The long awaited chapter 11 has arrived, at the end of the chapter it's 24 February 1258, it was a lot of fighting, so i picked the most interesting battle and described it as good as i can. I hope you don't shoot me for the fact of leaving out all the other descriptions of fighting seens as the sieges were always the same.
Attack: archers down, Saxon huscarls to the walls.
Deffence: Saxon huscarls at the top of the ladders, archers at the sider.
The chapter starts all well in the beginning for Aragorn, but in the final battle things become dark, it seems like the end of all things.
Enjoy reading!Chapter 11
Many months have gone by since I decided to rebel against King Alfred. Many things changed, in a good way, Britannia is once again stable, a blanket of peace and quietness covers the land. It all started when Oxford and Bristol castle were taken. Oxford by the Mercians, Bristol castle by the Danes. I enlarged my army, from 50 Saxon huscarls up to 100 Saxon huscarls, same goes for my mounted thanes and Wessex bowmen. I wrote a letter to the king, I kindly requested I would be named marshal of the realm. During a siege of the Irish, right before civil war broke out.
Luckily for me I was called marshal, I gathered the army and marched down on Oxford. The city wasn’t given to a Mercian Ealdorman yet, so it was ill defended. But still we lost many, many soldier during the siege. Mercian bowmen kept shooting at our men, aiming carefully. I myself barely survived this siege. But after some long hours fighting we took the walls and rushed inside, Oxford was ours again! My most loyal vassal.
As marshal I claimed Oxford as my own, like I always would have wanted. But the king wished to decide differently and give it to somebody else! I gathered Ealdorman Aethelwold and his brother, Coenraed. I told them about my plan to over throne the king, rebel against him, free the people from this tyrant! Save the people from all the wars, uniting Britannia again! Aethelwold was most pleased and joined my cause right away, Coenraed needed some more convincement, but ruled in my favour not much later.The last standing defenders. A succesful defence
This is when a civil war started. With Oxford and Canturbury in our hands, we had to connect our territory. So we took Hastings castle, followed by Guildford castle. I took them all for myself, not to be greedy, but to make sure they are garrisoned quickly. Both of my vassals accepted this choice, they knew that on a later date they would be given land. By the time this campaign was done, Oxford was under siege again and we rode there to break the siege. A combination of Saxon huscarls on top of the ladders and archers to the sides seemed lethal for the attacker. Many attackers died, few defenders felt. Hasting castle is ours
The next day the man all called Rider came to me. ‘My name I won’t tell you yet, but I know of some people whose ancestors were mighty lords once, but now they have no more claim on any land due to mistakes of previous kings. They would serve you well if you would give them back there ancient rights. Some of them kept fighting in wars, others became bandits, and some became traders or farmers or even craftsmen. Other lords might not accept them, but it isn’t their judgement that counts, it’s the spirit that counts; these man will fight for you without hesitation.’
I asked the man what their names were. ‘Lord Uhtred, Bedwyr, Godric, Lady Katrin and many others’
‘But those people I have sent away from my company when I was a vassal to King Alfred! They don’t want me as their king.’
‘Yes, they do. Those little misunderstandings are forgiven, as long as you stay righteous as king.’
‘Where can I find these lords and ladies?’
‘Nowhere, they wander over the land, just like me, I’ll spread this word under us, Rangers, and we’ll come to you.’
The next moment he was gone again, leaving me with some serious questions. Who are these ‘Rangers’? Why have their ancestors been indicted for treason? And so many others. But now it was time to march on to Cissbury castle and Winchestre. The castle is ours.
The sieges of both stronghold were the same as the two others I fought before. The only difference was that the lords weren’t in their castles, like they fled to somewhere else. Because of this quick but bloody victory I planned to continue the campaign without a break and take Exeter castle and Lydford castle too. Here the lords were gone too. Back in Calradia a civil war was harder to fight than here! But how could I ever know what would happen. The assault on Lydford castle after a long campaign.I claimed the castle as Rohan territory now.
After a week’s break we marched to the last city and stronghold of the Kingdom of Wessex, Lundene. In the field in front of Lundene we were put to halt. This is where the last battle would be fought. No more sieges, as that was not fair, the Wessex were to strong inside their walls. I was most surprised by this generous offer of King Alfred. And so it happened. The next hour the armies were placed, tactics were determined. We were outnumbered 1 to 10, victory only belonged to a military genious!Memories of watching the countryside during sieges. Memories of watching the countryside during sieges.
But we would fight bravely, if we had to die, we would take many of their soldiers with them. I took my cavalry to their rear, charging from out of some woods. The infantry would be lead by Gunnar who would join us with his own band of cavalry later in the battle. Our primary tactic was to take down as much enemy commanders as possible; that way the soldiers wouldn’t know what to do and chaos would break out. Memories of watching the countryside during sieges. Memories of watching the countryside during sieges.
Our planned seemed to work, the enemy was taken by surprise, many commanders felt in the next minutes. But then cavalry came towards us from both sides, forcing us to retreat and move away from battle. there wasn’t much else we could do, so we retreated. The enemy cavalry followed us, that was good. Our infantry was safe. Gunnar wouldn’t have been able to hold these horsemen away with his own cavalry. In order to finish this deatly weapon as soon as possible I decided to use one of Caesar’s tactics. I would let the enemy cavalry follow me, make them think we were routing. They would follow us. Cavalry in action.
