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A siege besieged or not to siege - Digger
'Do we know who they are?' the Knight-captain asked lord Dunkar.They stood on the ramparts overlooking the wooded slopes and hundreds of tents ranked up in the vale beyond.
'I know that flag, The duke said; 'i have seen it at the battle at the Ravenports. It is a mercenary army that sided with emperor Franz back then.'
'Indeed;', Dunkar replied with something of a twisted lip. 'Make sure no actions are taken against these newcomers. No doubt we will hear from their diplomats soon '
'Mylord, should we halt the siege on mornstar?' . Lord dunkar was noticably irritated by that question, but did not bother to unlock his gaze from the Dogs of war encampment.
'Waste our time because of some hired scum? No, the siege continues. That forsaken castle is about to fall and these wardogs will not hinder us whilst we take it.'
Even though the merchant negotiator was fully clad in linnen cloth, his face showed worn and a large battlescar went across his jaw. One daring knight to ride to battle without armour. i best not underestimate this man' Dunkar thought to himself. 'Greetings master merchant, what brings you to the ladies' blessed lands?'
'It is war i heard of. My army recovered from a fight with an army of beasts in Northern Loren and now we can help you in your war against your rebelling palladin in Mornstar.
'HE REALLY thinks we will hire his wardogs? this man is insane!' Nick wasn't done however: 'my scouts investigated your siegeline. should any reinforcements arrive, your siege would surely be broken. My men can break the walls, while you can focus on defending against reinforcements.We have cannons and in a few days our sieging ability will be stronger than anything your knight cavalry can throw at the wall.'The merchant master was confidently staring the duke in the eyes, 'All for a fair price.'
'Ofcourse, Should my troops not be hired by you, me and my brethren would have to find some... other.. employer instead. After all, everyone has to eat.' 'so there it is' Lord Dunkar knew what that meant. 'I see... We have an assault tomorrow.' Lord dunkar smiled and continued: 'Should tomorrow's battle turn ill, we will ask for your help. I hope you have the patience to stick around and will not go to other 'clients'' before tomorrow'. 'So be it!' Captain Nick replied, as he straightened his garments. 'We will await your decision'. He gave a small nod, turned around and marched to his horse and bodyguard. The duke could not help but feel contempt for the cloth wearing merchant. Such a contrast he was with the ironclad captains at the duke his side!
As the merchant rode out the gate, Dunkar gestured for Knight-captain Brinheart, standing in attention behind the Duke. ''my lord?' 'Travel to our Siegecamp at Mornstar. Oversee tomorrows assault.'
'Sir, should we hire those wardogs? With their black powder they could help us end the war. Our men-at-arms would be back in time to work the fields.
Don't be a fool captain! i am not sharing the winnings with people who, for the right offer, use those same machines against us!
'But my lord, If the enemy hires the wardogs they can break our siege and wreck this castle just as easily.'
That is why i will end this battle tomorrow.
'Any word from our pegasus knights?'
'No lord. They might still be in Mariënburg.' As Brinheart said this, a grim expression appeared on the Duke's face.
'send all the cavalry to the lake between here and Mornstar for the blessing ritual.'
Early the next morning, just before sunrise, a mounted squire arrived at the Dogs of war camp. Two pikemen were about to block his path and other guards rushed in. When they noticed he was carrying a scroll and no arms, one of the two waved him through, while the other signalled the incoming guards to return to their game of dice. It was a large camp, much larger than what the squire expected, for a large part was under cover of the mountainslopes.The disordered tents made it hard to find himself a path towards the greatest tent, in the middle of the camp. As his horse made her way through, one tent drew his attention. Orcs were sitting in front of it, having a contest who could belch hardest, putting effort in breathing right in eachothers face.. Whenever orcs are spotted here in Parravon they are on a warpath. The squire found it hard to believe the duke had allowed these beings to set foot on Parravon territory.
The cavalry had gathered at the sacred lake during the night. 300 knights with a priestess and Lord Dunkar at the head of a regiment heavy knights. The priestess was administering the holy ritual. as the ritual was completed The duke shouted to the knights near him and the cavalry started marching in a quick scurry. 'nobody threatens a Duke on his own land'
The messenger handed the scroll to the guard and waited quietly on his spotted mare.
the guard went into the mastertent. 'Master Nick, a message from the breton knights.'
still sleepy, he broke the seal and read:
In the name of King Louen and the Duke, lord Dunkar, sovereign of this province
Captain Nick will be placed under arrest and will be trialled by a fair jury appointed by the Duke.
As his band of villeigns has entered Blessed Territory without permission of the Duke,
We can only conclude they are here with hostile intent!
the renegade army is hereby forfeit. Anyone attempting to prevent Captain Nick's arrest will be dealt with
Duke Dunkar of Parravone
He let go of the scroll and walked outside. Time seemed to slow down to a snails pace as he heard the hooves thunder in the distance and shouted 'To arms! To arms!'
Silver dots reflected in the skies as the sun came up and pegasus wings reflected the light on the horizon
THE PAYMASTER - Mynameisgrax
The battle started before the Bretonnian knights had even finished their morning prayers. Horns sounded in the distance, but too crude to be the Empire’s.
It could only be the Dogs of War.
The Bretonnian force was sequestered in the aging castle of a distant royal cousin. Regardless, they were prepared to defend it as zealously as if it were the royal castle itself.
