Monday, December 11, 2017

The affair of Na dallag naomh

It was a frosty December morning when the Earl of Cowcross gave the order to begin the march home.

Cuan na Banrigh
The Queen's Hound, armed with a sharp, heavy axe and protected by enchanted tattoos and the Witch's Brew

The trip to the secret cave holding the sacred Dallag, whose power was said to hold together the alliance of the People of the  Woods and the Men of the Valleys, had been easy. Too easy  really, and the Earl suspected that the enemy would not let them go as easily.
The march begins. The mounted Foresters with their latches leading the way. The Spearmen on the right are carrying the Chest said to contain the sacred relic. 
It took a bit of time to get the troops moving and the enemy was in view before any but the Foresters had  started on the road home. Fortunately the enemy was just as slow to gather.

Some enemy horsemen showed behind his right so the Earl sent his Lances to see them off and they did so in short order. But the enemy rallied not far away as an unnatural mist rolled out of a small wood heading for the Lancers. As the mist rolled over them there was suddenly a ferocious battle cry followed by the screams of men and horses and a stream of bloodied men and horses fled past the Earl  and disappeared up a mountain glen from which none ever returned.

Cuan na Banrigh, hidden in a magical mist, routs the Midlandish cavalry. 
With the Blood Lust upon him, Cuan rushed through the wood and assaulted the Earl's archers who had been sending flights of arrows in amongst the Old Ones, protected only by their tattoos, plaid cloaks and the trees of the forest.  The archers were of sterner stuff than the lancers though and gave hard  strokes before falling back.

The mounted crossbows spurred ahead to seize and hold the  clearing along the road home.  Out of the  woods sprang a fresh band of wild tribesmen and despite boldly defending themselves, the horsemen were forced to fallback only to be ambushed again and scattered to the winds.
A Raven's eye view of the battle field. The Midlandish forces are down to the Earl's Household and 2 Schiltrons. The West Folk have not lost any units.
No sooner had this disaster struck the Midlandish forces when Cuan struck again, scattering the remaining archers. By now the lead schiltron had drawn near to the final patch of the woods and the Queen and her picked companions could no longer control their bloodlust. Like furies they threw themselves onto the sharp spears of their enemy and drove them back.

Unable to resist the urge to draw blood the Queen's Guard drives the Midlandish spearmen back. 
The Earl decided it was time to lay aside the mantle of command and let himself be a just a Knight. Leading his household companions  forward he dashed into unit after unit of savage warriors, bloodied and tired, they had no answer but to melt back into the woods. Then the Queen stood against him but once again good steel and years of disciplined training at arms was more than a match for the fury of wild beasts and desperate warriors. Unable to come near the Earl and with her devoted Lioness wounded, she called her warriors back into the woods and they faded away leaving the scouts to trail the enemy.
The Earl glares at the enemy scouts as his last unit of spearmen lugs the sacred chest to safety.
(Note: The Clerics and Wisemen of the Midlands will soon be analyzing  the armies and the battle and a summary of their debates will be presented here.)

6 comments:

  1. This is gripping stuff - enjoyed it very much. Apart from reference to the magical mist, and (possibly) the lioness, it struck me this is not unlike a typical Saturday afternoon in Tranent. Excellent. Whatever you add to your tea, please keep it coming.

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    1. Ah, Tranent, with the Earl's household knights playing the part of the Cinque Port Light Dragoons,hmm.

      I do hate admitting that this sort of thing can be fun even though its not serious, but it was.

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  2. I must venture forth to Tranent again,it sounds far more exciting than I remember.
    I look forward to reading the contents of the debate...
    Alan

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  3. Splendid. How were the Dragon Rampant Rules? I haven't read them myself so would be interested in your thoughts.

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    1. My thoughts on the rules are coming soon but probably not today. Its the usual some things I liked, some I didn't.

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