OOC: Just let me know if this first post needs less closure. Oh, and the corsairs aren't meant to represent a power, only as a hostile power to everybody, kinda like the Somali Pirates.

September 1st, 1943

0600 Hours Standard Time

4 years ago, 4 years since it had started. The war was in its zenith, ravaging countless lands as the Meriar Commonwealth Pushed across the ocean to lay waste to the world. Who would’ve thought, that 4 years had elapsed since the first Commonwealth Soldiers advanced upon Salamandastron, how the legendary mountain was captured along with the rest of the coast, or that the expedition north had resulted in this bloody of a war.

Yes, Mossflower had withstood the attacks, gradually building her air power and navy to one that was second-to-none. “The people of Mossflower had proved it again, that even though we have battered them into submission they will not give up. Something special is in that country, the determination and bravery that defines the word legendary.” This had come from their opponent, Korvasius Meriar, whom, instead of launching a full-scale invasion of the country, diverted his troops north, where, near the small town of Blackriver, they were decisively defeated. From there in September 1942 the army had conducted a fighting withdrawel back to the mountain.

Little of that mattered to Captain Ignis Rwercia of the 21st infantry division right now. His troops mostly dead, he and a handful of survivors were pinned down hear the summit of Skull rock, on the corsair stronghold of Blackpoint. Jutting out of the sea like an obsidian skyscraper, Blackpoint housed a large air base with enough firepower to reduce a city to ashes. Once, almost a century previous, it and another island in the arpeggio had once been strongholds of Gabool the Wild, before his death. A handful of the once 20 odd buildings were still here on the island, but in the battle that had been raging for almost a week, all but one were destroyed.

Looking up to the sky, Ignis cringed as a flight of Dive-bombers began their descent on the top of the island. The distinctive “Gull Wing” Configuration of the SBD Dauntless bomber, most of whom belonged to the Corsair forces now encircling his troops on the mountain top. “I want two on the east slope, three on the west, and one to the south. Me and the other two, we’re going to the north. Now move!” Ignis barked out additional orders to his squad right as the bombs hit. The foxes, their faces covered in dirt and blood, ash and smoke, were blown apart in the resulting onslaught. Only three of his men survived the first wave.

“Sir, what are we going to do? There’s a full compliment of Corsair troops moving up on the south ridge, and more coming from the north.”

Ignis looked around ten years older as the bodies of the, no his dead troops lay in front of him, their charred bodies smoking as the dive-bombers circled back over for another attack. Ignis turned to his men. “Men, we have nothing to do. We’re surrounded and with hardly any ammo. My hope, no, my prayer is that we get out of here, but that’s just not possible. Let’s just say that our families will be hearing of us pretty soon.” Ignis looked back up at the sky as another wave of bombers closed in on the top. Suddenly one of the bombers exploded in flames, veering off to the south as it’s crew jettisoned out in time. Another hit, another downed plane. Ignis looked down the jagged rocks to the sight of friendly units advancing on the mountainside.

OOC: nope.avi

Jodder looked about as he tried to search for the one who shot down the bombers. Whoever it was deserved a medal, he thought. A bullet whizzed by his ear for the upteenth time as the vole laid down in the dirt again. Reloading his rifle, he could only hear the machine guns battering the enemy. Finally, Jodd peeked out of his small trench and took aim. At that moment, a corsair got out of their hole to throw a grenade.

The resulting blast disoriented the Commonwealth troops long enough for Jodder to crawl out of his hole and find more cover. The air ranked of gunpowder and corpse parties. Three soldiers from the reinforcing regiment got up and attempted to get closer. They didn't get very far. Jodder thought back to how he barely joined the army 3 years before this war started. How he left his family in pursuit of a life in the field. He never expected another war as big as this to happen again. But hopefully, it would end soon…

Meanwhile, on the other side of the island…

Nerudi Oceaneye was in a mess of trouble. Half of her SS squad had been cut down by a machine gun nest near the northwest tip of the airstrip, and three more had been wounded by the weapon. Reloading her Gewer 43 sniper rifle, the guns from the east and west sides of the island continued their barrage at the fleet stationed off both of the respective coasts. Scoping in on a selected target around 400 yards away, she fired, the scream of the corsair she just hit giving her sick pleasure.

