Chapter 33: The feast of war
14 July 1259
In May I enacted quite a few bureaucratic reforms. This lead to a better financial regulation of my kingdom, and a better organisation of my army. Now I've gone a step further, by ordering all my men to wear the colours of Holland at all time. I'm forcing my ways on them, turning Calradia truly into a new Holland. Others have followed my ways, but they will always stay behind. Haven't I defeated two factions and started my own in just two years, while they struggled for centuries?
I decided I should hold a large feast to celebrate. There was a lot to celebrate, which I hadn't done yet: the Independence of Holland, the recent victories in the war and the current reforms. But in order to hold a feast, I'd needed supplies. A lot of supplies. So I set out to the trade routes to gather them. On the road I fought with some bandits. When I rode deep in the Nord territories, I realised that while I had set out to earn money, I had forgotten to inventarise what I'd need for the feast. So I returned to Khudan. The moment I set foot in my hall, a messenger from Sanjar khan arrived: the enormous Khergit khanate had decided that my kingdom should be part of their domain. The Khergit thus declared war on Holland.Me and my men rode towards some bandits, displaying our brand new tunics with Hollandic colours. A full parade is shown in DPC.
A declaration of war. Aw well, this will give me a chance to conquer all of the old Vaegir lands, and maybe even connect Uhhun castle to my holdings. But first things first: I took the grocery list for the feast. I'd need quite a lot of food in all different kinds of variety, different kinds of drinks like ale and wine, spice to display my wealth, and oil, to light the lamps. For the spice I would need to go to Tulga, a Khergit city. No spice for now then. But the rest was obtainable. Then I returned to the state affairs: I lowered the taxes for all my holdings, so people would like me more pretty soon, and the prosperity would be raised. I would need everyone's support in the coming war, and I expected my villages to be looted anyway. I also sent out messengers to assemble all my lords at Khudan: I'd needed to start a new campaign over here. I also send out messengers to all my lords to convey that I really needed them in my field army.
Instead of waiting, I went out to the former Swadian cities, to trade and obtain some of the necessities for the feast. In Uxkhal I bought much bread and grain, in Suno there wasn't much for sale and in Praven I bought quite some ale. My saddle bags were pretty full after this shopping, so I went back to Khudan to drop it off. On my way back I was notified that the city of Rivacheg was under siege, so I'd have to go there and help the defenders out. When I arrived in Khudan, the battle at Rivacheg had already started, so I hurried that way. Lords Stamar, Alagur, Delinard and Naldera had already arrived, and were defending fiercely. I stood by their side on the walls while the main Khergit army stormed the place. We were with 604 men, while they had mustered 760 warriors. Only we had the home field advantage, and used it to its full extend. From the walls I shot many of the oncoming men with my crossbow, which I refilled from my fallen soldiers. I shot until the enemy stopped with their attack: they hadn't run out of soldiers, but didn't want to sacrifice all they had.By copying my style, the nobles did make the battlefield a more colourful place, although it's not that well visible on the security camera's that I had posted all over the castle.
The battle was disastrous for the Khergit, so they broke up and rode away in all directions. When they had gotten out of sight, I rode back to Khudan, to drop off my siege army and gather 94 mamlukes. That Khergit army could be very irritating, so it was time to hunt some Khergit nobles. I rode out and defeated quite a few noyans: Belgaru, Dundush, Imirza, Fraichin, Gastya, Imirza, Ulusamai and even Sanjar khan himself. I also captured Tonju noyan. I didn't let them go, since they could build up a new army and form a thread. But when the khanate after a few weeks 4500 denars offered, I accepted that and let him go.
In the meantime I travelled to the old Swadian lands, along to the Nord cities, to gather more food and drinks. But not everything was for sale. For example, I couldn't get any fresh beef from the cities or villagers. Dried meat was a problem already, but fresh.... No way I could obtain that with hard denars. So I rode to the Khergit village of Dirigh Aban and stole some cattle. I'm not proud of it, but it had to be done. I drove the beasts back to Khudan, and slaughtered them. The beef will be kept fresh in both my chest and my household inventory, so no need to worry about that anymore. I still need to find some pork and chicken, but they seem even more rare. I destroyed the lairs of tundra bandits and sea raiders, but neither had any of this.With thanks to the PPP, who followed my every footsteps, I got a recollection of the attacks on the bandit lairs.
I wasn't ready with the gathering, and even though I could hold quite a party, I didn't want to waste anything on a mediocre feast, but it had to wait for now. Both the Nords and the Sarranid decided to declare war on the Khergit Khanate. I hadn't pushed them hard yet, but now time was of the essence. With two more armies marching through their lands, dividing the current largest kingdom of Calradia, I had to take my spoils of war. It was time to fetch my siege army and capture some places.
I now used the Epic Heraldry Mini-mod for Warband 0.65
, in which the troops wear the banners of their lords on their cloths and shields. Once again the horses of my party were screwed up, so I had to buy - again - new horses. A valuable lesson to be learned from this: whenever you add things to the item_kinds1.txt, items will be screwed up in your savegame. But so far it has been acceptable.
Both Floris' stats and the map haven't changed, so I'll show you instead a movie poster: