Battle of Exeter (16-17th May 1096 AF)
Sir Huw de Grognard
ORDER OF BATTLE OF EXETER (16-17th May 1096 AF)
Commander:-Lord Pleb with Baron Lachlan, Duke of Dalriada.
|Dalriadan Army:- Lord Pleb [the Erin Army, the Paladins of Danu and the Clans]
Southern Cymrijan Army:- Lord Caradog (Warband)
Amion Brigade:- Baron Amion Solitaire of the Death Jesters [Northern Mercenary Elves, Harlequins and Death Jesters.]
Gerrick Brigade:-Baron Gerrick of the Watchers of Darkwood [Stag Knights and the Watchers of Darkwood.]This detachment from the main body camped late on the 16th May the army led by Lord Pleb within sight of the Unliving Army. The battle for Exeter began a couple of hours after dark when the Unliving launched a pre-emptive assault on the camp who were swiftly stood to arms. Moments later a massive wave of Unliving overran the perimeter. Initially each man fought where he stood but gradually they formed more coherent units as the night advanced. The hard onslaught continued throughout the night until at dawn the danger of the Vampires lessened and the exhausting slaughter of the lesser Unliving started. Sir Ravoes Che’Dana of Knights Arcane died of fatal wounds as he fought with a vampire who was attacked Lord Caradog.
The coming of the dawn caused the power of the higher Unliving to lessen, but their intelligence and cunning still meant that the matter was not yet decided. The Exeter garrison was too weak to sally out in support of the relieving force. It was not until midday that Baron Amion Solitaire and Baron Gerrick Fighting leading the Harts were able to link up with Baron Lachlan at the head of his Paladins of Danu.
At about 3 O’clock, the final attempt by the Unliving to storm Exeter occurred. An hour later, a host of Unliving was raised behind the army. This caused panic amongst the Dragons that allowed one of the aid stations to be overrun. The Stag Knights, led by Captain Don Calamari, took advantage of this incursion into our force’s rear areas to infiltrate the enemy ranks. These came upon a group of Vampires sheltering from the sun in a dugout. In a short, bloody struggle, these minions of SatÃ»n were despatched and returned to dust. Soon after this, the back of the Unliving resistance was broken. All that remained was to cut them down with minimal losses.
Before dusk, the army was able to mop up the Unliving and few escaped. The night of the 18th of May was relatively untroubled overnight. The townsfolk and the relieving enjoyed the celebrations of victory and gave the Keys of the City to Baron Lachlan. The next day, Baron Lachlan with most of his host departed to the Dragons gathering to relay the news of his victory.
EPILOGUE (17th June 1096 AF)
The horrors of this war disturbed me more than any other. We were all ill prepared for such battles against the Unliving. The putrefaction of the foe and the stench almost caused the strongest amongst us to flinch. The administration and caring of an army in the field against such a foe are almost beyond mortal men. The only thing that saved us was the un-enterprising manner that Lady Katrina used her forces.
The need for purification after such a battle of the soul and body was so difficult to achieve at the time in Cornwall. Most of the water courses were polluted by the Unliving Armies. I have rarely seen the rivers run with such a colour. It was good that the army drunk beer wine and spirits. I certainly washed and shaved in beer during this time and drank boiled water or that with vinegar added. The sickness over this time was thankfully contained. The destruction in Cornwall was extensive.
The Lions as a force was almost broken by the experience and had not yet considered rebuilding their infrastructure. Jaddvor Erland did not as a sign of good will to the large relieving force offer to pay anything and charged the armies for any reason he could. Most of the monetary burden of this campaign rested upon the Harts who also took with the Dragons the brunt of the fighting. To increase the insult, he has decreed that any Harts henceforth found on his lands would be killed.