Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Chapter Six: Re Nastcosta


Both sides start in the positions laid out at the end of Chapter 5. Sir Adley and his small army are positioned to the south and slightly around the eastern edge of the farm. Caught by surprise they are still in column with Sir Adley’s men at the head of the column (to the east of the farm and heading up the slope as they mach for Grippen), followed by Sir Carnog’s men. Sir Roger Flor and his retinue bring up the rear.

The Loyalist good guys

Sir Bohemond and his unit are also travelling in column at the south end of the table, moving from the tree line and up the ridge.

The Royalist good guys

Neither side is ready for battle and the first order is to dress one’s lines as hastily as possible.

The sides are as follows:

Player 1: Palle (Overall commander of the Loyalist army)

Sir Adley De IVES. (Knight in green, grey and orange).
Lambert FERRYWAX. (Squire in padded leather)
6 Mounted in full armour. (Norman cavalry in green/grey)
15 Foot soldiers in full armour. (Norman infantry in green)
20 Foot soldiers in partial armour. (Norman skirmishers in padded leather)
6 Archers in partial armour. (Norman crossbowmen in green)
1 Ballistæ.

45 elements


Player 2: Rasmus

Sir Reginald CARNOG. (Knight in blue & yellow)
Darcy JARBLE, Squire. (Norman noble with bare head)
Avery CARNOG, Esquire. (Spanish knight in blue)
7 Mounted in full armour. (Norman cavalry in blue)
12 Foot soldiers in full armour. (Norman infantry in blue)
10 Foot soldiers in partial armour. (Norman skirmishers in blue)

(32 elements)


Player 3: Tracey

Sir Roger FLOR. (Knight in blue & white)
Lady Marigold FLOR (Female turcopole)
Lady Marjory FLOR (Female turcopole)
Lady Meredith FLOR. (Female turcopole)
Pieter HOOGABOOM. (Knight in brown)
9 Foot soldiers in full armour (Teutonic infantry)
4 Archers in partial armour (Teutonic crossbowmen)

(18 elements)


Player 4: Oleg (Overall commander of the Royalist army)

Sir Bohemond DASHFERN. (Knight in red)
Niccoló SIGISMUNDO (Knight in red, yellow & black)
Inigo (Knight in black)
3 Elephants of War (Elephants)
8 Mounted in full armour (Norman cavalry in red)
12 Foot soldiers in full armour (Norman infantry in red)
9 mounted archers in partial armour (Turcopoles)
(35 elements)


Player 5: Jan

The FALCON. (Brian Boru)
8 Bros. of the Sacred Grove in full armour (Saxon tribal warriors)
14 Morden warriors in partial armour (Unarmoured Saxons)
16 Morden archers in partial armour (Saxon archers in green & brown)

(39 elements)


Player 6: Peter

Cedric of Morden (Saxon leader with red cloak)
Voric (Saxon skirmisher with blue & red shield)
Morded (Saxon skirmisher with blue & red shield)
8 Morden Warriors in full armour (Saxon warriors with blue & shields)

(11 elements)


Chapter 6: Conclusion and aftermath

Mid morning on the 31st Mae. 1623.

The morning mists had lingered long in the shadows of Kelling Wood and as the small army of Sir Adley De Ives approached a burning farmstead, they discovered the long anticipated peasant rebellion had apparently begun. A farmer and his daughter, loyal to the Earl, were being attacked by their own farm hands, rebellious louts, intend on pillage and rape. Rufus of Castelopea, a gentleman comrade of Sir Adley De Ives rode hence and slew the traitors forthwith.

Sir Adley halted his column and the nobles debated what was to be done. The original plan of crossing the river at Lower Gripen to attack the house of the pretender, Sir Bohemond Dashfern was thwarted as scouts returned the news that the bridge had been destroyed by Sir Bohemond’s men. It was decided that the army would take a longer alternative route and cross at the Ford of Marriot whilst Rufus would cross the river with ten men to the east of Gripen and cut off communications between Gripen and Morden Forest. Rufus set off at once whilst Sir Adley’s army got back into formation.

As Sir Adley was preparing to march, a distant sound was heard. To the east lay Kelling Wood and from its depths came the sound of a great trumpeting cry. All eyes turned to the misty trees and the horses became restless. As the men watched in amazement a large body of troops appeared from the mist moving west, accompanied by war elephants.

The battle began.

Sir Adley de Ives and Sir Reginald Carnog moved their forces to take advantage of the farm, leaving skirmishers and archers to form a line whilst they dressed their cavalry columns. Sir Adley left his ballista where it was to the rear of the archers. Sir Roger Flor moved to take the farm.

