Wednesday, 30 January 2013

First Blood

As Cadwallen sought to peer through the sea mist, the sound of church bells echoed over his shoulder. He looked at Yvor, ‘Have I missed a saint’s day?’. In truth, he didn’t expect a reply from his gruff champion. The son of a women from Kernow, Yvor’s version of Christianity was as close to pagan as their wild Saxon foes. Their collection of local saints Cadwallon could barely pronounce, never mind remember. No, this meant trouble, and his gut told him the Saxons were at the heart of it.

The heathen had landed further up the coast and marched swiftly inland, as the parish priest was heading outside to tend to his pigs, he caught sight of the glint of armour as heathens crossed the hill south of the village. He quickly called for his flock to head for the woods and tuned to hide the few items of worth his church held.

Within minutes the Saxons were swarming through the village, like bloated flies feasting on an open sore. There was little point searching the muddy hovels of the villagers, the Saxon Warlord was not here for pigs or slaves. So he led two groups of his warriors into the church. Here at least there was gold to be had, but the priest had clearly had time to hide it well.

Cadwallen had deployed his forces well. Although caught off-guard, troops were well-placed to cover various eventualities. As his Centurion father had drummed into him, ‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail’. Morcant was quartered in the next village with a band of trained warriors and Iago with Cadwallen’s household troops and another band of warriors only a short march away. The British lord put his trust in his subordinates to hold the heathen at bay whilst he gathered more men. The Saxons wretches would pay dearly for their blasphemy.

Morcant quickly drove some Saxon bowmen hovering on the outskirts of the village back and formed his men to cover the arrival of Iago and his troops. Seeing the British appear on his western flank, the Saxon warlord dispatched his Hearthguard under a warrior dressed in fur-lined robes to confront them. As the Saxon jogged forwards a hulking, black clad warrior emerged from their midst. Not so good, thought Morcant. Thankfully Iago and his men had arrived to bolster his line. Now we shall see the mettle of these men.

As the heathen screamed obscenities in their guttural tongue, the British line stoically formed line. ‘Look at me’, spoke Iago, ‘This is the land of our fathers, they have bled for it and so shall we. Do not step back, do not look to your fellows, but kill the pagan scum that infest our land. They shall not pass’.

Led by their mighty champion, the Saxon wedge struck the British line like an enraged bull. Shields were shattered and spears sundered in the first shocking exchange. The British held. Again came the Saxons, their champion standing tall and swinging his great sword against the enemy line. The British held. Gradually, their superior numbers allowed them to slip men around the ends of the Hearthguard’s line. As the battle hung in the balance, Cadwallon emerged from the dark forest surrounded by those villagers collected on his march north. Rallying Iago’s battered companions, Cadwallon sent a group left to bypass the battle and threaten the Saxon party sacking the church. Meanwhile he led the other into the fray. Overwhelmed, the heathen line collapsed and fled.

However, even as the night-clad champion fell to a Morcant's blade, shouts of joy were heard from the church. The Saxon Lord had found what he had come for and quickly led the remains of his force from the field. Victory, but at a cost. The British harried the retreating raiders back to their boats and it would take some months for both sides to recover. As he looked at the loot, the Saxon Warlord signed, barely enough to cover his expenses. They would have to come again and this time he would not underestimate the might of the British warriors.


  1. Greate AAR, very well writen story !

    Sorry for the loss, but nex time you throw them back in to the sea...

    Best regards Michael

  2. Great looking game - I have Dux Britanniarum but am yet to play a game.