Unsurprisingly, the approaching invaders slowed to a stop before reaching the castle, refusing to come within range of the peasant bowmen stationed upon top its walls. There was nothing else for it. The holy knights would have to march out the gates, to meet the enemy head on.
The front gates were slowly lowered, and the holy warriors were ready. Set in lance formation, with the sun glistening off their spotless plate mail armor, the knights urged their steeds forward, towards glory or death.
It proved to be the latter.
Moments after leaving the safety of their castle, an odd shape began flying through the air, aimed in their direction. The shape grew larger as it approached, far larger than any cannonball the knights had ever seen, and darker than any stone normally thrown by a catapult.
Before their leader could mutter a single command, the black orb slammed into their front ranks with a hideous ‘thump’. The blessed armor of the knight's held true, but nothing could prepare them for the vile burning liquid that erupted from the black cauldron. It poured straight through their armor as if they were merely sieves, and cooked their flesh from the inside out, their blessed protection becoming little more than personal ovens.
Shocked and confused by the horrifying violence, the knights to the rear of the formation readied themselves for the impact of the flying bits of shrapnel that erupted upon them…which turned out to be flecks of chicken, stalks of celery, and for one particularly unfortunate knight, a giant carrot that wedged itself into his visor.
The survivors swore they smelled hints of nutmeg and rosemary.
Their suspicions were confirmed by the second cauldron of scalding hot soup that fell upon them a few seconds later. Samuel Stoddard, the Dogs of War’s Paymaster, winced at the loud, excited chirping of the Halfling cooks, as they celebrated their bizarre catapult’s victory over the horsemen. Truth be told, the army’s Paymaster didn’t seem overly pleased at the attack, and his assembled bodyguards could tell.
“Did you have to use such expensive ingredients?!
The Halfling cooks froze, as the paymaster twiddled with the keys upon his belt. It wasn’t their boss’s complaints which gave them pause, but the approach of enemy pegasus knights.
The approaching danger did nothing to stop Samuel’s complaints, because he knew the flying knights couldn’t quite reach him from where they were. They’d probably just kill the crews of one of the two Halfling catapults instead.
Samuel turned to face the Halflings that weren’t about to die, and continued his lecture, as they fired another cauldron, smashing open a portion of the castle wall, and drenching the defenders with scalding goo.
“This is why I suggested using cheaper materials. If we saved enough, we could’ve spent the money on another unit of pikemen to guard you, and your Halfling compatriots wouldn’t be dying over there.”
True to his word, the neighboring group of Halflings were soon skewered upon Bretonnian blades, but that was the moment the Paymaster had been waiting for. With a thunderous roar, he motioned for his halberd wielding guards to rush the enemy…without him.
Oh he marched along, but as the leader of the flying Bretonnian knights issued the inevitable personal challenge, the Paymaster nimbly fled to the back of his unit, not eager to test the knight’s abilities firsthand. Not that Samuel was a poor fighter by any means. Despite his paunch, receding hairline, and fancy clothes, he’d fought numerous personal combats in his time, and had an ugly scar across the center of his face to show for it.
He needn’t have worried. The Bretonnian knights soon fell underneath the furious blows of his guards, and the flying mounts soon followed. Despite a few casualties on his side, Samuel looked slightly bemused.
“There’s some extra meat for you. I prefer my pegasus to be slow cooked, with gravy…”
Something was wrong. Not only were the Halflings not responding, but they’d also stopped firing. The Paymaster calmly inquired, with a hint of irritation,
“Why have you stopped firing, little man?”
Percy, the head Halfling cook, didn’t appreciate being called ‘little’, but had to appreciate the fact that the Paymaster held the keys to their army’s treasury. In a humble tone, he obsequiously replied,
“Sir, our forces have stormed the gate, and I believe our Ogres have managed to climb through the hole in the castle wall.”
From his pack, Samuel withdrew his treasured spyglass, used less often to survey the battle, and more often to look at his own retreating men, to see whose pay to dock. True enough, he saw their Pikemen march across the gate, while pulling enemy cavalry off their horses. Upon the high castle walls, allied Ogres grabbed retreating bowmen, and eagerly bit off their heads.
Samuel mused, with a small bit of sadistic glee,
“Well, at least some of our troops won’t need to be fed tonight.”
With victory assured, Samuel marched forward towards the castle gates, while fiddling with his treasured ring of keys, and marveling over the bloody expense of war.
With no targets left to shoot, the Halfling cooks dragged over a pegasus corpse, and began to prepare the Paymaster’s meal.
I really liked both of these stories. You both tell the story enabling me to feel as though I'm there as with the incoming cooking pot. Both have their element of humour,in letter or thought, in the right place and at the right level too.
"The nature of Mon Keigh was irrepressible!"
A siege besieged or not to siege - Digger
This one doesn't seem particularly well written, to be honest - watch your punctuation, Digger! Although I do like the idea of arresting the mercs just to stop someone else getting at them!
THE PAYMASTER - Mynameisgrax
Very nice! I really like this one; well written, and with halflings and their hilarity no less.
Digger - 3/5
Mynameisgrax - 4/5
Mynameisgrax by a point:
Digger - 7/10
Mynameisgrax - 8/10
Not many votes unfortunately could have gone either way.
Wow, that was really close! It's a shame there weren't more voters, as that could have easily gone either way. Well met, sir! ^_^
"Any job worth doing, is worth doing with a powerklaw."