(1874-11-30) Battle of Duval
Battle of Duval
Summary: The Parthian push on the Tarris fortress of Duval
Date: 30/11/18 (backdated from 14 Dec)
Related: Concurrent with the Battle of Alnburgh
NPCs: Princess Areesha (the Blood Rose), Jeremy of Reine (played by Ivo)
Players:
Beowulf  Bethany  Brennart  Scarlett  Thomas  

Fortress Duval
The outer walls can be seen from several leagues away, a towering testimony to how well defended the city and Fortress Duval truly are. It becomes all the more obvious as one comes closer, the structure all the more impressive. From battlements to arrow slots to the gate itself, it is easy to tell that it would be no small undertaking to penetrate them.
30 Novembre 1874 IE

Drums begin to sound in the distance, and so do trumpets and horns. It's clear that the Partharian troops are on the move, and it becomes very clear where they are headed: Fortress Duval. For the last few weeks, slaves and some client Kingdom troops have skirmished with the defenders of Duval, occassionally trying to make the wall, but they've been beaten back each time by the Fortress's defenders.

However, those were slaves, and what is coming for the Fortress looks to be a combination of Slaves and professional soldiers from the Empire.

A huge square of slaves wielding javelins are in the front. Behind them blocks, neat and organized of Heavy Spear and lines of Crossbowmen. The Spear are accompanied by Rams carried by slaves, and three siege towers. The blacks of slaves have grapnels and ladders. On one wing, a large block of Desert Lancers and Cataphract march in step to a drummer boy. In fornt of these mounted troops, and on each wing are blocks of Horse Archers. As these troops come toward the Fortress, the Client Kingdom forces cheer loudly.

Just outside the range of the Fortress guns, the army stops, makes sure it's lines are ready. Then. There are three large trumpet blasts, and the army begins to advance. From behind the lines Carrobalistas are wheeled into place. The slaves roar and charge right for the walls, while the siege towers and rams rumble toward them, and the spear march in neat orderly lines. The Crossbows move to get into position to rain bolts.

Captain Scarlett Chandus Stands on the wall looking at the Scene. "Found their balls have they?" She says as she turns to her Second. "Call the Throwers when those wretches are in range.. and get the oil ready." She says as she turns back to the wall, slipping her hands into her metal cestias, sending her left fist into her right palm with a loud ring. "HIGHLANDERS, NO QUARTER, NO ONE SURVIVES A TRIP OVER THIS WALL!" She says in an authroitative voice.

Bethany is on the fortress wall, ready to lead her men. Pitch has been kept on to boil since the invasion started, the ducal heir wanting to make sure they're always ready, and it looks like it's a good thing she has ordered her men to keep the hot, sticky mass on. When the trumpet blows she yells out, "Alright, men! Get ready. Archers…" Hopefully the archers are as ready as the huge couldrons of pitch are, "nock and aim but do not fire yet!"

For weeks, the forces of the East have been raiding and ambushing the Parthians, cutting supply lines and killing under the enemy's nose, while their comrades blocked the Parthian advance to the north. They were based out of the foothills to the east of Duval, hidden in the woods and swamp of the area; impenetrable to outsiders, brilliant to operate from. With the indications coming in that the Parthians would move Tarris's great fortress, the Easterners have finally come together to march to their relief.

They aren't a magnificent force - their commanders have been reticent to strip the Tarris Duchy of defenders, and so this is a rather small army. A reinforced company group of Chandus troops, mixed spears, archers and swords, the Aspendon Light Regiment (the Blackguards), a Tarris Battleline Regiment and some Royal Dragoon scouts. The Royal Regiment of the Burnished Spur waits in the east, securing their line of departure and acting as a rear guard, but not participating in battle. In all, near 500 soldiers - will they be enough?

Brigadier Viscount Thomas Chandus, the commander of much of the Eastern forces, marches with them, surrounded by a picked platoon of Sun Shield Guardsmen who act as his personal forces. As the relief force marches, or in the case of its horsemen rides forward, the Viscount casts an appraising eye on the southron forces assaulting Duval. He's clad in lamellar brigandine armour, as are most of the melee troops, eschewing their old lorrica cuirasses, it seems. The spears march in the first rank in blocks, with small avenues between each unit. In the second rank are skirmishers, rangers, peltasts, and musketeers, followed by a block of halberdiers and Tarris axe infantry. Finally, the archers, and the reserve surrounding Thomas. The lancers screen flanks, while Aspedon's cavalry gunner scouts ride ahead of the main line, awaiting contact.

