Chapter 35: I want Radoghir castle
19 August 1259
The war with the Khergit had been pretty successfull: I had conquered three castles and a city, and had defeated many lords and even the khan himself. But it had to stop, because I was at the end of my reserves. With an almost depleted treasury and too few men for a good campaign, I needed to end this. But I wouldn't go and beg for a cease fire: let them come to me. In the meantime I decided to make some more money by riding out and following the complicated trade route.
While I rode from the Nord through my Swadian lands to the Sarranid, I heard my recently conquered Nelag castle was under siege. Luckily a few days later lord Grainwad managed to fence the attackers off and disrupt the siege. On the road I also encountered quite a lot of bandits, especially near Khudan: apparently a new bandit lair was founded. I'd have to root them out one more time someday. In the meantime my recruiters had returned with quite a few new recruits, which I had to train. I took many Swadian recruits with me on my trade route: that would learn them to march in line. While I rode away from Khudan, a group of Khergit negotiators approached me. Finally they had come to their senses: they offered a peace. But I wouldn't accept it just like that: as victor, I demanded Radoghir castle as spoil of war. This was unacceptable for them: they broke the negotiations off, and rode out. A few days later I heard they had gone to sultan Hakim of the Sarranids, who accepted their offer. Maybe I should be a little less greedy next time, I thought upon hearing that news.During the peace negotiations, I could demand some spoils of war. Maybe I was too greedy.
After the negotiations, I encountered a battle between jarl Faarn and a few of my lords and Asugan noyan. I felt compelled to intervene, which Faarn much appreciated, even though he could have won the battle easily alone. But while he celebrated the victory, I managed to capture Asugan. Quickly I rode back to my capital, and locked him away in the prison tower, high and alone. This triggered the negotiators to come back, but before they could start dealing with the prisoner, I demanded the castle once again and they ran away quite angered. I guess reconsideration of my offer hadn't had any effect.
A little later they returned, realising they had left their fellow noyan in prison, and offered me 3200 denars for Asugan. I accepted that, but used the opportunity once again to demand that castle in exchange for peace. They didn't listen to my constant whining.They had lost so many already, why would they give up even more? While I rode on and traded some more goods, I heard that Nelag castle, one of the recently conquered fiefs, was under siege by a large Khergit army. I rode there with a lot of mamlukes to fight them in the field, but when I arrived, the battle had already started. I rode back, exchanged most of my men for more suitable sharpshooters and returned in time to save the day. The battle wasn't over yet, and the attackers let me pass without any fuzz, so I could pose my men within the castle on the walls. 50 Swadian sharpshooters really did the trick, even though the Khergit had twice as many men as me and the other defending lords had. It became a slaughter. Only 5 of my men were slain, and 1 of my allies, besides the in total 32 wounded. But 478 attackers met death on the ladders. Many mamlukes were stronger than the lancers they sent above, and the sharpshooters on the walls couldn't be stopped. The entire siege army was wiped away.The walls were pretty crammed and I had a lot of trouble getting out of the way, to a place from where I could shoot, but this enormous amount of men did stop the khan from conquering the castle.
After my stunning victory over the main Khergit army, I decided to take Radoghir castle by force if the Khergit couldn't be persuaded to give it up peacefully. The few men that had fallen in the siege were quickly replaced in Khudan, after which I marched, along with lord Montewar, to that castle. It wasn't defended that well, so I immediately started to build a siege tower, which took me of course two full days.
While I was building a siege tower, the negotiators from the Khergit side returned. They asked for a peace, but I replied that I would only agree if they would give me this castle. Since they refused, I continued with the siege. Once the construction was finished, I attacked. This time there were no ladders from which the Khergit defenders could run down, so quite a lot jumped down the walls.The defenders couldn't wait for the tower to be there, so they jumped from the walls, only to be shot by my sharpshooters.
Finally I got the castle I had been demanding for weeks. I stationed some men there, and assigned it to lord Tirida. He had joined my realm recently, and had been moaning that he hadn't received any land: I grew tired of it. The nearby village of Sumbuja I assigned to the new lord Crahask. Now I really have achieved my goal in this war. What shall be my next step? What castle will I now demand once the Khergit negotiators arrive? I guess I'll have some time to think about it, since I really need to complete my trade round.
Floris' stats haven't changed, but I haven't showed you them in a while. As you can see, the proficiency in crossbow has improved due to those sieges:
The past month only Radoghir castle has exchanged from owner: