For the Sovereign
The green grass of the field ahead of them was only broken by the pillars of woodwork and stone that his men had erected years ago. The vibrant banners flapped in the winds as his followers, mighty knights, his courtiers and the largest gathering of serfs that had been witnessed on a battle field for many years now.
Looking across the battlefield the serfs had just finished setting up the tower from which he could sit upon and conduct battle. It was a fine day for a fight and these interlopers, these invaders were here to fight to claim the title Sovereign. It was his title and not one that he would share lightly. In fact there was only one other that he would consider sharing this title with and she was vacant from this battlefield. Probably wise as her appetite for bloodshed was almost as high as her other appetites.
Climbing his throne-like tower he stood high above the surrounding lands and looked across his men. His general caught his eye. A woman of rare bearing and even rarer martial prowess, much like himself. Tall for her kind and despite her ruthlessness in combat she shared a strange fondness for the beast she rode into battle. A dragon. Shaking his head, his twinned moustache floating in the spring breeze he heard the first trumpets of his scouts saw the unholy minions of darkness streak towards the ground in bolts of lightning.
“How she can manage to keep astride that beast and still manage to direct troops is beyond me” he muttered to himself.
“Arch Reagent!” a portly man, one of his courtiers, Bran Hoofgnasher, called to him as he strode swiftly towards him. “The invaders have fell beasts on their side. The knights are ready to engage but I fear the Serfs will falter.” The man was correct, he rarely was wrong when it came to his knights and their ability to sew chaos and bloodshed.
“Well I better hope that Lord Tyson Tearn’swallow and Luke Bonespittle can keep their men in order until reinforcements arrive. This is a battle we can not afford to lose as I hear rumours of a gathering of others who would wrestle my crown from me.” The Arch Reagent, Krak Crowncracker, said as he looked over the gathering of men, beasts and knights.
Besides. We also have a dragon.
The call to arms went out swiftly and with a sudden burst of movement the enemy was advancing towards them. Foul black knights in armour the glimmered and shone in foul mockery of their dark nature formed walls of flesh and steel. ‘Clever’, he thought to himself as he noticed the key positions that they sought to hold. The giant dragon, foul scaled and crackling with fouler lightning landed on the left flank to bolster the small contingent of forces that had gathered there.
“Sire! They have a sorcerer!” a call shrieked out from the front lines as bolts of putrid lightning and thunder rumbled forth across the battlefield bolstering their warriors and shaking the serfs nerves.
Dashing forward he climbed the tower with ease, for someone of his physique it was an easy test. “Do not falter!” he called, his voice magically bolstered by the holy robe he wore. “Do not fear, my people. We will beat these invaders back. They have brought foul sorcery and dark beasts to our lands but they have not faced our might and fury before. Onwards to Victory!” he roared above the din of the contingents.
A chant broke out from Lord Tyson Tearn’swallow “For the Sovereign!” the call went out. Soon the serfs started to mirror the chant. “For Krak Crowncracker! For The Sovereign!”. He smiled and swelled with pride at his footmen, his beloved infantry who had served him well for years. The knights bellowed and soon his general, Lady Alloren Drakerender and her mighty companion flew above head to land just in front of him. The dragon bellowed forth a rage filled roar. Challenging any and all to come towards its rider or the Arch Reagent they served.
The serfs moved up, maintaining regimental rank and keeping their banners and weapons high. These were highly trained troops and as the enemy forces finished their positioning they too had mirrored their hold on the key positions.
His anvil. The knights and his courtiers the mighty keening hammer that would drive the invaders home he thought to himself. But, he also knew no fury like the serfs. They were loyal and ferociously so to not only himself and the lady Alloren Drakerender but also his adjutant Duke Bryce Tallowswallow – and unfortunate name for one of his rank – but he had proved himself time and time again.
Watching his serfs, their courtiers move and mirror the invaders brought a smile to his mouth. For he had organised a surprise gift for the invaders. Grabbing a horn from his side he pressed the cold metal to his lips and blew – the sound like a screaming horse split across the sky and the same haunting sound came from the flanks of the opposing forces. Lord Vorn Blackblood, his mightiest courtier was joined with a contingent of his fiercest of serfs and drove the enemy back one of the key defensible positions.
Blowing a second time and his scouts returned from off field to join him by his side.
“You called sire?” they yelled as they ran towards him, the rest of his forces moving up to take the field and key positions.
“I need you to watch our territory. I feel as though they are holding back from us. This can not be the force we heard about there are far too few men.” he said as he counted only 20 foot knights that accompanied the large drake-like mount, the dragon and the hideous feather winged abomination that some had called a Tauralon.
The scouts nodded and retreated to climb a nearby house to watch for other invaders.
Noticing that his opponent was on the backfoot he blew into his horn again and raced down from the tower. It was time to go on the offensive.
“Onwards Lady Alloren Drakerender. Show them how its done!” he called out as the drake roared and charged into enemy lines. Moments after a torrent of fire roasted two knights in their armour and their bodies fell to the ground with foul lightning forking out around them.
The serfs, courageous and hungry to prove their might to the Lady, also charged into the dark warriors. Brave souls they were as a few of them were struck down with foul lightning on the charge. His knights also charged in – bolstered by his call to combat they made short work of the distance between them and the foes.
Krak Crowncracker watched as his small contingent of elite knights met a fiery end as the dragon breathed fire down upon them. One knight and his steed survived the fire onslaught but that made the remaining warrior all the more ferocious.
Soon the dragon, the knights and even Vorn Blackblood had charged into the invaders and the knights fell shortly after. Foul magic whisking across the field keeping falling warriors alive by unholy magic and the arrival of anther five knights looked to cause an issue for the noble warriors.
Then the dragon fought back. The brave knights that charged into it and his warriors were gone, cut in two by those putrid claws. The serfs, courtiers, knights and Alloren had killed the land drake, a Dracoth, was ripped in two by the ferocious jaws of her dragon. After a few heated moments of conflict his forces had decimated all the foot knights and a few small lords on foot. However the dragon and winged creature posed a threat.
The counter charge was brutal. His instincts were right as the most unholy creature fell to the earth – a Lord Celestant-Prime, his ancient tomes had warned of their dark magic and ability to single handily win fights. He only had to get his troops to hold long enough so that his reinforcements could arrive and all would be well – Lady luck was normally on his side.
After the dragons fire, claws and worse his entire left flank was gone. The middle contingency of troops was down to a few standing but those approaching with Vorn were nearly uninjured – a few scrapes and scratches. The dragon had killed Bryce and Tyson and there wasn’t anything between him and his foe. But, a horn sounded in the distance and another unit of his fiercest troops appeared, a unit of 30 strong!
Lord Vorn Blackblood charged into the remaining troops and made the final push to hold the enemies position. His troops, his men and women controlled the field. There wasn’t an inch of land that wasn’t under his control and the enemy knew it. The crack of bones rumbled through the battlefield as Alloren Drakerender and her mount were killed by a ferocious and desperate charge from the dragon. The Celestant-prime strode up to Lord Blackblood and with a swing of its unholy mace his most loyal courier fell.
Cursing he screeched across the battlefield. The field was his but what remained was no match for the foul creatures. As he pressed the ornate horn to his lips to bellow a retreat another horn rang out. Reinforcements were appearing and the thundering of feet on ground sounded the arrival of more of his zealous serfs. The battle was not over and with a bolt of dark lightning the Dragon, Tauralon and Celestant-Prime fled the battlefield. A chorus began to spread across the battlefield. “For the Sovereign!” and his loyal troops returned to gather around him as they grabbed the bodies of the fallen to form piles of the dead. There would be a feast tonight in their honour.