Beowulf is a raider. A Jarl Raider. OF COURSE he's riding with Thomas! He rides on his large warhorse, Grendel, and he is in his full armor. His curved blade sheathed at his side, with his 50 Vigamandr (10 berserkers, 20 swordsmen, 20 spearmen in that group) included. He rides near Thomas, looking over to him and speaking with his strong accent.

"Let's just hope we didn't miss too much of the party, eh? We need to give 'em a good beatin' at some point, or I fear that black tide will wipe us all out." he chuckles softly.

After all, this group, has been wreaking havoc on multiple fronts. "So, what do you think the chefs will cook us up for dinner when we get back?" Beowulf…a mad bastard as always, speaks casually to Thomas.

Brennart has made his way up to the walls as well the visor of his helmet lifted for the moment shield held in one hand and sword still sheathed as he walks the wall glancing over at the enemies before he approaches Bethany, "Well it's about time this got out of the way. Wonder if they're ready to die by the dozens?"

Swamps might be useful places to harry people from, but they're miserable places to live for weeks on end. However, any grumbling about how the officers got the dryest ground is hushed on the march towards Duval starts, and the Chandus troops set their mind to the grim task ahead. At the front, with all his fellow spearmen, Jeremy of Reine marches with determination on his features. His company have the honour of the front line, and he does not intend to bring them shame.

The trace of a smirk lights Thomas's features. He and his Guards are mounted on ponies, though Thomas himself is on a light charger. There's no intent to fight on the beasts, but rather a handful of grooms to hand them off to alongside. "Warm stew, I hope. Warm stew. Jarl, I see your forces as the second line. The spears will pin the enemy. We have the avenues open for the skirmishers to retreat in, and then we close them with swords. You will be able to react to any enemy penetration, or reach out and flank them. I like the latter, would you agree?"

Glancing at her husband, Bethany can't help but to flash Brenn a toothy, somewhat evil smile. "I just hope the winds blow away from the fortress. I've planned for a huge dinner after this to celebrate our inevitable victory and I would hate for the stench of burnt flesh to ruin our appetites." Joke made, she grows somber. "Slaves. Why do they use slaves? Are they so cowardly that they'd let the innocent do the dying for them?"

As the Eastern Relief Force comes on the scnee a woman smiles. She had expected this, the only thing she didn't know was if it was the The Betrayer or the Firebrand leading these troops. Either way teh Blood Rose licks her lips in anticipation. Eitherway, it would be a blow to the Easterners of Galenthia if they lost either one. She nods once and draws her twin Sidhe Steel Swords. She points one towards the incoming forces. "Cavalry. Ride them down."

The huge block of mounted troops suddenly wheel as the Horse Archers whoop and hollar, spurring their mounts forward at full gallop to get in close and rake the Tarris Lines with waves of barbed arrows. Like a rolling wall the ride at the Tarris lines, their horses churning up mud as they go and sending sprays in their wake. Once the close in range they peel left and right firing their arrows. A Sergeant in the front rank of the Tarris troops calls: "SHIELDS!" jsut before they come crashing down among them.

The Desert Lancers and Heavier Cataphract are formimg up, even as the Horse Archers circle to come back in.

At the walls of Duval the slaves are closing. However even before they reach the walls the Crossbows get into position and fire by ranks at the defenders. Sending waves of bolts at them. The Defenders begin to fire back. Sending their own projectiles at the Partharians. However even as the Siege Towers and rams rumble forward, squelching as their heavy frams move thorugh the mud, the Carrobalistas open fire. They arc in the air, whisltling as they cross the apex of their flight to begin their descent on the walls.

When they impact it's like a wave of thunder. The walls shake and fire washes along them at various intervals.

All the while the slaves are nearly there ….

"Do you expect anything better than them to scrape the bottom of the morale barrel milady?" Scarlett says as she was walking along her line, they are ready… she hopes. "I'm shocked they havent turned into ice… been a cold winter." She says, though, she has furs in her quarters. "If I fall, tell my cousin I died taking as many of them with me as I could."

When the carrobalistas hit Bethany is almost knocked off of her feet from the impact, it only being at the last second that she's managed to brace herself for it. "Damn…" Gritting her teeth, she shouts out, "Archers, FIRE!" The archers do as instructed, firing volley after volley, each arrow almost certain to find a target to hit. "If they get any closer we'll use the pitch," she yells, letting Brennart and anyone else near by know of her plans.

This wasn't their first time facing the Parthians in open battle, but it was evident that the relief force was hopelessly outnumbered. Manoeuvre was irrelevant in the face of this many. The front rank commanders and his platoon commanders relay orders to halt, dress ranks and form a schiltron, the traditional Galenthian spear wall. The first rank kneels and braces, the second rank covers, but it's apparent that the Parthians have also seen this before, and their arrows begin to pour into the front rank.

