Monday, 14 September 2009

Spring 988 - An Affair at Alwinton

Upon reaching Alwinton in the Border Kingdoms, Ragnar was relieved to be able to rest a while. Their journey into Zog-Rot had been profitable, but the need to set guards every night and the constant cold weather had been wearing. Now he could relax.

As he lounged around in the pub swilling ale, Ragnar suddenly heard shouts from outside. He knew those noises. They were the shouts of people under attack. Ragnar quickly called his group together. Moving to the window, he looked out to see who was attacking. The innkeeper told him that it was Lord DeVries, a neighbouring lord, who coveted Alwinton’s apple orchards and sought to tax the village despite the fact that it belonged to Lord Beauvriere. Ulf was the first to spot the enemy. He fired and killed the sole archer with this contingent of DeVries’ men. Ragnar led his people out into the street and lined them up. They formed a living barrier across the street, blocking it, and used their new bows effectively to shoot down several of the enemy before they had to grab their spears and shields. As they did so another contingent of DeVries’ men appeared. There were now half a dozen mounted knights and two dozen infantry. Fortunately there were very few archers and Ulf was able to pick them off easily before they could do any damage. The knights charged the shieldwall but it held firm for the most part. Barak and Gunnvora were driven back by one knight and Barak was laid low, but Hildigunn soon came to the rescue and the shieldwall was repaired. The knights fought well, but their palsied leader was not up to leading the charge and Ragnar soon cut him down. At this most of the enemy fled. One brave knight tried to rescue his lord but died in the process. Some of the enemy infantry dithered as they tried to work up the courage to charge. Ragnar charged them first and had cut down two of them before they knew what was happening. The third fled. So it went with the remaining troops. Without their leader they did not know what to do and so they died or fled.

Lord Beauvriere was pleased with Ragnar’s work and granted him the position of honorary protector of Alwinton. He also granted him leave to recruit troops from the village and surrounding farms in return for protecting the village. Lord DeVries, who was only wounded in the fight, now languishes in Lord Beauvriere’s dungeon until his relatives can raise the ransom. After seeing the fight, three of the village guard volunteered to join Ragnar’s band. The group now numbers 9 hardy souls and plans to set out on a raid in Zog-Rot soon.

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