An Old Midlish Rhyme
The wind from the North sings of heroes of Olde
The wind from the East makes our blood run Cold
The wind from the South smells of Spices and Gold
But the wind from the West tells of warriors Bold.

Friday, August 13, 2021

A Tale From The Days Of Long Ago

 The days when the warriors of Valdur were smaller and more flexible.


Dismayed by the encroachments of the Sea Raiders, King Aerophix led his host against the enemy.


Despite the enemy's armour and his shield wall, the Valdurian cavalry swept around the enemy right flank while the Valdurian  light troops harassed and slowed his centre.  

The battle was short and bloody. King Aerophix was lightly wounded but refused to let his chariot retreat lest his men lose heart. Inspired by their king, the Valdurians enveloped the Sea Raider line and cut them to pieces.  King Orion himself was severely wounded but his men did not abandon him. Drawing close around his wounded body, they carried him back to their ships to raid again when his wounds were healed.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The Enemy of My Enemy

 The peoples who make up the Northern Federation have little love for the Free Folk of the West but they are not the threat that that the  Midlands present, nor the rich source of plunder.

So it is was that when news reached the Eastern plains that the Westfolk had tweaked the noses of the Western Marcher Lords, and taken back their sacred Dalai, the Herdsmen sent out the Red Arrow indicating that men were wanted for a raid. 

They also sent messages to the Hills and Woods where the Others hold sway to invite them to join in on an expedition beyond the Mountains.



Is it just me or do those Spearman look a little nervous?

Monday, November 2, 2020

The Bloody Ford

 And so it was that on Samhain, under a Full Moon, the clans from the hills were gathered in secret in the Morning Forest where the road crossed the river that divided the Free Folk from the lands of the Midlish King.   A raven had come with word from the Queen, na dallag naomh was on his way home! Meet at the North Ford and be ready for battle.

The day dawned grey and cold but the  host gathered and formed for the fight. News that trouble was on hand must have  reached the Tower for the garrison was alert and the ford was strongly held. The Queen ordered her forces to step into the open and draw the enemy's attention.  At last, a Raven fluttered down by the Queen, cocked his head and  croaked "Here! Here!" before flying off again. She ordered the clans to sound their trumpets, shout loudly their Battle Cries, and to advance and attack the ford.

The clans attack through the morning mist.

The Captain of the Tower was no novice though, and he was forewarned. Having fortified and garrisoned the ford, he had also posted archers to watch the woods and formed his lancers to react. He also counted on reinforcements, the King's Borderers returning from their patrol, Sir Daniel and even the Earl himself. 

Raven's eye view of the battlefield.

At the ford, the battle was fierce and bloody, bloody for the Hill clans at least. The well armoured Midlish had planted Cheveau de Frises across the road and with their long pikes, they could spear the hillmen as they struggled to chop their way through it. The occasional arrow or javelin found a mark but there were pikemen enough to take their place. 


Far off, the Queen could see that while the hillmen died at the ford and lightly armed raiders were sacrificing them selves against the Iron Riders on the river bank, the Huntress had led her small party with the precious chest to the river.

The stories of the old ones told of a hidden way to cross if one could read the signs and who could read them if not the Huntress? But, she needed time and if blood must pay for it, that is how it must be! 

The Queen called the Hillfolk back and ordered Na gruagach mohr to open the road, and pin or crush the enemy!
 
At the sight of the great beast lumbering towards them, the Midlish soldiers braced themselves and more than a few muttered prayers. A desperate struggle began at the ford as the great beast tore at the barricade while his human companions tried to shield him from the pikes of the enemy.  

Suddenly, trumpets and joyful cries ran out from the tower: "The Earl! The Earl!". The Earl of Cowcross had come!

Though his men were encouraged, the Earl had come too late to save them. With the abatis crushed, the great beast stumbled forward, tearing great gaps in the enemy phalanx though they stood their ground manfully. At last, it became too much and the survivors fled.  

The catapult on the tower now had a clear shot to the wounded beast. A great bolt plunged deep into the beast, and then another. Slowly, it sank to its knees, lay down on its side, and heaved a huge sigh as its eyes slowly closed.

Beyond the ford, the arrival of Sir Daniel and his men had turned the tide. The lightly equipped Woodsfolk had died or fled and the armoured knights and their accompanying archers had pursued to the river bank.

Only the Queen's Hound, clothed in his magic mist, now stood between the enemy and the chest. Another epic struggle began.

Against all of the odds, the Hound held off and shattered squadron after squadron until at last, with his enemy dead or scattered, he sank to his knees and then the ground. His guardian witch gathered him up in her mist, and he disappeared from view. Arrows began to rain down on the warriors carry the chest as they sought the hidden passage. Was this the end?

 

Not yet! Woodsmen from the relief force swan across the deep part of the ford and their fierce attack drove the Midlish archers back and at last the Huntress found the secret junction in the ford. As the Earl weighed the risk of pursuit, there was a stir as clumps of spears began to appear over the crest line. The Farmers had honoured their oaths and had marched to war! 

Their arrival, mixed with the heavy Midlish casualties, was  enough to convince the Earl to declare that that chest was not worth the price in blood. The battle was over.  





Sunday, November 1, 2020

And there a Greate Battle was Foughten

 and soon....... 



......the bards will sing of the Battle of the Bloody Ford!

Friday, October 30, 2020

AWAKE! AWAKE! FOES FIRE DANGER! AWAKE!

Forewarned by alarm beacons, the border post at the North Ford was on alert with barricades in place across the ford and guards and patrols doubled. As the sun rose, barbarians could be seen approaching from the West and the trumpet rang out to summon the garrison to their posts.


All eyes were rivetted to the ford and the foe beyond. Not a man spared a thought for the edge of the Wild Wood behind them.


As stealthy as cats, the Huntress and Cuan na Banrigh had scaled the tower, hidden in a magic mist, retrieved the sacred chest, and sped through the hills and forests towards the ford. Birds carried the word to the waiting Men of the Hills.

"We are coming!"