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Friday, 20 January 2006
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From the Forge to the Anvil
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Jacques cleared his throat and they ate a marvelous hot meal and slept. They awoke with the dawn and dressed for battle. They rode out with Jacques acting as scout. Upon attaining the rise before the six farms, he hailed the Questors and they rode down to a near empty camp, populated by six females.

The women greeted the knights with fear in their eyes but after the usual pleasantries softened a bit. “Watch your backs” cautioned de Rochfort.

Within an hour they found what they were searching for, an armory, a treasure house and that the buildings were fortified. Questioning the females gained nothing, except that four of the six, made lewd suggestions and movements to their inquisitors.

The women found themselves in chains and put in a reinforced building.

As they screamed profanities at the Questors, de Rochfort found the trail and within a few moments all six were riding to the Seven farm settlement. “All farms are within a days ride of each other and I think we ride together striking at each enemy as we meet them.”

That he was speaking militarily did not alarm the five Questors. By the afternoon a dark finger of smoke rose from the ground ahead. Automatically the six formed into a Lance and as they come out of the drift, they saw the fight and heard the sounds of conflict.

They struck the mounted warriors with such a force that knocked them down like duckpins. Whirling about they advanced on one cluster of spearmen and rode them down. The villagers responded with a will to win the battle. Men with wounds were striking out with cudgels, women were throwing rocks and sticks and children were resisting these hooligans by biting and screaming and kicking.

In less than two hours six of the mounted warriors were tied up and 5 of the spearmen still breathed. The rest were dead. Six villagers were wounded or sick. Two young men of the village volunteered to go to the remaining villages.

By nightfall all was goodl and the Questors ate well and slept well and in the morning the riders returned with others. The others were the leaders of each farm and they met under a makeshift awning. No one acknowledged the presence of the fortress farm. Quickly, Jacques de Rochfort identified himself and what must be done. All farms existing to be abandoned and all farm peasants to journey to the Fortressed Farm. The leaders left to make it so.

He sequestered a large cart and put the prisoners in it and told the driver to make haste to the Fortressed Farm. The Questors stayed long enough to tend to the wounded and organize the exodus. They quieted folk who were apprehensive, saying the large farm offered more protection.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 22 January 2006 )
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