, “Does your grandad need it to walk?”. The cap’n had humoured them to start with but I think his patience had evaporated a couple of ‘excursions’ back and we got into trouble last time when he put the troop sergeant in the hospice with a quick swing. When it’s the cap’n doing swinging it don’t really matter whether it’s a sword or not; you’re going down, hard.
So the look on the noble’s face when the cap’n’s mace entered his temple was particularly sweet. We rushed him after the barrage making short work of the few bodyguards who had managed to either collect or keep their wits in the aftermath. The cap’n had disarmed him with the first strike and even if had lived he would never have had the use of his right hand again. With the noble down and the command group decimated the nearby soldiers routed when we charged them. Which was a sight I’ll not forget in a hurry, our group of ten charging a full regiment from the rear, they couldn’t get out of the way quick enough as we headed back to our lines carrying their standard that we’d nicked and set aflame.
As was usual there was no thanks or congratulations, not to mention even official recognition that we were even there. But the pay was prompt as always, the cap’n always paid well and immediately. Then we drifted of back to our own units with new stories that could never be told, to friends that would never believe them anyway. But we all knew that, it was part of the deal, and it was that and the smug feeling of being unique that kept you going until cap’n Tobias came calling again and you had another chance to be a part of the unit that didn’t exist, the men that were never there, the Spectres.