Sir Adleys front line evaporates under the Morden archers arrow storm. The Falcon turns his attentionon Sir Roger

Sir Bohemond Dashfern, pretender to the long vacant throne of Takshendal was surprised to find a small army in his path, and having only his personal retinue with him was unsure of victory but he elected to take the chance and fight. This was to be his undoing as his main forces were still behind him in Kelling Wood, and north of the River Glun occupying Snoad and neither would reach him in time.

Sir Bohemond elected to move along the ridge and envelope his enemy, trapping them against the farm with the Falcon and his forest men providing blanket archery cover from the rear. This meant the opening stage of the battle saw Sir Adley De Ives and Sir Reginald Carnog’s front line being annihilated under a constant arrow barrage whilst on the western flank several of Sir Rogers arbalestiers used the tree line as cover to return fire against the Falcon’s line. The Falcon attempted to counter the threat from the western flank by moving a group of warriors up the road, but these were unable to engage the Arbalestiers.

The main fight begins on the right flank, the table edge offering an artifical obstacle.
Sir Bohemonds heavy cavalry engages the Loyalist pike line

Their Pike line obliterated, the Loyalist cavalry charge into the fight

Cedric of Morden, an ally of the Falcon, was flanking the main group with a small band of warriors and hearing the sound of combat he headed for the fight.

Sir Bohemond having divided his force into two lines, with his elephants in the rear, halted to wait whilst the archers cut Sir Adley’s lines to pieces. Amongst the elements destroyed in the arrow storm was the ballista. The battle continued in this vein until the Loyalist force, suffering terrible losses in their centre, decided to counter attack. Sir Roger Flor and his retinue quit the farm and began to position themselves on the road whilst Sir Adley De Ives and Sir Reginald Carnog moved their cavalry and pikes forward.

Cedric of Morden arrived from the tree line behind Sir Roger Flor whilst the Falcon and his men were approaching along the road. Sir Roger, caught between two enemies, elected to engage the one and hold off the other with skirmishers. Together with his yeoman, Pieter Hoogaboom, he charged along the road full tilt and scattered the Falcon’s band of warriors, slaying several. The Falcon fell back to a line of Skirmishers he had pulled up from his archers, but this was to be of little use. Whilst Sir Rogers pike men finished off the warriors on the road, Sir Roger, Pieter Hoogaboom and Sir Rogers daughters, hunted the Falcon down. As the old man fled ignominiously, he was felled by an arrow in the back shot by Lady Marjory Flor.

The elephants engage

Sir Bohemond (in red, white, yellow and black) meets his doom

Incensed by seeing their leader shot, the archery line drew their fire against Sir Roger Flor and he in his turn was unhorsed by an arrow. This fulfilled one of the three criteria for sudden victory for the Royalist side, but there was little time for celebration. The skirmishers to Sir Roger Flor’s rear had brought down Cedric of Morden and his men were milling about uselessly by the farm. At the same time, Sir Bohemond’s right hand line was engaged by Sir Adley De Ives and Sir Reginald Carnog, first with pikes, then with cavalry, and the gravity point of the battle shifted to the right flank. Sir Bohemond brought up his elephants and a pike block in an attempt to out flank the Loyalist charge but to little avail. The right flank quickly turned into a bloodied scramble with first an elephant brought down and then Sir Reginald Carnog. Sir Reginald’s defeat meant the Royalist side had fulfilled two of their three sudden victory criteria. This left only the two main commanders left, and they met in the centre of the right flank battle line, surrounded by the dead and dying, hammering at each other until finally Sir Adley and his men slew Sir Bohemond, dragging him from his horse and hacking him to death.

Sir Adley raised the traitors head on a pike and paraded it for all to see and the battle was done.

The carnage.
Approx half the elements on the table were destroyed.



Sir Bohemond Dashfern and his allies in the Order of Vigilance had long planned their insurrection. Their scheme had been timed to take effect on the first day of Jún, and in all seven of the Counties of Takshendal, Royalist forces had mustered secretly. In Wapontak, an assassination was foiled because Lord Phelonius arrived to spread the warning, and in Fulkingtor, Baron Hubert Bellbottom and his family were massacred whilst on a hunt. In Keresfan an army of southern mercenaries swept out of the Rapthians and overthrew Baron Sackschild, scattering his forces and occupying his house.

Feckletor was already under the control of the Order of Vigilance for Baron Johan Sapwood was a prominent member and as it transpired an important co-conspirator who had used his county’s resources to help feed the growing army hidden in Morden Forest.