Thomas squints, gripping the reins of his light charger, lips pressed firmly down. He turns to his standard bearer, Serjeant Verus and bugler, Lance Corporal Serus, and says, "Signal Skirmishers, hold until in range." He glanced between his archers and the galavanting horsemen. "Our archers will be able to reach them. Archers, loose at will. Muskets, loose at will." He turns to Beowulf. "Hold for now. Wait until they engage. Then you go in. They want you to chase them. We outrange them if we stay put."

The signal flag dips and drops in an obscure dance that, in earnest, only those versed might understand. The bugle blows loud and clear, repeated in the next rank.

The crashing of Ballista causes Scarlett to Stagger into a random Highlander before she rights herself and pushes them to the wall. "COUNTER NOW!" She says as she grabs a shield lying around and holds it above her head, the *THUNK* of those enemy projectiles cause her to grumble. "GET THE PITCH READY FOR WHEN THEY GET TO THE WALL!" She says as she picks up a rock and simply hurls it over the wall, more in anger than anything.

Arrows fly by Beowulf's head, missing him completely. "Hah! you hear that lads?! sounds like they want a fight!" The Njorvolk soldiers actually start….laughing?! "RAISE YOUR SHIELDS AND SHOW 'EM HOW HARD YER SKIN IS!" Beowulf lifts his shield, blocking missile fire, but more than a few of his soldiers get slaughtered by those horsemen archers.

"Cowards…" Beowulf says as the enemy has resorted to ranged attack instead of melee, where the Njorvolk are much better trained. Looking to Thomas at his advice, Beowulf nods. "I know. Let us take thel ead if we charge forward. This is our specialty." he winks at Thomas before he looks forward.

Things hold for now….stay steady, lads.

"Mounted archers, splendid," the man behind Jeremy mutters, but the sergeants keep the ranks in order as they dress right to take position. Dropping to his knee and bracing the spear he carries Jeremy himself takes a deep breath and offers up a silent prayer to whatever God or Gods may be listening. He's not that picky at times like this. Then men around him start to fall and bloody starts to seep into the mud. Someone to his left throws up, one of the new recruits, a first timer, but they hold their position, waiting for those behind to provide them with covering fire.

Brennart starts to point the archer's he's with to engage the enemy and the crap was that? "Did I just get hit by a fly?" He glances down at his arm and shakes his head, "Damn crossbows." The carroballistas shaking him a bit as well but he shakes his head watching the archers, "That's a splendid idea mounted archers." As the fighting gets closer the knight lowers his visor and continues to walk the line not being nearly talented enough with archery to bother trying to shoot back but waits for the opportunity to fell some enemies with his sword.

"Mounted archers… they're just begging to have their horses cut out from under them." Bethany snorts. "Damn shame. Waste of what I can only assume are perfectly fine equine." Spoken like a true Tarris. "Let's not go out and start trying to train our men to shoot from horseback, please. I prefer them to be behind the relative safety of walls."

Her troops are steeling their resolve and properly fighting back, good, Scarlett figured the rough part was the initial ballista barrage, though, she has a feeling in her gut that this is the easy part. "Keep firing!" She shouts as she scans the field for someone of importance. "Travis… if you are any good with that musket you are so fond of… I might need you to take a miracle shot." She says to her squire as the Lad hasn't left her side since they arrived at Duval, and hasn't shown fear in front of the troops… which is good.

The Horse archers peel in again, ad then peel off in the same manner, firing as they do, but this time they don't circle around to come in for another pass. No. This time they split into two wings and ride past the sides of the Galenthian Lines, letting loose with arrows as they go. From the front though comes the real threat. The drums stop, and then the ground begins to shake as the Desert Lancers start to roll in. They lower those long spears of theirs, as they close, ready to slam into the Galenthains. The Cataphract begin to form up, their pennants fluttering in the wind.

At the walls things are holding. For the moment. The slaves reach them and begin to slam ladders into place, even while others throw grapnels to scale the wall by rope. The Crossbows continue to rake fire along the tops of the walls, trying to force the enemy to keep their heads down.

The Carrobalistas continue to fire. However now they fire at the gates of the Fortress. Incendiary bolts impact and explode Partharian Fire upon the gates themselves. More frightening however are the bolts sent OVER the walls. These, also with incendiary begin to slam into the courtyard and the supporting buildings to the fortress.

