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Lizards and Lances PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Alain De Montgallion   
Friday, 02 June 2006
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Lizards and Lances
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being a report of the recent engagement between Bretonnian forces  and Lizardmen. Please take this as fulfillment of the oath sworn to this noble gathering to report back to the table the result of this encounter. Be it known that Alain de Montgallion extends his most sincere gratitude to all the worthy knights whose advice and guidance contributed in no small part to the eventual  outcome. I thank you all:

Armand de Sainte Croix opened his visor and squinted. His eyes stung from the beads of sweat that trickled into them. By the lady, how he hated this place. He took a deep breath and sighed. The air was heavy. That was the only way to describe it. It was thick with smells, with sounds and with humidity. The heat was oppressive with not even a gentle breeze to give some relief. Shrill squawkings, chitterings and a cacophony of insect sounds emanated from the dense undergrowth ahead. This was no place to be wearing full plate armour he thought. Effrenus, his trusty steed snorted and pawed the ground restlessly.

He liked it no better than Armand.  The heavy barding must weigh heavily in such an oppressive climate. This was no place to be fighting a battle. If he could have chosen a location to give combat, he most certainly would not have picked this place. But then a general rarely had the luxury of choosing his battlefield. Still here he was. The Lady had summoned him, he had come. He frowned. A growing sense of unease had been gradually creeping over him since he had arrived and begun to deploy his men. Something was wrong. He scanned the terrain again. On his left flank a shallow stream babbled as it meandered from the dense and gloomy forest ahead, the sunlight dancing on its surface like a million diamonds. Reeds and grasses grew thickly on its banks whilst on the far side a small knoll rose above the swampy ground. It was tempting to place his archers on this knoll. They would command the flank and would have a defensible position with the stream in front of them to slow any would be attackers. However this was deceptive he knew. He could not support them as the river and swamps would restrict the manoeuvrability of his knights, and Lizardmen had an affinity for water. No he had decided to place them on the other low hill in the centre of the clearing with the abandoned village on his right and ahead of him. He had placed his detachment of Men at Arms at the base of the hill on the left of the archers to provide flank protection for them, and just in front of those peasants was a lance of Knights of the Realm. He gave a small grim smile as he observed that they seemed as uncomfortable in this sticky heat as he was. Then he frowned again. What was it? He was missing something. He scanned the area once again. He knew he had loaded the left flank. The hill commanded the clearing and it was right to place his solid mass of archers on this crest to give them clear fields of fire on all sides. With the superior range of their longbows they could place a hail of arrows on virtually any area of the clearing. The 20 strong unit of peasant spearmen would provide defence for their flank.

 

What of the right flank? He had only one lance of knights to defend this flank, but what a lance. Grail knights! They too had heard and obeyed the call of the Lady. Like him they had come, to fight, and if need be, to die in Her service and for Her honour. They stood by their steeds, silent and grim. The battle standard held proudly aloft fluttered in the still, cloying air. No breeze stroked its fine embroidered surface and yet it flapped and fluttered with a life of its own, filled as it was with the mystical power and virtue of the Lady herself. Yes, the right flank was secure. And yet a nagging doubt lingered at the back of his mind. He had a bad feeling about this day and he had learned never to ignore his instincts. But what else could he do? He had deployed his force as well as he may, making best use of the terrain around him. He sighed again, so be it he thought.

Armand knelt down on one knee beside Effrenus and lowered his head in prayer. His companions of the Grail, following his lead, did likewise, followed thereafter by the Knights of the Realm and the peasants.

 


Last Updated ( Monday, 05 June 2006 )
 
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