Aside : David Walters, one of the authors of Books 0 and 7, has mentioned that I am ‘close’ to finishing this book in one try. Naturally, I am now terrified.
There is now a lengthy description of events, and I will give my loyal readers the highlights as follows :
- The enemy crossbowmen reform (presumably promising not to sin again) and the Legion cross over behind their ‘screen’.
- As planned for this eventuality, Glaivas’ rangers ambush the enemy forces crossing the Old Bridge, and then light said Old Bridge on fire. If anyone in the local area needed urgent medical supplies over that bridge tomorrow – its now their problem.
- The opposition will therefore have to erect a temporary bridge to cross the river.
- The crossbowpeople (the book says crossbowmen, but this is the 21st century!) fire one volley and then part like the Red Sea to allow their cavalry to charge against us.
- However, Dore and his troops successfully repel the cavalry.
- I’m assuming I’ll actually be making a decision of my own at some point.
- The Legion then charge against the soldiers of the Spires, and I have to send in my reserves.
- the Farm falls under attack from the Legion of the Angel of Death and also the Doomover forces.
Its not really a choice, but I confirm to the book that I know what was in the mystery boxes (wyverns) in the enemy camp.
The White Mage makes some suitably melodramatic noises about how his ‘time has come’ (like Nirvana in 1991, presumably) and flies under his own magic to fight the wyverns with bolts of lightning and similiar tactics.
Let’s face it – he’s basically a Gandalf cover band.
More bullet points!
- The enemy has constructed a wooden raft-like bridge over the river
- The Legion of the Angel of Death continues to throw commando troops against Hartwell’s farm
- The Elves in the Wickerwood are making a massive difference in repelling the enemy forces.
I can :
- Order the mercenaries (under the command of Antocidas) to attack the crossbowmen on the left flank.
- Order my entire left flank to attack the major enemy force (Doomover Levies, Warrior Women of Horgroth and Legion of the Angel of Death.
I’m wary of ordering what is essentially my entire force into a assault, so I opt for the limited assault on the crossbowmen.
Before I do anything, I see that Glaivas is rapidly retreating with no more than 10 of his rangers, pursued by around 3,000 footsoldiers. I’m assuming they’re not just after his phone number for a platonic catch-up in the spa later on.
Essentially, when the footsoldiers arrive, they are repelled by almost the entirety of my army. The book calmly mentions that all of my forces are under attack save and except for the cavalry on Colwyn’s Mount and the mercenaries at the Old Farm.
I repeat my order for Antocidas to take his mercenaries and attack the left flank.
However, the runner from the mercenaries advises, with a straight face. that they won’t carry out my order unless I promise to pay them a further ‘talent’ (the weight, remember. of a man in gold) when we return to Irsmuncast.
As all lawyers (including me) know, a contract entered under duress is no contract. I have no problem therefore with ‘agreeing’ to this deal, on the basis that I have no intention of making this ‘payment’ later on. What are they going to do, sue me? In Irsmuncast Court? Good luck.
The mercenaries, relying on my ‘promise’ to pay them more money, charge the crossbowmen, shelter under their shields when the inevitable volley of bolts comes, and charge into the flank of the enemy army.
I note that the White Mage has defeated the wyverns, but is seriously wounded and won’t be helping me further.
The battle is ‘in the balance’.
My only uncommitted forces are the 500 Cavalry on Colwyn’s Mound.
I will order them to charge, with the main decision being whether I lead them personally (together with Dore).
There is no way I can resist personal involvement. I join Dore in the charge. We make our battle cries as I confirm to the book that I fought the duel with Honoric before the larger fight started.
I hear with gratitude the roar of approval from my troops as I charge into battle. Whether they are applauding my bravery or simply admiring my good looks is a question that will remain unanswered.
Dore and I scatter the enemy forces, but are brought to a halt by an ‘Old One’. No, I don’t mean George W. Bush, but rather an enemy being similiar to (if not the same as) the one that I confronted immediately before meeting the Usurper in Book 3.
We therefore have to fight.
Challenge – accepted!
Stats: Endurance : 20, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 3