The Blood Rose nods as she watches her forces advance. The enemy is fighting how she predicted and she is ready to react. She scans the relief force as the Desert Lancers ride in. "Ah. The Firebrand." She nods once. "Shame. I'd have liked to avenge my broher. Oh well. I'll just kill the fucker's daughter instead." She nods and then holds her left sword high. It begins to get very cold around that sword, and she closes her eyes.

The Parthian arrows eventually reach out, skewering a pony a few ranks down from Thomas and nearly causing panic to break out in the horse's ranks before the beast is swiftly cut down by one of the Guardsman's comrades. The man is shaken when he gets off the horse, though helped by his mates, his face is chalk white. Thomas growls, "Guards, dismount. Grooms to take the horses away." And so he does, nearly missing the carnage as the bows and, importantly, muskets, hold until 'they can see the whites'. Well, not quite, but it's still impressive when the arrows arc overhead of the spears and fall into the ranks of the horse archers, and the musketeers blast a pair of volleys into the Parthian horse's ranks. Meanwhile, the Guards around Thomas move inwards and kneel behind their shields, or else raise them to ward off any further arrows. "Sound the 'schiltron' again. They need to know that they aren't been left in the lurch. They'll come on in a charge once they get thinned out." He looks over to the Royal Dragoons, the new group lancer scouts that's accompanied them. "Recall the Dragoons and keep them in depth. They'll counter-charge the enemy horse once they're committed."

Thomas nods, pointing at the desert lancers. "There, see, Jarl? They're coming. The desert lancers first and then the cataphracts. Get the second rank ready to react, and the skirmishers to do their business." More flapping of standards and blowing of bugles. More confirmation from the line in contact. "Guard! Ready your wasps!" Thomas doesn't have one of the nasty barbed darts they call 'wasps' himself, but the rest of them do. Five each, nasty things.

As the horse archers loop around the Relief Force's formation, parts of the second rank, and, especially the Highlanders and Rangers, begin to turn to shoot at them as they pass. The archers in the third rank track their targets, continuing to shoot, and the shock infantry readies to react.

"Cut the grappels, bash the ladders, BRING THE OIL!" Scarlett says as she turns in shock. "The gates… crap crap crap… I NEED A PHALANX READY TO DEFEND THE GATE!" She shouts as she orders two of those boiling cauldrons to the gate house. She hates it when she is right.

There are cheers from the spearmen as arrows start arching over them from behind, but they only last as long as it takes for another volley from the mounted men infront of them. Seeing the Parthians start to fall another cheer starts up, only to fall silent at the sight of the Lancers they're now facing. The archers aren't done yet though it seems, for as they ride past the edge of his block of spears, both Jeremy and the man behind him are hit by the same arrow. A scratch across the cheek for him, he's lucky, the other man less so, as it takes him in the cut and he collapses in agony. There's not time to think on it though as the lancers charge and everything becomes a blur. The ground is churned up and slippy as blood and guts continue to mix with the mud, but the sergeants' yells keep the spears in position and the line isn't broken by the charge.

The Chandus Leatherback Longbows, Tarris Archers and de Ufford Muskets rake the ranks of horse archers riding around the Relief Force, causing significant casualties. Thomas, meanwhile, nods at Beowulf as he charges off and sets the halberdiers to charge forward and assist the spears in cutting down the light desert lancers.

"Hold…hold.." Beowulf looks to his soldiers, his lightsilver blade almost radiating with the light in his hand, before he loks to Thomas. "heh…I can see that. Must be the death written on their faces." he winks at Thomas as his men hold the line….and now, once they were close enough, it was time to destroy them.

He stands up straight and tall, along with his men and the line is like iron against the Lancers. arrows also missing their marks to his men as they fearlessly rise. and with Beowulf leading the charge, he screams in Njorvolk. "TO GLORY!!" and he charges forward, shield in hand, sword in the other, his fur cloak flowing glroiusly from his shoulders as his charge inspires his men to do the same, and suddenly, it's a slaughter…compliments of the Njor! They start cutting throug henemy lines like wheat in a field. Seems Beowulf prefers to lead by example as he slices through multiple men like it was easy! soon enough, his blade is covered in the blood of his foes as he decapitates an enemy…slices through the stomach of another, stabs anotehr through the skull…and it seems as though these Njorvolk are the experienced raiders, who have dreamt and trained for such combat since they were children.

Brennart blinks a bit as the Parthians climb over the wall and grins a bit as he draws out his sword and seats his shield properly moving up to start stabbing and bashing as they begin to climb up the walls, "What in the One's name are they dressed for a blizzard for?"

