Root. Progress and honour

Marquise de Cat: Laura Beltrami
Eyrie Dynasties: Alex Isabelle

There is a bad air in the forest of Root. The Marquise de Cat has arrived in great force, with her cat army. She has occupied the forest to begin with, and has then launched a forced industrialization plan that involves building a large number of sawmills and workshops in which to put to work the rabbits, mice, foxes and birds that populate the forest. At the same time, however, she too plans to produce training centers where she can recruit the best of these among her ranks: the occupation of Root does not, in fact, look like an easy game.

In a clearing on the opposite side from the one where the cats have placed their operations center, seeing opportunities in this period of turmoil, a military dispatch led by a woodpecker has arrived. The latter is an exponent of the Eyrie Dynasties, a group of aristocratic avian families who once controlled the forest; after seeing their authority gradually fade, they see this as an opportunity to return to power.

The Marquise de Cat wonders about what to do
Theoretically there should be two other factions at play: the alliance of forest dwellers who would like to rule themselves, thus seeking to gain power through acts of terrorism, and a lone wanderer (a raccoon, a wolf or a beaver) who should mind his own business, looking for the right opportunity to emerge as the undisputed hero of the region, thus becoming its new guide. However two players didn't join us as promised. Since the game had been set up and, above all, painstakingly studied over the course of a couple of nights, it was decided to try to play a one-on-one game. No terrorists and subversive vagrants, therefore, in this match, but only a fight between crowns: one devoted to progress, the other one to honor.

The clash was not immediately head-on: the cats and the birds chose to carry on their plans by accepting mutual coexistence. The cats therefore multiplied their sawmills and their workshops, thus bringing industrialization to a large part of the forest. They have neither aimed at a systematic increase in their military forces nor at the actual search for an open confrontation with the birds, who have exchanged them with the same currency. At the same time, however, among the clearings closest to the base of the aristocrats, nests quickly began to appear.

The latter were the result of the pact with which the military guide of the birds had opened the games. The woodpecker, in fact, had asked the fox people for support, promising that their settlements would be the first to be defended by the forced industrialization proposed by the Marquise. And so, from turn to turn, the birds went to great lengths to enforce these words. They began with a rapid occupation of the center of the forest, and then they moved east, reaching a clearing a short distance from the cats' castle. In all of this there have been but a few skirmishes with the latter: the sabotage of a workshop, the attack on a contingent of soldiers.

At this point there was a problem: the clearings populated by foxes had almost all been settled, except one, rather isolated. The military leader of the birds found himself unable to fulfill the promises he had made to the people of Root. Immediately a riot broke out, and the woodpecker was removed from his post. The political power of the dynasties took a hard hit. A hawk came to replace the woodpecker.
The hawk leader

The new orders, for the birds loyal to the crown, were to concentrate on recruiting new troops and on direct confrontation with the cats, which in the meantime noticed that the times were changing, and then had begun to train units and take them to the clearings that had been occupied by the birds' nests, starting a systematic attack of their contingents, in order to hit their structures, which however were proving to be well defended. A decisive attack on a central clearing, inhabited by foxes, was thwarted first by an ambush by the latter and then by an open confrontation with the troops of the Eyrie. In the general carnage that followed, this nest was saved. The same happened throughout the rest of the forest: only one of the nests was destroyed. At the same time, however, the forces of the noble birds were slowed down enough to secure the Marquise's production sites, and to continue building new ones, which continued to fix the political power of cats over this region.

The new leader of the avian nobility, however, proved quite charismatic. He pursued a risky strategy based on the conscription of a large number of the inhabitants of the forest. It wouldn't have been very successful if it wasn't for the cats' attacks, which shed enough blood to justify this general leverage. And then the river, which divides Root into two, was tinged with blood, fur and feathers. Dynasties marched decisively towards the cats' settlements, attacking them and methodically replacing their sawmills and workshops with their nests. This has happened in particular due to the support of the rabbits, who helped the logistics of the birds as long as they promised to eradicate the cats from the clearings they inhabited.
Monsignor Gufo

The hawk leader's belligerent strategy led the forest to be filled with nests, thus bringing the birds very close to victory. However, a second rebellion was triggered: the birds were promised that a nest would be created every day, and at this point, despite the great successes obtained in battle, there were actually no more nests to build. Such is the folk: touchy. And then, in the wake of indignation, this leader was also liquidated and replaced by a new bird: an owl, less charismatic than the hawk and more action-oriented.

The cats waged a new military campaign, forcefully attacking the nest in the fox clearing that stood just south of their fort, destroying it and replacing it with a new sawmill that helped secure their power in the region. This power, however, was not enough to legitimize feline authority in the eyes of Root's inhabitants, who have witnessed a new, rapid series of targeted attacks by troops led by the owl. This, together with the fact that the administration had turned a blind eye to a gang of rats that set up a smuggling trade through their villages, to support themselves in these moments of crisis and perhaps even to earn something out of it, had made it possible that the ancient Brood Dynasties would once again appear, definitively, as the legitimate rulers of the forest.

The forces of the Marquise, therefore, have postponed their industrial expansion projects to better times, retreating to the mountains from which they came, meditating revenge.

Do you want to read other stories? Click here for the full list.


Popular posts from this blog

The Mission. On the Copts and their natural tendency towards heresy (part 4 of 6)

The Mission. On the Copts and their natural tendency towards heresy (part 5 of 6)

Brotherhood & Unity. The Sarajevo pocket