One of her lieutenants ran over to her, bullets grazing the sides of his legs and spraying dirt into the air. "M'am, virtually the entire squadron is dead. I think only two or three of us are still alive. M'am?" Another crack of thunder from her rifle. "M'am, we have to withdraw. The situation's become critical. I've just been informed that our planes are going to bomb the airstrip in approximately," He looked up at the sky as Nerudi fired again. "Now, I guess." The first three bombs fell on the airfield like the first drops of rain in a hurricane. Soon, the air was abuzz with at least 65 level-bombers, most of them He-111Hs. Soon, the entire airfield was a massive crater, at least 5 feet deep and over 500 yards wide.

Gunfire greeted the bombers who were late into the fray, and after the gunfire had greeted them, the ground embraced them with open arms. As planes began faling from the sky like gnats, Nerudi and the remnants of her squadron, now only counting 5, started picking their way through the charred landscape to Skull Rock, to join the remaining Commonwealth troops and attempt a surprise counter attack.

Back up on the mountaintop...

Ignis could feel the intense heat of the bombs before they dropped on his location, the large crater on the mountaintop had blackened to the point of there being no dirt anymore, only ash. Ignis, and the three that survived the bombing were sheltered in a shallow crater on the north side of the mountain. Checking his STG-44 and sidearms, he scanned the harsh environment before setting out. Immediatly after he had placed a booted paw on the rocky soil, a burst of gunfire greeted him from the south side of the mountaintop. Immediately diving for cover, he fired a burst of lead into the general direction of the corsair machine gun team, screams of pain resounding from the area of the machine gun team. His men followed suite, but right in the middle of their crossing, another machine gun opened fire from the East side of the mountaintop. All three were instantly cut down by the steady stream of bullets from the gun.

The swansong of the entire operation had come into play. On the ridge below, the reinforcements that had been sent up were being cut down by machine guns. The air was controlled by the corsairs, and the sea was too, negating any kind of retreat. Death or capture was the only option now.

OOC: Sorry for the double post, still waiting for Icicle and Cam to respond.

BIC: Meanwhile, on the Coast Near Salamandastron…

Korvasius Meriar strode up to his personal armored car, accompanied by three SS officers. To the North Lay Salamandastron, it's peak easily seen from their location around 15 miles away. As the car rumbled along the unpaved road right on the coast, Korvasius picked up the intelligence document with a gloved paw. The Commonwealth Dictator began reading the document, scanning for key words that he had come to accept with grim knowledge in the past month and a half. Since Blackriver we haven't been the same, more protests at home about my going to the mountain and resentment of my treating of Syrean POWs. His thoughts drifted off as the vehicle apporached the city of Salamandastron, the city that the Commonwealth had conquered without firing a shot. The mountain, though, was a different story. The hares of the Salamandastron Army (OOC: The Renamed Long Patrol and currently united with the Guosssom and the Guosim in an insurgency campaign against the Commonwealth soldiers) and their lord had fought hard against the occupation of the mountain, but sheer numbers managed to overwhelm the fighting beasts and most were captured and sent back to the homeland for use as forced labor.

Back in the present, the armored car arrived at the mountain, and Korvasius and his officers got out. The dictator walked up to the door and was greeted by several of his generals, all wearing fancy dress for this occasion. It was a meeting of strategy, and the general staff took the meeting in stride, arriving at the former forge room, now the residence of Korvasius and his officers. Spread out across an oak table in front of him was a map of Mossflower and the lands to the north, a separate map showed the struggle to control the ocean from the Corsair fleets. "Sir." One of the officers spoke up. "We have virtually lost control of Black Point, sir. The invasion force has been overwhelmed by Corsairs, not to mention an American intervention on behalf of themselves. The situation is critical, but we have already dispatched several task forces to deal with the threat of invasion." Korvasius nodded solemnly. The failure of his country's ability to produce raw war material for new Panzer III and Tiger Tanks left them at a significant disadvantage to the American Sherman and Syrean T-32 Tanks already in mass production.