Bethany yells, "Put the fires out and pour the pitch!" The command has some of what can be spared of her men hurrying to do as ordered by their liege-to-be, but several fall to crossbow fire, taking their numbers down by a small handful. The commander of the fortress swears under her breath as she pulls out Vendetta, on loan from her father, and she readies herself for battle with anyone who might succeed in getting over the wall. Brenn, for now, is ignored.

"ANIMAS TEMPESTAS!"

The cry from the Blood Rose can be heard all the way to the walls of Duval, as well as to those fighting the cavalry at the Relief Force. There is an audible CRACK, and pressure appears to be drawn in to one source, before it reverbrates and that pressure, a very real wind pushes back outward. Pennets and flags everywhere snap in the sudden breeze. A very sudden and very COLD breeze. Mud cracks as it is flash frozen, and snow begins to fall as a cold, and freezing fog boils outward from the Blood Rose.

That cold fog hit sthe heated wood of the fortress, heated by the Parhtarian Fire and CRACKS from the sudden temperature change. They don't collapse, but they crack and weaken noticably and can be seen by the eyes.

The Parhtarians all knelts at the cry. Simply stopped advancing and knelt. The only ones who didn't were the ones fighting up near Brennart. They had the choice of kneeling and dying, or being hit by that wind and quite possibly being okay. One man charging Brennart stumbles when the wind hits him and he falls into the fortress to the ground below with bone crushing force.

The Parthians Desert Lancers continue to fight as well. The wind affecting them elss thanks to the weight of their horses. But they rear, and flail, as well as stab with their spears or hand weapons. Battle lines are drawn and fully entrenched.

The Cataphract, once the fog rolls in, and settles on the battlefield begin to trot forward, spreading out in a bristling and deadly wall.

Near Scarlet, out of th cold fog a siege tower lumbers. It's bridge beginning to descend.

Near Bethany, a grapnel is tossed and hits the crenelation near her. And somewhere, along the fortress a bone arring THUD-BOOM is heard.

The pitch gets poured over the edge, covering some of the slaves in the scalding hot tar-like substance. She can't tell how many are left covered to suffer in burns, and potentially die, but judging by the screams she can guess that a lot were covered to it. "Get that grappling hook down," she yells to a group of men close by.

There is no question that the crack and cold wave affect the relief force, causing more than one to pause in fear; but to the veterans, particularly those who fought at Mathis, sorcery is nothing new. It's good, though, that these troops have almost all fought in the wintery conditions to the east, and are warmed by their exertions. "Galenthians! We've fought worse, in Teleko! Strike hard and hold firm!" The Viscount flexes his hand eagerly on his pommel before drawing the sword, the beautiful rosegold that a now dead Kentairish Praetor once surrendered to him.

In the centre of the line, the Tarris halberdiers have charged forward and surge into the lines of desert lancers, beginning to cut into their ranks. They swing for the horses' unarmoured legs and torsos, their second rank jabbing over their comrades at the riders in front of them. It's beginning to tell, and the spears to their flanks are still holding, despite the losses.

'I wonder what that means,' thinks Jeremy, as the cry from the enemy's leader reaches his line, but there's no time to get too distracted as the Lances continue their assault. The spears are well braced though, and have re-dressed to account for their casualties. He's not prepared for a sudden onset of winter winds though, and half the block of men shudder with the sudden icy cold. The front rnak is already kneeling though, and now they have the advantage not slowl sinking into the ground anymore. As the lancer infront of him opens himself up as they have to fight to control their horse he takes the opportunity to ram his spear up and into their chest, leaving one less foe to deal with.

"Magic… why does it have to be magic." Scarlett says as one of her troops calls out to her, and she turns to see the seige tower. "Aim artillery at that tower." She says as she cracks her neck, if they can;t destroy it, she might have to do somthing stupid… and heroic… but mostly stupid.

Brennart smacks his broadsword against his shield a few times as he advances upon the ones upon the wall in front of him. Then the shout and most of the enemy kneel down except the ones in front of him. And one goes flying and at that distraction the knight who seems to be a bit of hefty guy stabs one of his enemies then sweeping his sword into another before he shield pushes a third off the wall. "Wow it got chilly fast I'll have to keep moving to keep warm."

Beowulf forces feel the cold taht the Blood Rose had decided to give them. For the BRIEFEST moment, Beowulf considered unleashing his own secret for the Blood Rose…but that would both damn him and possibly not even work. Is it worth the risk?

Not yet.

"STAND FIRM! SHOW ME YOU ARE ALL TRUE NJORVOLK!" Beowulf shotus a battlecry in the hard Njor language, causing a battlecry to erupt. He personally slays three lancers himself.

