Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The Battle of Argentium Bridge

To the scholars and Wisemen of the Midlands, it is a Mystery that there are still Free Lands in the West who live without a King and nobles. As the long columns of Knights, spearmen and archers marched west under the banner of the Earl of Cowcross, their armour glinting in the sun, there was no doubt in their minds that this time, the Free Lands would finally be brought to order so that noble and merchant alike could show the wealth that it could assuredly produce.
The advance guard scouts ahead, crossbows at the ready. 
There may have been young nobles in the column who smirked at the sight of the small clump of spearmen arrayed at the far side of the bridge to Argentium. The bridge had been built by some foreign emperor long ago and was a solid stone structure but it was in the middle of nowhere as far as the Midlanders could see. The cry went up to move the advance guard archers aside so that the Knights could sweep these churls aside. 

Archers lined the bank while the advance guard of Tunstall Tower Archers  pushed over the bridge and tripped an enemy ambush.
This was not the Earl's first campaign in the West though and he called forward The Council's Soothsayer and asked him to roll the Bones and see what the Powers Above said. With much chanting and a few puffs of fragrant smoke the Soothsayer studied the fall of the Bones and told the Earl to send his infantry against this lowly foe. 
The Tunstall archers were unable to withstand twice their numbers of fierce hillmen but they gave a good account of themselves. Perhaps if the Mercenary handgunners were less heavily armoured they would have been in time to aid them.
The fighting continued fiercely with losses on both sides but the frustrated spearmen could not intervene until the enemy gave way or only the dead bodies of the mercenaries lay between them.
With the Archers and Mercenaries out of the way, the Spears pushed over the bridge but the soft ground on either side stopped them from deploying until they pushed the enemy back a little farther.
The Hillmen fought bravely, falling back occasionally before charging wildly in again with javelins and heavy battle axes but the hedgehog of spears pushed slowly forward. Eventually the slaughter was too great and a horn sounded in the rear. In a flash the way was open as the remaining hillmen ran back through the marsh where the Midlish foot floundered when they pursued.  Now, only the knot of Spearmen barred the way.
Ar last the eager Sir John and his Black Company crossed over with the Earl himself close behind.
Supported by showers of arrows the Midlish knights spurred forward,  Even once the narrowest defile was passed though, there was only room for two companies. Heavy armour protected man and horse but the hedge of spearpoints made it difficult for them to reach their enemies. As charge followed charge, more spearmen fell but the shadows soon began to lengthen.

The sun is setting. 

Many a Westman lay dead on the field but even more Midlish soldiers lay with them. Even if this stubborn knot of spearmen was broken, this was not a good place for a Midlish army to camp for the night while to attempt to push on through the woods in the dark would be sheer folly.

The Earl ordered his trumpeter to sound the Retreat and led his household back over the bridge.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Way is Shut

You shall not pass.

The long awaited Midlish  expedition into the Westlands has begun.