"Go on."

"Sir, the insurgents in the area have raided an armory and stolen several mortars and an armored jeep, not to mention rifles, machine guns and ammunition." The Shrews and Hares in this area had claimed the deaths of over 500 of the 3,000 troops stationed here in the city, not to mention at least 200 in raids on the mountain. These were troops the area could ill afford to loose, and at the end of a long supply chain and the start of another, the Commonwealth forces here were vulnerable to an incursion from Mossflower.

"Continue Brigadier General." Such a young age for a general. This only illustrated the dire conditions in which the country was in. With a population decline because of the war, radical exterminations of non-fox citizens in full swing, and a birth-rate decline that was the worst in a full century, the Commonwealth was fully stretched to it's maximum.

"Sir, the insurgents in this area have begun shelling our troops in different locations around the city, specifically around monuments to former Badger Lords including the Statues of Lord Brocktree, and Russano the Wise. They seem to want to force our troops away from those locations."

"This is a large city. I already told you to exterminate any hares or Shrews on sight." A pause. "Brigadier General, divide your men into ten member search parties and find their hideout. I want no one alive when I hear from you next." Korvasius swept out of the room, eager to get some fresh air.

The fleets of battleships headed for the shore. Pilots prepared to take off on their bombers as mortar cannons prepared the first wave of fire. Murdoc sat in the landing boat with other soldiers. He toyed with a magazine from his Thompson, removing it and putting it back, waiting for the signal. The medic looked around at his allies, wondering who would survive the landing and who would survive the entire war. He put aside the though once the general came and sat down to brief them.

"We'll be landing in 0100 hours! Prepare for whatever them Nansies throw at us. Good luck, pray for the best, prepare for the worst!" With that, he saluted and took a seat next to the medic. The ship rumbled slightly as the cannons fired their first shots.

On shore, the young rat was pelted with dirt, blocking his vision. More shots from the Commonwealth's weapons peppered the only cover for him. Suddenly, a blast silenced the guns. Jodder looked up to see the MG spot blasted out. He picked off a fleeing fox, ducking again as more bullets pelted his cover. Two more distant blasts heralded the damage of the Commonwealth's inland defense. Jodder put aside his rifle and took out his revolver, keeping the more precious shots for later. Two foxes leaped out of their cover, shooting at anybody they saw. The young soldier took this opportunity, firing two shots at one of the pair, wounding him badly. The second turned to see Jodder and took aim at the rat's wide open body.

OOC: Is Jodder a vole or a rat?

Nerudi and the remainder of her squad moved cautiously through the blackened terrain of the island, bullets whizzing by as they approached an outcropping on the east side of the island. Nerudi heard the cannon fire before she felt it, the blasts creating even more craters in the ground as her squadron, or what was left of it, was blasted apart by the shells.

The first landing craft had hit the beach, slightly ahead of their comrades. Nerudi decided to do a little target practice amid the chaos of the shelling. Drawing up her rifle, she scoped in, fired, and smiled as her target fell down in a pool of his blood. Sighting another, she fired, more screams resounding from the area. More shots went off, more the sea was stained red from the blood of the Americans.

Landing boats hit the shores, the first few soldiers down. But the tide turned as the troops were ordered to return fire, keeping the enemy at bay as the medics worked on the wounded. Murdoc's landing craft hit the shore and opened up the hatch. Immediately, bullets peppered the vehicle. The troops got out and returned fire. The multiplied force of the troops and mortar fire soon gave them the upper hand, though, and most of the island was taken over.

The fox wrapped some gauze around a wound and injected a mild painkiller. "Now try not to use that shoulder, or you'll have to get shipped out" he commented to his patient. The soldier just grumbled and laid back in the sand. Murdoc got up and went to the next casualty. A bullet was lodged in the maarten's rib, almost going all the way. Some medicine, a cut, and some tweezers later, the wound was sealed and disinfected. The medic sighed as he looked back to the ridge. The battle was slowing, but the incoming wave of fighters and bombers would change that soon.