One he kills by slicing the horse from underneath the rider, causing the rider to shatter his neck on impact with the ground. He kills another by slicing the rider in half as he passed Beowulf, and the last? Well, the last gets a sword chucked at his thraot, finding it's mark, Beowulf runs and pulls the blade out, ready to fight once again. he shouts ferally, like a beast enjoying the death of it's prey. "COME ON YE BASTARDS! IS THAT ALL YE GOT?!"

The Fog continues to grow and swirls around and up the walls of Duval like a living claw gripping the Fortress in it's cold clutches. Torches whip and banners frost over. Near Scarlet Partharian Spear pour out of the Siege tower and charge her line screaming Partharian battle cries. he time for command in her section is over. Now it's just brutal combat, as a man rushes at her, spear leveled screaming at the top of his lungs.

Near Brennart, out of that swirling fog another siege tower. It's door begins to lower. Men around him fight.

Everyone at the Fortress hears a second THUD-BOOM.

Bethany's men cut the rope of the grapnels, but a javalin slams the chest of a knight near her and he falls off the fortress to dissapear into the sswirling mists wiht a scream.

The Cataphract charge with a drop of a falchion. Their hooves thunder in, and mixed with the Desert Lancers swirling in and around the front ranks of the Glanethians, the Cataphracts coming out of the mists is nough that orders are no longer heard. It's merely chaos as they swirl and fight. A cataphract, on his enormous horse leaps a line ad thunders toward Thomas.

At Beowulf, the Njorvolf rage and fight. Drawing blood and wrecking chaos as north and south cross blades for what might be only the third or fourth time in a century. Cataphracts replace the Lancers, and they bear down in a thuder of hooves and steel….

There's no way to tell what hit her thanks to the obscuring mist, but something manages to hit Bethany despite her wearing plate. With a pained grunt she falls back, swinging her sword. Can't tell if she hit anyone or not, though.

Grumbling as she stands up from being blindsided. "FIGHT ON!" She says as she rolls her shoulders despite the blood running down her armor and get's ready to fight for her life, everyone for themselves, and she is glad she forced her soldiers to learn single combat.

The time for command is that which Thomas thrives on, but of course, magic should be what impedes him. As the fog rolls in and he loses sight, he scowls. "Magic! Sorcerors! God take them all!" He turns to his standard bearer and bugler, both. "Clasp that standard with your life, but draw your sword. Guard! Wasps ready! Bugler, call the advance for the second line. Even if they-" Thomas is cut off as, without warning, cataphracts ride into their line.

Some of those in the rear rank are able to get their wasps off, but against the armour of the cataphracts, they cause little damage. A falchion falls and smashes into Thomas's pauldron, its sharp blade slipping downward and drawing blood on his arm. It isn't a bad wound, but a wound never the less. And they're all engaged, Serjeant Verus and Lance Corporal Serus and the others in a fight with Parthian elites. Thomas leans back onto the man behind him for support, raising his shield upwards to ward off any more blows. He swings his sword at the armoured horse in front of him, hoping to ward it back and take it down.

Brennart frowns as the fog makes it impossible to see anything but he pushes up to that tower trying to keep the flow of enemies from overwhelming the wall. Getting pretty beat up in the process but hopefully doing something right.

Fog. This is the crucible in which great warriors are forged.

"Stand ready! Thomas!" he doesn't even bother with formality. "Keep order in your lines!" then suddenly, they are getting slammed by cataphracts. His sword slices the head off the shoulders of a single enemy, before he enters into a sword-lock with two more. Battle for their lives.

"NO MERCY! NO QUARTER!"

The euphoria of his kill doesn't last long for Jeremy as the freezing fog settles over the spearmen around him. By now the talk of sorcery is too much for even the sergeants to contain and there's some of the men who'd break and run if only they knew which way to go. The fog is all consuming though, and disquiet starts to settle in the block of men. It's not panic, but it's heading in that direction. There's a few shouts to God and the Saints for aid, but no aid comes against the unnatural weather. Those on their feet start to slip, bumping into those in front of them in the front rank, knocking them out of position. Order is starting to fail when he spots another lancer ahead of him and tries to repeat the same trick again, only this time the Parthian sees it coming and stabs first, ripping a hole through his leathers and gouging a chunk of flesh out of his ribs. He fails back, crying out in agony, but is dragged back into the line by one of his comrades so at least he's not trampled by the horses hooves.

Chaos.