Every where else, the rebellion failed as the Royalist’s rapidly learned that their leader had been killed. In Castelopea, the conspiracy was suffocated by intrigue and assassinations before it ever began and in Meklsbeg, the Royalist leader was a mercenary commander named Arnoldo Bragaldo who had so few local connections that his puny force of Mursulan mercenaries was left to fend for themselves by their peasant allies. Baron Nathaniel Grandmantle accepted Bragaldo’s surrender without a single drop of blood being shed. In Doxfortor the Royalist force was too small to be effective by itself. Later investigations showed its leadership had prudently delayed their attack to see which way the wind would turn, but the torture of Arnoldo Bragaldo revealed the guilt of numerous local dignitaries and several were discretely executed.

With Sir Bohemond dead and the Order of Vigilance exposed as traitors, the rebellion was ended. By 7th Jún, the Royalists had control of only the two western most counties Feckletor and Keresfan. The peasant rebellion had failed to manifest itself and the mercenary army under the command of Niccoló Sigismundo had agreed to hand over Overmore Castle, Earl Phelonius’s family and the village of Snoad in return for amnesty. Niccoló Sigismundo himself was unable to return to Casilicus where there was a hefty price on his head, and unwilling to return to the life of a condotieri he struck a deal with the Marshal of Takshendal; Sir Reginald Flatlock, gave up ownership of the Compagnia del Stella and settled as a gentleman of means in Castelopea. In the months to follow he set about writing a book entitled ‘The Art of War’.

The Falcon returned to the forest but very little was heard of him in the next few months until the body of an old man was found on the road from Snoad to Thickly Vale, and various local grey beards identified the former bandit leader. Deep in Morden Forest the out cast community continued to hold their own, according to rumour under the leadership of Cedric Applegrate, ignored by the surrounding counties which were busy dealing with the recapture of Keresfan. This took considerably longer than it ought to have done, but by Septemus, the rebels had been cleared out and the County placed under the authority of Sir Roger Flor.

Of Sir Bohemond Dashfern’s right hand man, he known to Misteline and his companions as Archibald Pillorseed, the man who abducted Silas, there is no sign. Rufus attempts to track the man down but no one he questions has the faintest idea of who the man was or from whence he came. The only clues Rufus finds is from one of Dashfern’s former guards who tells that the man was seldom seen at Dockrey House and whom expresses the opinion that the man sometimes had a slight accent, as of Merdun. This same guard also tells Rufus that the lad with the cleft lip was almost certainly killed because he knew something of the man’s origins.

Eleven months after what eventually became known as the Battle of Gripen, the Grand Arch Duke of Takshendal fell down a flight of stairs and suffered a broken neck, but miraculously survived. In the next few days, as he lay on his bed, slowly dying, his advisors and political allies pressed him to name a successor but the old duke refused to do so, arguing that he still had a great many years of life left in him, and as soon as he was recovered, he was going to initiate a new golden age.

Grand Arch Duke Ranulph Jarvis Underhock, fourth Arch-duke of the City of Takshendal, died on Aprila 21st. 1624, without issue or designated heir. The nobility, with only a few exceptions, declared Earl Phelonius Grambeline to be the rightful heir of the Crown of Takshendal and the city council, all too aware of the deplorable state of the city’s economy, agreed. King Phelonius the First was crowned on the first anniversary of the Battle of Gripen. His first act of decree was to make Sir Adley De Ives Baron of Overmore.


Misteline’s early career had been kick started by his having witnessed the attack of the notorious pirate Captain Murder, and the brave exploits of Alesandrox Wormpole. His greatest work of art in his early career was held to be the bronze equestrian statue he sculpted to commemorate the event, and which stands to this day in the central plaza of the Mercantile District.

Having now been present at the Battle of Gripen, Misteline had ample opportunity to feather his bed with numerous commissions, to create new and ever more brilliant works of art and to firmly cement his position forever as the greatest artist of his age. Within days of his return to the city, Misteline began numerous works, including a grand vista of the battle at its climax, a study of Sir Adley De Ives holding aloft the head of Sir Bohemond Dashfern and in the aftermath of the coronation of King Phelonius, an equestrian statue of the king trampling a writhing dragon to be even larger and grander than that of Alesandrox Wormpole.


Having been instrumental in the rescue of Lord Phelonius Grambeline, Drake was in turn rescued by Sir Adley de Ives and his men when they occupied Dockrey Hall. Some what battered and scarred from his capture, Drake immediately then sought out and rescued Silas from his tower top captivity, tending his wounds and awaiting the outcome of events. Misteline and Nathan eventually arrived at Dockrey Hall, as did Rufus and the four comrades were finally re-united. Dockrey Hall was occupied by Sir Adley De Ives and the Dashfern family were removed to a secure location.