The first group of BF109Ts screamed in from the north, having been launched from carriers in Arbeitsgruppe 38 at least 15 minutes previously. The first three planes in the lead squadron peeled off from the rest of the Angriff Geschwader force to rain down fire on the American landing barges. The first victims were in the air, corsair divebombers falling from the sky like rain on the troops below. The next squadron broke off from the Geschwader, bombs laden under their fuselages. The first 500 pound armor penetrating bombs hit their mark on at least 4 barges, crippling some and utterly destroying others.

Ignis fired a burst of hot lead at a corsair who had poked his head out from one of the charred rocks. Another went to check on his comrade. He fell to the bullets of the captain as well. Suddenly three armed corsairs jumped out from behind another rock, and shot at his gun. Dropping the damaged rifle, he drew his dirk, standard for officers. The three aggressors, not knowing what to do, stopped for a moment. That was all he needed. barreling headlong into one of the corsairs, he knocked him down, and as he and the corsair started to roll towards the cliff, he drew his dirk, and thrust it into the corsair's chest three times. Ignis heard the sound of bone snapping and withdrew his dirk. But the corsair was still alive, and he rolled him and Ignis off the side of the cliff, a 40 foot drop greeting them.

Ignis acted fast, rolling the corsair underneath his body. So when he and his opponent hit the ground, the 175 pounds of corsair below him hit the ground first. Meanwhile above the island, the first Stukas arrived.

The bombers roared, attempting to dislodge the defense. Murdoc ducked down, attempting to avoid the debris while still helping a wounded soldier. Troops fired back at the planes, some lucky shots marking the glass of the bombers. A prairie dog got the best shot, killing a pilot. Blasts and roars from each side deafened the shrieks of the dead and injured. The medics would be having a load of work, Murdoc thought, not wanting to think of what else the Commonwealth would throw at them.

The bleeding Jodder crawled to the other side of the mountain. Smoke blocked his vision and entered his lungs. He coughed, reached for the wound, and crawled on. The rat didn't know where he was going, and he didn't care. As long as he was away from the b-
BOOM
-from that. Ears ringing, head dizzy, Jodder crawled on, away from this hell, away from the dead away from…
"There, a POW!"
... safety.

The first Stukas gently moved into their deadly dive of death, pointing their noses at their targets; the landing barges. THe first 5 released their bombs according to plan, their 500 pound armor piercing heads managing to blow up another 4 barges on the beach. That's when the machine gunners opened fire, sending hot lead up into the face of the onslaught. At least 10 of the 85 bombers were shot down, before the rest of the force arrived, blanketing the area in bombs and bomb craters.

Meanwhile, on the east side of the island…

Neurudi picked her way through the charred landscape, careful not to be spotted. A distant shout caught her attention. "There, a POW!" She ran over to the location to find two of her officers standing over an injured rat. Stepping into the crater they were in, she signaled for her men to back off.

"You are an American, yes?" She spoke in accented woodlander. "You are injured. I will see to it that my men treat you. If we make it out of this mess, of course. My name is Neruid Oceaneye, SS Oberen Lieutenant." She smiled menacingly at Jodder. "We need to treat you because, well we wouldn't want you in poor shape for torture, no?" She turned back into the fray.,

Murdoc climbed over the hill for the upteenth time, dragging another wounded soldier. Blood, mud, and filth stained his fur and clothes. It was getting close to dusk as canons attempted to dislodge the enemy. Bombers were a bit more effective, if they didn't get blasted first. But soon the cratered island was taken. Other forces were getting through Mossflower's shore. All that was needed now was Salamandastron itself. Since the prime Minister wanted to preserve it, there would be no bombing the area. Hopefullly, a bit of the shore would be taken too…

Jodder was poked from behind. "Keep walking." The voice said. The prisoner couldn't see who it was, since the coffee bag was preventing him from seeing anything. thoughts rushed through his head as the dimming sound of gunfire and blasts echoed in his eardrums.

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