In the fog all one can hear or understand is that this has progressed form a battle to a straight up brawll. One can't see the battlelines in this sudden fog. It's just soldiers fighting for their lives in pockets of battlelines. The sound of combat echoes all along the fields. To make matters worse, it starts to snow. Heavily. A blizzard appearing to simply have rolled in. Snow swirls in the fog, even as the wind picks up it's tempo. The wind howls, snapping pennets and cloaks and flags and standards. Somewhere in the swirling fog and snow men and women scream.

Though Brennart is hlding his own he finds a man standing in front of him wearing all black. In heach hand are two long swords made of some sort of red metal, and the armor is lines in lightsilver. The man doesn't speak he merely walks toward Brennart and begins to attack in a flurry of sword strokes that are blinding to behold. Where Brennart blocks sparks fly, his shield is scorred and marked from these strikes and sparks, all the while no words are spoken. No battle cries. Merely a whirling dirvish of death.

Thomas and his crew fight on, the Cataphracts giving as good, or more than they take. That isn't to say none die. A hand Gun goes off and kills a horse riding in from the side. The horse collapsing and tumbling and the rider sent flying to crash into the ground with a sickening Crunch. Still, there are more to fight and they press in.

At Beowulf hsi Njorvolk kill left and right, forming a tight circle, fighting hard. They give as good as they take, but the heavier armor is taking it's toll on the lighter armored Njorvolk as some managing to turn strikes.

Near Scarlet, men close in with spears, killing anything they find. One holds a Partharian banner over his head, "FOR THE PROPHETS!"

And again. Another THUD-BANG!!!

"For Tarris! Honour and glory!" Thomas cries, in his highest command voice. He's hoping it can be heard through the fog, though it's a forlorn hope. Ducking under the renewed assault of cataphracts, the Sun Shield Guards fight back. The Viscount's rosegold sword swings clean, shearing the cataphract's mount's leg off clean. As he tumbles off of his horse, the Viscount's fine boot smashes into his skull, followed by a stab to the neck. Another rider attempts to intervene, but a swift thrust from the arming sword pierces him under his armpit and through the weakpoint of his armour, blade pulled out in a semi-circular motion that opens his insides up and sprays blood. "Guards! Will advance to join our comrades. SHIELD WALL, IN STEP! ADVANCE, SLOW MARCH!"

It's nearly impossible to see. The bugler calls the step, and it's slow. They move forward, to where the Tarris axe infantry last were, watching their footing, pausing on contact with enemy.

Jeremy used to like snow, when he was a boy, but right now he's blinded by it. Struggling to get back into position, and dripping red blood onto the white ground he's praying hard once again. His breathing is ragged, and his words fly up to The One in an uncoordinated fashion as he uses the corpse of the man who had knelt behside him to haul himself back up to his knees once more. He doesn;t make it though, as the thundering of hooves signals another advance by the Cataphracts. The lance hits first, openning up a great gash in his leg, and while he tries to retaliate, his own blow is effortlessly battered aside and the wound made worse as the armoured house tramples over it to reach the men behind him.

Beowulf is SLAYING his enemies right now. His men are in a perfect circle, taking a beating, but still holding strong. Beowulf personally twirls his blade, slicing through enemies like butter. He tabs two men, straight through each other, and pushes the two bodies off of him. another is sliced at the chest, and another get's their neck broken by the twist of Beowulf's arm. "STAND FIRM! Glory to White Hall!" Beowulf shouts in Njor, they can survive.

And suddenly Thomas and his guards are in a swirling Melee. Spear have marched in behind the Cataphract and are fighting the infnatry on the front. As hsi guards are pulled aside to fight for their lives a voice comes out of the fog. "Firebrand." A woman saunters into the fog, her breath trailing in a line of mist. Her long raven hair frosted in white ice crystals. In her hands are twin Sidhe Steel Gladi. Her Ice Blue eyes look up to Thoams and she smirks at him. "Good defense this day. I thought I'd sweep over you, though I suppose it wasn't in the Prophet's writings." She shrugs a delicate shoulder. "Regardless. Take a message to your master. I'll come for him and my brother will be avenged. Liekly at this point your Heiress, his daughter is dead. The Eternal Guard I sent for her is one of the Captain's finest. She'll die swiftly, but she'll still die." He bows her head. "Again. You have my congratulations on a stellar defense." She then blows Thomas a kiss and simply steps back into the fog, it swirls thicker around her as if the action of her blowing the kiss summoned more of the infernal fog, and is …. gone. Only to be replaced by a man rushing Thoams with a Greatsword.

Even as Scarlet kills the banner man, she has little time to celebrate as a man with a long spear charges her screaming at the top of his lungs.

