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Infrastructure: Part One Hundred and Ninety Four by Imperator-Zor Infrastructure: Part One Hundred and Ninety Four by Imperator-Zor
A few hundred meters ahead of the bulk of the Janissary forces at the front lines were ten platoons with four cannons each. Both guns and their limbers were towed by draft horses to get a good turn of speed and were led away once they had reached their desired positions. As a rule the dark elves had mixed feelings about artillery. They knew it had it's uses, especially these new rifled guns that the foundries were turning out nowadays, but disdained them for their noise, smell and the fact that there were few chances for glory or plunder in stuffing shot down muzzles or swabbing them out. As such each cannon had seven slaves attached to it and the platoon was two overseers and four Drow master gunners and a commander. Under normal circumstances the master gunners would select targets and aim the weapon, thus gaining whatever glory could be gained in the weapon's use, though this would be unlikely today.

Among the crews cannon first first to reach it's intended destination was Darren. Statistically he was quite a rare find, a Janissary Conscript who had been in the service of Hansoliath's Janissary corps who had achieved the rank of gunmaster's aide, the highest rank available to a Janissary artilleryman, without seeing battle. During training, his masters noted that he possessed an unusual enthusiasm in manning cannons at a time when the Janissary Artillery corps was being rapidly expanded and making use of new weapons. When the cannons reached their destination, a small pig farm on a slight rise some four kilometers from Daagsgrad's defensive lines he did his role.

"GET THOSE GUNS READY NOW YOU WORMS! MOVE OR I'LL MAKE YOU LONG FOR OUR BELOVED MASTER'S LASH!" Darren bellowed at his fellow slave soldiers as they manhandled the guns in position. He continued to shout at the other slaves as he went. The overseer watched this with the satisfaction of tone who have just found an unexpected boon that made their jobs that much easier, though he cracked his whip once for effect. His cannon was in position first, just as waves of infantry began to march past.

Darren's master gunner then stepped forward once the job was completed "Fire at will, full elevation." The view ahead was now concealed by a fog screen leaving aside the futility of trying to aim at a specific target at this distance. In truth the Dark Elvish gunner felt rather vestigial in this circumstance, but slaves needed their masters. Even ones with this level of keeness. He then withdrew so that he would not be in the thick of the smells and noise that would follow. It also meant that he would not be nearby if something went wrong.

Darren, with an enhusiasm his commander did not share soon whipped out the gunlock, put in a cap in the mechanism, slotted it in onto the primer as everyone ran to the sides and the loader rushed to the limber and pulled the string. The cannon roared and a shell was launched off and imediatley everyone worked to reload. A few seconds latter there was a distant thud which urged Darren to shout some more.

Previous-Infrastructure: Part One Hundred and Ninety Three
Next-Infrastructure: Part One Hundred and Ninety Five
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