Tuesday, March 17, 2015

War Journal of Christopher Köch Day 5

The war has begun, and the blood flows. Alliances are declared and the first battle has occurred. Vivat!

The dawn broke with the sound of sweet birds and the smell of bacon and eggs on the air. All of Trimaris rose early to march with our King and Queen, I found myself helping to fill in gaps with their Highnesses retainer entourage which was a delight. Their Highnesses were given special mounts, noble steady which had been trained to walk next to each other, so they could hold hands as they helped lead the army. It was incredibly sweet to see such an open display of affection.

The armies assembled and awaited the word of our King. The sovereign crowns of Gleann Abhann and Meridies both pleaded with the assembled armies and Kings of Trimaris and Ansteorra, asking if there was no chance for peace. Our King, ever gracious and noble of stature, said it was a simple matter for peace and he would happily command his armies to stand down if but the King of Ansteorra would show a measure of respect and friendship to his majesty King Kurn. King Lochlan, sovereign ruler of Ansteorra, took a moment to stop and think on the offer. Many present were hopeful that bloodshed could be forgone, but then King Lochlan gave King Kurn a gesture most rude and unwelcoming to our beloved King. "Let there be war" King Lochlan cried and the armies rattled sword and shield in anticipation.

Before battle could begin, the gathered nobility from around the Knowne World chose sides in the coming fight. Allies were drawn and both sides of the conflict gathered warriors to fight for them. Siding with Ansteorra are the kingdoms of An Tir, Avacal, Calontir, Caid, Atenveldt and Gleann Abhann. Siding with Trimaris are the kingdoms of Middle, West, East, Aethelmearc, Atlantia, East, Meridies and lastly Northshield.

Of Northshield is a special note, as they had made a special request of our King to secure their alliance. They required the aid of our most fearsome fighter to train their troops and wear their colors to is pure their men. Jarl Ari was that man, one of our generals, and with the stroke of a pen and the good nature (and willingness) of Jarl Ari for the duration of the war he fights in the name of Northshield. His wife was rather fond of this contract, as it gives a clause to her allowing her to ignore any grievance her husband may give.

With the announcement of war and the declaration of allies, the armies began their formations. I myself took time in the town to enjoy a wonderful hands-on experience with vinegars and German sword styles, before retiring to the Green Dragon for a pint. As I rested, war began. The drums beat and horses charged as our brave warriors marched to battle. Our war command made the choice to split the army and make separate pushes.

For those not familiar with the lay of the land, in the center of the fortrss. Leading to the fortress is a great bridge spanning a deep ravine, and on the other side of the bridge is a splendid town. A great field leads to the town where many of the armies camp. His Majesty made the call to send the army straight into the town to catch the forces of Ansteorra by surprise, while sending our archers around to try and sneak through the ravine to surprise the fortress. War was met by both forces with varying levels of success.

The archers, small in number but skilled in battle, snuck past the fortress in the rush of battle to make a break for the ravine. We were met by the guards of the bridge itself, Ansteorra had foreseen such a maneuver and placed their own arches the n the other side of the ravine. Battle was fierce and long; while the heart of Trimaris was strong and we would have fought to the last man, our general made the wise choice to pull our remaining archers back to rejoin the rest of the army. The Ansteorran archers held the day, but they bled three for every one Trimarian. 

Meanwhile, our armies laid siege to the town. Trimaris and her forces were mighty and valiant, swiftly striking and scattering the opposing army. Our strength was so great they could not even recover, we had several legions stand down and rest yet still we struck true. Once we had forced the enemy from the town, they rallied to try and retake it from our grasp. This went as well as their earlier defense, they fought hard but did not have the strength. Our heart was fierce and our spirit strong, at the end of the day we held the town and forced the Ansteorran forces split between the field and north towards the bride and ravine. When our King heard of the bloody battle in the ravine he vowed revenge and began to prepare our knights for a battle to avenge our archers. 

While the knights and their squires fought within the town, many of the rapier fighters (myself included) decided to enjoy the sweet tunes and cold drinks of the Green Dragon. As the war began in earnest outside our doors, all manner of thieves and ruffians found shelter within the tavern walls. Things turned into an outright brawl as the thieves began to pilfer from our forces and the tavern itself. We subdued the thieves, but as soon as we finished the last thief off the guards managed to arrive. They saw the litter of thieves on the floor and the blood on our swords, then decided we were at fault. We fought off the guards and made our escape from the Green Dragon to rejoin the victorious Trimarian army.

I rest tonight with family, enjoying a small
measure of camp work with many talks of fun and laughter. There is a small echo of worry, will this be the last time we all drink together? Will war claim one of us? We drink and toast, poke fun but always worry that tomrrow may be the last. Tomorrow, our generals will marshal our rapier fighters to chase the Ansteorran forces onto the field where we will engage half the forces separated. 

This may be my last writing, for I may die tomorrow in my first battle at war. Pray to God and all the saints that Trimaris is kept safe.