Blood freezes as it hits the ground in this strange fog, and freezes to clothes, or in weapons. A man with a spear suddenly rushes Beowulf. He screams a battle criy to his singular god, but he does look competent at least …

There is another loud THUD, but instead of a loud BOOM, there is a loud CRACK followed by the sound of something crumbling. Men scream and even more weapon clashing can be heard.

Rushing forward, Scarlet first takes out the man's kneecap, then after taking the banner from him, she uppercuts him off the wall and THEN steps onto the seige tower bridge, ripping the bannner in half and tossing away the tatters before she gives out a hell. "COME GET SOME!"

Scarlet meets her would be assailant spear to metal fist. She can't land a hit, but niether can he, dodging and parrying away his spear as she tries to get in close enough to slam her fist into his jaw. "Will you hold still so I can kill you? GAH GO HOME ASSHOLE!"

As his troops advance forward, the Guards engage with Parthian spears. Thomas stumbles, and becomes separated from the rest of them, and when he recovers his stance is changed. It's that of a lone soldier in skirmish order rather than in ranks, and his eyes are wide. Then, the raven haired woman approaches and says her piece. The Viscount is rendered near speechless by the whole thing, and when he is poised to say something she's gone. In his shock, the approaching swordsman is able to land a pair of blows on Thomas, the first smashing into his neck guard and the second swinging around into the lamellar plates on his rib. There is a crack, and it's not clear whether that was the plates, his bones or both, but Thomas is humbled. He lifts his shield and attempts to slowly retreat backward the way he came. Slow steps. Face to the enemy. He lunges out, first in a feint and then in a wide, off sided sweep.

With his company being hounded by Cataphracts and spearmen, and his leg a useless piece of twisted flesh it doesn't look good for Jeremy. As the few remaining men around him break and run into the fog it's almost tempting to just lie there and let the cold and the blood loss take him. It's not to be though, for the enemy are hot on the heels of the fleeing men and one of the cataphracts just leans casually over in his saddle and skewers him to the ground as he rides past. There's no time for prayers, no time to think fondly on his wife one last time, there's not even time to try to lift his spear in one last act of defiance before The One claims him.

Brennart grunts a bit as he's fighting and… Getting his ass beat. The Sokar gone Tarris grunts a bit as his sword slips from his hands and he pushes hard forward with his shield shrugging off a few more blows as he pins his attacker up against the keep's wall before he grabs the nearest weapon which happens to be a crossbow bolt and jams it into his enemy's eye before pushing him over the wall and grabbing a sword up to start all over again with the fighting.

A hand lifts Jeremy from the battlefield. A woman with angelic white wings. She smiles, and he is comforted despite the horror of his death. She kisses his brow and this world fades from Jeremy's mind as he transitions to the next.

Three long blasts of a trumpet sound out over the fog covered battlefield. Three long, eerie blasts that strike at the core of those fighting. The man fighting Scarlet smiles to her, touches his eyebrow, and then turns and runs for the siege tower.

The fighting around Brennart just appears to have stopped. There are the moans of the wounded on the walls, and some beyond, but the battlefield is lacking the sounds of combat.

Everywhere it is the same. Banners blow in the breeze which is dying down, but the fog and the blizzard persist. Swirling flakes of snow make the white of the fog simply worse.

At Thomas the man's head snaps to the side, then he runs off. Leaving Thomas alone in the white out.

Well, Beowulf manages not to die. But he knows his forces might be taking a beating, but his sword somehow manages to kill yet another single soldier, stabbing him in the heart and kicking him off. Beowulf looks tired. But, that's what happens when you watch an enemy of greater force run at them in haze. "Finally though, Beowulf is on a knee, gasping and panting, covered in blood that isn't his own. Somehow, he didn't suffer a single injury. As the fog clears, he looks around…to see that he is surrounded by bodies.

"Regroup and get medic tents ready." Scarlett says as she runs along the wall to Brennat. "You look like death warmed over Milord." She says, though the wond on the back of her shoulder doesn't look any better. "Where is lady Beth?" She asks with a frown, turning her head to make sure the heiress is okay, that was one of her commands that Thomas gave her.

Thomas manages to find his way back to his Guardsmen, though it's a narrow thing. He's favouring his uninjured side, the shielded one, and looks a bit worse for the wear, but it's not his first injury and it won't debilitate him. "Serjeant Verus. We advance again, and we will regroup, push wounded back to the Burnished Spurs and link up with the defenders of Duval. But first, we regroup." And so, the Sun Shield Guards advance once more, to try and find their comrades. The going is slow.

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