RoE General > The Bard (IC)

On the Final Victory of Captain-General Messer Over the Thuraz in the Ruideside.


The Dark Lily/ML:
Being a true and accurate account of the events of that most famous campaign that resulted in the absolute defeat and destruction of the enemy counter attack, as witnessed by the author herself
Recounted by
Matilda Lilje
Singer and teller of tales in the household of His Excellency, Otmar Messer; Lord-Commander of the Federated Free Companies and the Realms regained in Thurazor, Governor-General of the Ruideside, Marshal of the Realm and Captain-General of the Brethren of the Black Flag.
    Dear reader, now the time has come for me to give a brief accounting of the manner in which our brave Lord-Commander accomplished the final victory over the forces of the Thuraz and thus secured the Realm of the Ruideside.

     In the interests of historical accuracy and brevity, I shall refer to the provinces by their old Thuraz names, and for therefore will here provide a brief explanation of the names now held by those provinces of the Regained Realm. First there is Hopeís Bastion, the domain of the Lord-Lieutenant, once named Stormís Release, Twan Kefarheayfa in the Thuraz language. Then comes the province of Victory, once known as Falling Timber, Garny Ikerfa in Thuraz. Next comes Boerstand, which formerly was named Bloodbay, Khwan Khlifaj in Thuraz. And lastly comes Boer Valley, which was before Mergarrote.

     Now I will begin my recounting of those most glorious events that led to the establishment of our present happy Realm.

     In the aftermath of the battle of the Talahar, while the victorious Captains were reorganizing and refitting their armies, a large mounted force of Thuraz invaded Bloodbay, while another larger army was massing in Crushing Hills. Accordingly, Grand Master Donalls took the cavalry south to counter the goblins while Captain-General Messer remained in Falling Timber with the infantry.

     When the main Thuraz force, under their new king, the vile and ungodly Kral Two-Toes, moved into Falling Timber, the Captain-General withdrew towards Stormís Release, but upon learning that the Thuraz were between him and that province, he switched directions and marched east, intending to get behind the Thuraz forces and cut them off from their base of supply. The enemyís scouts detected the move and he followed, getting his forces to the south of the Captain-General and thus thwarting bold Messerís stratagem.

     During this time, agents of the Captain-General were in contact with a disaffected Thuraz commander, one Ksog Dreadhand, and had arranged for him to betray his countrymen and fight on the side of the Lord of Truth.

     Captain-General Messer then, employing a most cunning ruse, abandoned his baggage train and sent the sick and wounded and camp followers, disguised as soldiers, marching rapidly to the west (shown in grey on the accompanying map), thereby tricking the Thuraz into thinking he was making a run for Stormís Release. Meanwhile, the Captain-General slipped away with his main force and through a gruelling forced march looped around to the north and then west and thus contrived to put himself ahead of the perusing Thuraz, who had been delayed looting the baggage train.

The Dark Lily/ML:

     The Captain-General prepared an ambush along a narrow stretch of the open terrain alongside the Merovade marsh, wisely foreseeing that the Thuraz would take that route in order to make up for the time lost looting the baggage and catch what they presumed was the Captain-Generalís army before it could make contact with the forces under Commandant Taren and Marshall Sigismund in Stormís Release.

     Captain-General Messerís army consisted of eleven companies totalling approximately eighteen hundred men, consisting of the following troops.

     Seven companies of infantry: the Free Helskaarmen (Black & Tans), the Grand Talbehr Company of Foot (Howling Wolves), the Great Endier Route Company (Ironborn), Malkapfís Hallebardiers (Black Suns), the Roodsmen, the Spear Wives, and the Third Wierich Company of Foot(Glorious Third)

     Two companies of crossbowmen: the Honourable Company of the Phoenix (Red Birds) and the Loyal Company of Armbrustiers (Yellows).

     Two companies of archers: Frodiís Foxes and Sigurdís Snakes.

     The Thuraz forces consisted of approximately six thousand five hundred troops (two thousand of whom were archers, the rest various types of infantry) brigaded in groups of approximately five hundred.

     The Federated Free Company army was arrayed in two divisions, with Captain-General Messer commanding the eastern division consisting of, from the left to the right: the Yellows, the Black Suns, the Howling Wolves, the Glorious Third, and slightly detached to the west; the Ironborn with the Red Birds standing to their rear in support. First brother Skarlsmaan commanded the eastern division consisting of, from the left to the right: the Black and Tans, the Roodsmen , the Spear Wives, Frodiís Foxes, and Sigurdís Snakes.

     The Thuraz were deployed in order of march and thus unprepared for battle, divided into three main battles: the van, consisting of some three brigades of infantry and one of archers, the main body consisting of five brigades of infantry and two of archers, and finally the rearguard under Ksog Dreadhand with three companies of light skirmishers and one of archers.

     The battle opened with the forces of the Federated Free Companies rushing out of the woods to surprise and assail the marching goblins. The Black Suns took up a blocking position in front of the Thuraz forces, backed up by the Yellows, while the Howling Wolves, the Glorious Third, and the Ironborn attacked their flank. The Red Birds engaged the Thuraz main bodyís leading archers with concentrated fire, while the Black and Tans, Roodsmen, and Spear Wives struck the main body from the flank, supported by the fire of the Foxes and Snakes. At the same time, Commander Dreadhand, as had been arranged, raised the Black Flag and attacked the main body from the rear.

     The Thuraz army, caught by surprise was pushed back against the marsh in disorder, where they were so crowded that they were prevented from deploying properly and they suffered great losses.