And so they did, they followed us, once we were far enough from the main battlefield I let my soldiers turn, and we charged into the enemy cavalry. However their numbers were greater, our lances were stronger and longer. None of those horseman would stand up again, none of them would see the light again, nor their wife and children. We only lost 5 man in this fight. But the battle was already going on for more than an hour. We had to go in and help our infantry. Archers were firing from both sides into the massive fight in the centre of the field. With the enemy cavalry defeated our archers were generally safe, but I didn’t want to take any risk, so I ordered some man to stand guard with them. The rest of my cavalry would take out the enemy archers. A succesful flanking manouvre.
Gunnar noticed our move and came to our aid from the other side, this help was very welcome. Even this archers were outnumbering our cavalry 1 to 10 or even more. On my right I saw Gwayn fall, taken down by a spear, on my left I saw Bloid going down by a head shot. More of my friends would fall, but the enemy would pay. And pay they did, by the end of the day the archers were partly taken down. The battle was stopped and all forces were allowed to sleep in peace. The wounded would be taken from the field during night, no more soldiers would be killed. We would continue the next day. Cavalry in action.
The next day started with a red sky, some of my men became weary, many blood would flood today. I tried to encourage them, it worked partially. With heavy mood we went to the battlefield. Maybe the final decision would fall today, who will win this civil war. On that moment I only feared one thing, fear itself.
A few minutes before the battle would start a young boy came to me, 13 years I gave him. He wanted to fight at my side, as a light horseman. All my officers were against it, this boy would cause more trouble than anything else, they said. But they say so much. I simply answered: ‘Let the boy win its spurs.’ And so it was done, he would fight at my left side. Cavalry in action.
This time the Wessex protected their archers way better, but the lack of cavalry was deathly. Now a bunch of newly trained spearman had to keep me and my men away from the archers. I ordered my men to charge them from the left. We formed a wing, with me as first rider. The sound of all these hooves was wonderful, it seemed like I heard the sound of glory. That feeling would go away quicker than I hoped. Cavalry in action.
My new horse, since my favoured horse was to tired of yesterday, was taken down during the charge, archers aimed for me, but hit my horse. Even before we arrived them, the charge was disable because nobody wanted to run over me. I started shouting: ‘A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!’ I saw a horseman riding towards the stables and quickly returning with another horse. It was the young boy, the next thing I would do was name him one of my knights. Cavalry in action.
The charge was redone, but this time we would use 3 wings. This tactic worked out better, and before noon the archers were all killed. Only the main part of the enemy army was left, but our army was almost annihilated. When I made the counts we had only 100 of the 300 men left, while the enemy had still 1200 infantry units. It was almost certain we would lose. This loss would cause me to go into exile in another kingdom. Cavalry in action.
I gathered my officers for the last time, I thanked them for their support and gave them their last orders. We gathered our cavalry for our final charge, if we would go down, we would go down with personal honour and pride! We charged directly into the enemy mob of infantry, all knew that once we were in that mob, we would never leave it as a free man again. Cavalry in action.
On my right I saw Aryd and Haynd going down, on my left Bryun was killed, behind me I heard the final cry of llyand. All hope failed, this would be a black day for us. But then I heard another cry, a cry of hope. It was like the battle stopped for a few moment, everybody looked at the northern horizon, at the right of me. I looked there too, I couldn’t believe my eyes, Rider came back, but not alone, with him he brought hundreds of soldiers with him, carrying different banners. Old forgotten banners it seemed, the Rangers had come. Cavalry in action.
The battle quickly turned into our favour, many enemies routed, but were hunted down by the fresh horsemen of the Rangers, our infantry was put aside while their infantry cut down the enemy. Before nightfall the sound of swords and lances was no more, only the cries of wounded men, begging for mercy and medical aid. I ordered my men to bring them together in another camp. They had to be helped, but we couldn’t put them in our own camp. We fought them for 2 days, we lost friends, that would take time to heal. For now they would be taken from their military rights and become normal citizens again, they would be paid for another month, after that period they had to make a living for their own. After a few months they could enlist in the army again, if they still want it. Cavalry in action.
We won the battle, but the price was paid. 200 of our soldiers died, 50 others were wounded. Many friends were lost; even more scarves were won, as well physically as mentally. But our kingdom stood, now it was time to spread the word and train the garrisons, but also to give land to all my vassals.
Those seemly simple tasks took me several months of work. Today it’s the 24th of February 1258, today is the day my kingdom is ready, ready to unite Britannia, ready to free the people, ready to protect nobility.NotesMy treasury was filled with the riches of war.A quick overview of my kingdom.A look on the map with the amount of garrisons.It certainly was the most bloody period of my life. Remembering that at home I only killed 3200 soldiers in my entire reign.I've advanced some levels during the civil war.Many friends i have now, I'm almost recognized as king as much as the other rulers.My renown kept rising and rising.