The Gathering of 1092 AF
Sir Huw de Grognard
Host’s wife accused of murder
Lady Elspeth Karlennon, the wife of our host, was accused of murdering Alam Harlis, the Indigo Mage. The battle was fought to prove the innocence of Lord General Elias Karlennon in being guilty of collusion with his wife. The Bears, the Dragons and the Vipers denounced him at the Lord Generals’ Council. The Wolves, the Gryphons and the Drow (who had broken away from the Vipers faction) supported Elias against those who had denounced him.
The Lions mustered at 11 AM. The Vipers under Lord Pohl Diamecht changed sides and lined up with us. At midday Lord Corvus and the other Lord Generals gathered the troops in a circle. The battle plan was explained to them. Duke Desmond D’Raby and Tarn were elected as the army commander upon the death of Corvus. Volunteers to act as messengers were requested. Sir Bartholomew of the Dark Suns volunteered me. Duke Desmond instructed me to run messages between the Lions, the Viper and the Drow.
Lord Corvus’ plan was to anchor the line on the scarp slope of the citadel of Norhault. This line was to hold its ground and entice the Celts to attack uphill onto seeming open flank. If they took the bait, a killing zone would be formed with the door closed behind them by the Drow and the Vipers hidden in the wood.
At about 1 PM, we were herded into our place in the line. I carried water down our main battle line in the lull in the activity. The army was deployed from right to left as follows.
The Karlennon Household led by Lord General Elias Karlennon acted as the hinge of the army.
|The Wolves led by Lord General Wolf.The Lions included the Hunters and the various smaller units in a loose formation.The Gryphons led by Lord General Feohtan.The Vipers led by Lord General Pohl Diamecht and the Drow lying in ambush in the forest.After waiting for the enemy to advance for over half hour, Lord Corvus ordered the army to advance. At about the same time, the first attacks on the Karlennon Household occurred. Following the army commanders’ instructions, Duke Desmond asked me to request the Drow to advance. The Drow refused as they argued they would be needlessly expose themselves.
The Celts had not been fooled and attacked at the hinge of our army led by the gallant Elias Karlennon. He was very hard pressed indeed. At one stage in the battle, so many had fallen that he had barely a couple of warriors to face another Celtic charge.
Finally, the leader the Vipers agreed to advance after much pleading from me and another messenger, probably Zircon. I left them at this point to rejoin the Knights of the Dark Sun.
At about 2:30 PM, I returned to the main line just in time to be involved in the main army’s general advance. This involved wheeling the whole of our line on the Karlennon Household, a very dangerous manoeuvre when so closely engaged. The line, if it could be termed as such, became very disjointed. We were fortunate that some amongst us reacted faster than our enemies. The able intervention by Squire Tarn who led the Gryphons forward after threatening to cut down the vacillating commander. Duke Desmond implored Lord Wolf to allow his strong warrior band to advance in support of the hard pressed Lord Karlennon. Thankfully, we had moved fast enough so the Celts could not drive a wedge between our units and destroy us in detail. The Karlennon Household was able to step out of the line and go into reserve.
I found Sir James of the Dark Sun, accompanied by a troop of Gryphons, who had just passed through a narrow defile, between the small outcrop of trees with heavy undergrowth. I was ordered into the front line by a foolish Gryphon Sergeant because I was carrying a shield despite my pleas of being a healer with no armour. Moments later, I was felled by a near fatal blow from an arrow. On regaining consciousness, I found Sir James had saved my life.
Some minutes after I had recovered, the fine disciplined Drow unit carrying black kite shields and the Dark Sunz, whose white shields emblazoned with a red sun face finally broke cover from the wood. These came just in time to roll up the flanks of the opposing army and compress them into a very small killing zone. Much slaughter was carried out that day.
Corvus is safe!!
Towards the close of the battle, a tall well-built figure struck a Lord with a two handed sword. Before he could strike a second time at this now prostrate form, a female dived across this prone body. Recognising her as my friend Zircon, I dived across her to offer protection with my body and shield without a thought for my own safety. My shield was struck at least half a dozen times. The attacker was eventually cut down. These few moments seemed to me like an age.
A healer in Lions Livery asked “Are you hurt squire?” I replied, “Of course not.” I was in shock and stood up shaken by the concussive blows. I realised that wearing no armour I would have lost limbs if any of those mighty blows had connected. Zircon had taken a couple of blows. I feared for her life. The man that was at the bottom of the pile was administered to first, so he must obviously be important. Zircon was then seen by the physician who stated that this dauntless lady was no longer in danger.
This was how I was first introduced to Lord Corvus, the army commander. I was knighted by him on the field of battle for saving his life. Duke Desmond D’Raby suggested that I should be titled Sir Huw de Grognard (Sir Huw the Grumbler). I am told this is very apt for my nature!! My dear friend Zircon was also rewarded.
On accompanying Lord Corvus from the field, we discovered that Elias Karlennon was slain at the time of his victory. The head of this proud knight of Albion was not found on the field even though we searched hard for it.