Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Siege of the White Mountain, (Volume 1: Raise the Black Banner)--Part 15

“…scattered easily,” stated Gerard, finishing his report. He smiled at the assembled commanders. “So, on the whole, a minor and convenient victory for our cause.” To Gerard’s pleasure, several of his fellow armigers burst into applause.

The Archon regarded him stonily. “Minor,” Septimus stated with a nod. “Most definitely. But I have my doubts about the convenient.”

Sir Gilbert de Ruisseau snorted, his extraordinarily bulbous nose quivering as he did so. “Does the Archon wish to suggest that losing to a mob of farmers would not be inconvenient?”

The Archon’s eyes shut. “That is hardly what I said…” he muttered.

“Well, what did you say?” asked Sir Gautier de Fleur Rouge, eyes flashing merrily. “I find myself baffled.”

“I was merely questioning the advisability and necessity of young Sir de Breze’s actions,” said Septimus Seraphim quietly. “I have no doubt that having initiated such an attack, a victory in it is preferable to a defeat.”

There were a few snickers from the armigers at that, much to Gerard’s delight. While the Archon was of course due some respect as their commander, it was imperative that he realize as a commoner and a foreigner the armigers were naturally going to have to withhold their full respect until he earned it. Something Gerard was increasingly uncertain the Eremite was going to do.

“Sir,” he stated, offering something of an olive branch, “you asked me to scout. I did so. During my scouting I bolstered our supplies and denied future supplies to Lasliezes by attacking their partisans. I can understand how this may seem cruel to a man of the cloth such as yourself. But we are at war, and such cruelty is one of its weapons.” Gerard basked in the further nods of his fellow armigers.

“Well said, young de Breze,” commented Sir Gilbert. “Well said.” The older armiger leaned back and looked pensive. “I feel my young friend has made a valuable point. Attacks such as his will deprive the treacherous Montalbanese and their allies of sustenance even as they grant it to us. With such an advantage--why are we hesitating? Let us harry these small farmers, these petty rebels and by so doing, we shall harm the great ones! Let us wither this rebellion on the vine, before it sprouts to its full strength! Fellow armigers, are you with me?” His fellows let loose with a lusty cry.

Septimus Seraphim’s eyes shut again, his expression tired. “I see. There is… merit in such an argument, yes.” He took a deep breath. “Very well. Henceforth, such exercises shall be used to deny supplies to Montalban.” He turned to Gerard. “And Sir de Breze is to be complimented for his ingenuity and… daring.”

Gerard again bowed to the applause of his fellows, a feeling of great joy swelling in his heart. Things were going splendidly.

3 comments:

  1. This is not going to end well. "Foraging" and Harrying enemies, in this context, means splitting off parties or bands of troops. In an army that already seems disorganized, there probably isn't some official, designated "Skirmisher group" so all of the armigers will insist on their 'turn' or something like it.

    Which will only slow them down and string them out fighting useless, pointless battles that don't actually contribute to the overall war, at least at the moment. I mean, to be fair to them, if the Land of Night wasn't getting involved at all, or didn't come for another couple of months, it'd all be academic, a bunch of silly mistakes that didn't cost all that much, at least to them directly, which is all they care about.

    So, looking forward to reading more.

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  2. Oh absolutely, these little skirmishes don't cost them a thing... Aside from allying the villages that would otherwise not give a damn about the invasion against them.

    Colm Cillian

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  3. Napoleon turned foraging into an art to move his armies rapidly to crisis points without having to handle the logistics of it.

    Unfortunately, I don't see a Napoleon in charge of the Ligtlanders.

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