Drake returned to Takshendal with Misteline, and a month after the battle he received the gift of a thoroughbred horse from Earl Phelonius. Unsure whether he could keep such a magnificent animal, Drake was loath to sell it so he decided to send it to the Monasterium in Thickly Vale with Nathan who longed to return to the girl called Liselle.

Much to his surprise, when Phelonius Grambeline was crowned king, Drake was knighted and given Saffron Hall (Sir Adley was moving into Dockrey Hall), with 200 Acres of land, grazing rights in the Marches and the right to equip twenty men-at-arms.

Not long after Drake has taken up residence in Saffron Hall, he is approached by Rufus who wishes to endow a scholarship on the deformed young shepherd of Halkyn Mire. Drake agrees to assist and the shepherd and his sweetheart are soon employed by the new Knight of Thickly Vale, and live happily ever after.


Having left Sir Adley De Ives main force with ten skirmishers, Rufus roamed north of the River Glun at will for most of the 31st Mae. During this time he disrupted communications, slew rebellious peasants and caused much mayhem. Towards the evening he penetrated Snoad wearing captured livery and made his way up to Overmore castle where he confronted the Lady Jacinta Grambeline to discover the whereabouts of her mysterious brother. Filled with mortal terror at the sight of her brother’s killer, the lady fell into a paroxysm of screaming and guards came rushing. Pausing only to stab the first man to come through the door, Rufus fled from Castle Overmore and made his way to Dockrey Hall where he met up with his companions.

As the days past Rufus came to understand that he had yet to discover the truth regarding Basilio D’Castelleto and his unsatisfactory meetings with Lady Jacinta had revealed nothing. Approaching the Earl proved impossible as the Earl, and most of the other nobles of Overmore were no where to be found. Instead then Rufus went to see Lady Marjory Flor. From the good lady he discovered that all the nobles except Sir Roger Flor had travelled to Takshendal.

Rufus decided to return to Takshendal himself when Silas informed him that a certain Lukas D’Castelleto had been appointed Commissioner of the Militia in the city. On a cool autumn morning, nine weeks later Lukas D’Castelleto was run through with a rapier and the mystery of Rufus’s assailant was solved. The ghost of Basilio was laid to rest at last.

In the months that followed the Battle of Gripen, deprived of work and adventure, Rufus retired to Takshendal and took rooms in the armorial quarter of the city, not far from Misteline’s studio, and set about writing a book on fencing. Misteline agreed to draw some illustrations, but most of these were accomplished by one of Misteline’s new apprentices as the great master was swamped with work. Misteline agreed to put his name to the drawings however, which amounted to much the same thing. When the book was finished, it was published around the time of the coronation of King Phelonius by Albrecht Greengrass under the title ‘Il Gladiatoria’. Given recent events and the three chapters Rufus had prudently added to his book dealing with the Battle of Gripen and the tactics used, the book became something of a best seller. The accounts in the book soon found direct competition with Niccoló Sigismundo’s ‘The Art of War’ which saw the battle from a first hand perspective and for a short period the two authors were locked in an intellectual spat with each books supporters slinging mud at the other book. This argument died down when Niccoló Sigismundo was found in his Castelopean apartments with his throat cut. A cursory investigation by the city militia indicated the probable culprit being Rufus’s godfather, Don Vito Magliocco D’Castelopea, though no solid proof was found to support a charge of murder.


The Lord High Sheriff of the Marne Territories resumed his duties after a week’s convalescence, appointing various sheriffs and tax collectors to take on the job of collecting money then setting himself up in offices in Takshendal. Once the conflict in Overmore County settled down, Silas began raking in the dough. Political silent, efficient and ruthless in the application of raising funds, Silas had managed to acquire sufficient funds to prepare for the day when the king was crowned and he would be replaced as having belonged to the former regime.

Sure enough, on 17th Jún. 1624. Silas was thanked for his service to the city and by the 26th he was under investigation by the Militia, charged with stealing tax money for his own purposes. Having anticipated this, Silas had prepared for the eventuality and though certainly guilty, he avoided a conviction by having obliterated any and all evidence of his self preservation. Silas retired from the Militia and to the outside world he become a private business man, but beneath his offices Silas opened a clandestine gambling den where patrons could also imbibe of a new vice, known as somniferum.


Fabians body was never found. According to several prisoners taken from the Rebel leadership, his death was not undertaken by any one associated with the actual rebellion, but probably by a different faction amongst the satellites of Sir Bohemond Dashfern. According to a report which passes through Silas’s hands in Augusta. 1623. Fabian was an agent and assassin working for Sir Reginald Flatlock.

Thank you all for a good game and thanks to Oleg for taking pictures