     The van was further compressed and subjected to great slaughter from the combined attacks of the Captain-Generalís Brethren of the Black Flag, but in the centre, the evil and unholy Kral Two-Toes rallied his troops and counter attacked driving the Free Companies forces back towards the forest. Seeing this, Captain-General Messer pulled the Ironborn out of the attack against the Thuraz van and turned them against the Thuraz archers supporting the enemyís attack, taking them in the flank and scattering them.

     The Thuraz continued to push the Free Companies back, but the most accurate and sustained fire of the Red Birds and the Yellows, whom the Captain-General had ordered from the extreme west of the line to support the centre, into the left flank of the attacking forces and the loss of their archery support due to the Ironbornís  attack into their rear caused the attack to falter.

     The Captain-General then took his own Glorious Third out of the melee against the Thuraz van and turned it to take the Thuraz main force in the rear along with the Ironborn, which attack he led personally. This attack from an unexpected direction caused the Thuraz force to break. But to the east, it was Dreadhandís forces that broke and the enemy forces fled to the east pursued by arrow fire, those that could not escape were slaughtered or driven into the marsh.

     The battle broke the Thuraz offensive completely and the surviving forces retreated to the south east and were closely pursued.

The Dark Lily/ML:

     In the aftermath of the battle of the Merovade Cut, The vile usurper Two-Toes fled with his remaining forces, trying to regain the safety of the lands still under his control, but brave First Brother Skarlsmann commanding the light forces kept position between the enemy and the frontier. All the while, Captain-General Messer was following hard on their heels, and between the two of them these great captains shepherded the fleeing enemy into Bloodbay towards Grand Master Donalls coming up from the southeast with the cavalry.

     This time it was the Federated free Companies that outnumbered the Thuraz, fielding some three thousand five hundred men, comprising one thousand three hundred infantry, one thousand archers and crossbowmen, and twelve hundred horse; against roughly one-and-a-half thousand battered Thuraz, no more than three hundred of whom were archers.

     King Kral entered the field from the north, organizing his forces into five divisions of roughly three hundred troops each with his archers to his right rear to act as a flank guard against First Brother Skarlsmannís forces.

     Captain-General Messer and Ksog Dreadhand followed closely behind the Thuraz, pressing them from the north, with eight companies, arrayed from west to east as follows: the Honourable Company of the Phoenix (Red Birds), The Third Wierich Company of Foot (Glorious Third), the Grand Talbehr Company (Howling Wolves), Malkapfís Hallebardiers (Black Suns), the Great Endier Route Company (Ironborn), the Loyal Company of Armbrustiers (Yellows), and Dreadhandís light goblin foot with his goblin archers to their rear.

     General Skarlsmann, First of the Sworn Brothers, whose troops had been flanking the fleeing Thuraz to the south for the duration of their retreat, took up positions along the southwest edge of the field with five companies, arrayed from north to south in the following order: Frodiís Foxes, the Roodsmen, the Free Helskaarsmen (Black and Tans), the Shield Wives, and positioned slightly forward in the open, Sigurdís Snakes.

     Grand Master Donalls, unbeknownst to the enemy was positioned to the east with eight companies; Bjornís Bruins along the edge of the forest, and the cavalry arrayed across the field in the following order, north to south: two companies of the Lions of the North, the First and Second Lancers and the Dragoons of the Valiant Knights of Justice, the Nodarch Free Rangers (Twins), and the Klessberg Free Riders (Black Horse) along the river.

     The battle opened with the Thuraz making a dash for the river, breaking out into the field. Captain-General Messerís troops, slowed by the trees could not keep up and so fell behind, but brave Dreadhand rushed his light forces forward, hoping to take the enemy in the flank, while First Brother Skarlsmann and Grand Master Donalls advanced their divisions towards the enemy.

     The leftmost Thuraz brigade turned and engaged Dreadhandís company while the rest continued to run south. Angered by the betrayal at the Merovade Cut, they attacked Dreadhandís light goblins with such ferocity that they were overwhelmed and driven back into their supporting archers.

     At about this time, the Captain-Generalís troops finally won clear of the trees and advanced on the main body of Thuraz troops.  On the western flank, the Black and Tans and the Roodsmen attacked the Thuraz archers, supported by heavy fire from the Red Birds and the Foxes, while in the east; the Grand Masterís horse struck them from the side and rear. The Lions of the North and First Lancers striking one brigade, while the Second Lancers and Dragoons struck the other, supported by fire from the Twins and Black Horse.

     The remains of Dreadhandís companies held briefly before breaking and fleeing the field, but not before the Ironborn struck the Thuraz brigade in the rear, closely supported by close flanking fire from the Yellows and fire from the Bruins as well, which overwhelmed the defenders. To the south, the main body continued to drive towards the river, forcing the lightly armed archers to pull back, but to their rear, the enemy archers and trailing brigade were annihilated.

     The Thuraz reached the river, but before they could cross they were subjected to massed concentrated missile fire from four companies which kept them pinned until Grand Master Donallsí horse could charge home and ride them down. King Two-Toes and his bodyguard managed to get across the river and make good their escape with very few of his troops, who scattered and ran for the border, hunted the whole way.

     The Merovade campaign marked the end of Thuraz resistance in the Ruideside, with their forces decisively defeated and scattered and their self-proclaimed king disgraced and in hiding. Captain-General Messerís brilliant handling of this campaign firmly established him as the leading commander of the Federated Free Companies and was a major factor in his elevation to the post of Lord-Commander at the Blood Council that followed it.

     Written by my own hand on this the twenty-first day of Roelir in the one thousand five hundred and twenty third year since the divine ascension of the Great Lord Haelyn, may he look kindly upon us.[/i]


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