Battle for Brenton

Battle for Brenton
Summary: Gauvain leads an attack against the front gates of the Fortress Brenton. The battle is fierce, and blood is spilled. On both sides.
Date: 04/11/1329
Related: None (ATM) However the Battle Led by Prince Samwell goes here.

IC Date — Fort Brenton, Taniford, Eastermarch.

The arrow arced into the air, trailing smoke and fire. The Knight watched it and looked at the Fortress before him. His mission was to breech it. Which was not going to be easy in the slightest. He knew he had roughly 20 minutes before both Ser Jaren Cassomir broke through that rear door, and Bethany Ashedown, his daughter and squire began to scale the eastern walls with the Tarris and Cassomir reserves. Gauvain drew his sword, he had to create a distraction. He looked to his Master of Arms from the Point, Giles Ramsy. “Sergeant.” He said nodding his head toward the main gate. “Get me a shield wall of the Men at Arms. I want the Five of the Archers to be in that formation covered by the shields. They are to use the Lamp Oil we have and toss it on the gate. It’s Oak, old, and dry. Ser Daylan did not take good care of this place.”

The Master of Arms smiles and nods once, “Aye my Lord, I believe it is.” He looks at the crenellations and says, “I’m guessing you want our remaining archers picking off any defenders that try to steal a shot, or peek at us my Lord?”

“Yes.” Gauvain Tarris replied holding his sword easily. “Once it’s been burning for a while, have the Ram brought up. The Fire should weaken it, and we can break through. Cavalry first through the breech, to break up defensive formations. Infantry to follow. Archers cover the advance, and then move in after us. We should meet up with Squire Ashedown once we’re inside, and then we can redress the situation and formulate further plans.” He narrows his eyes. “I want that keep Giles. Robard has denied me satisfaction, I will deny him the seat of his power.”

The Master at Arms nodded and gave his lord a friendly pat on the shoulder. Nothing else needed to be said, and he began to bark orders in that voice that only Sergeants can muster. Deep and booming, and every soldier there knew what it meant. Battle. The men formed up, and advanced. Almost on cue, men showed up on the walls, and they began trading arrows with the Tarris and Cassomir Archers under Gauvain’s command. Only ten in number, they were at the disadvantage of elevation, but were disciplined and accurate. They took cover behind rocks and trees, and staggered their fire, so there was always a man firing. The enemy on the walls, for their part, fired at them, or the advancing shield wall. Arrows slammed into shields, the ground, or bounced off the stone masonry of Brenton itself.

A man appeared and looked over the edge, and Gauvain narrowed his eyes. This was their commander, but was it Robard Daylan himself, or one of his subordinates? He didn’t know, but the malice was felt, even if the visored helm he wore hid his eyes, and it nearly chilled the big knight. Then he heard it, between the crack of arrows striking stone, shields, or the scream of men taking a wound, there was the shattering of glass. Giles shouted, “FALL BACK!” and immediately, the Men at Arms, fell back in good order. Their shields, covered in arrows, and the Master at Arms was no exception. “My Lord. Shall I give the command?”

Nodding, Gauvain stood watching. “Do it. Burn it.”

Walking back to the Men at Arms, Giles shouted the command. The honor of firing the main gate had been given to the Cassomir archers. Their Sergeant called the order, and brought fletching to cheek, and then released. The arrows made a hissing noise that very shortly turned into a loud CRACK as they impacted the gate. Immediately fire erupted. The men on the gates shouted, and the Ram, left by Jaren before they ran to the back was lifted and run forward toward the gate.

Gauvain shouted after them, “Break that Gate! Cavalry! At the Ready!” He could hear the five Cassomir men climb into their stirrups. He had a silent pride that all of them were on Tarris steeds, his old friend had remembered him, and had purchased his Cavalrymen’s steeds from the Tarris Pastures. He walked to Strider, his Warhorse and climbed into the saddle. He could hear the ram hammering the burning gate. The crunches coming regularly, and often. He lowered his helmet to his head and nodded. “Not long now.” He said softly. He grabbed a lance and couched it. Ready for the charge. He and Strider were both in armor, he in is plate, the warhorse in war-barding, and that made them the one piece of heavy cavalry. “I’ll form the point. The rest of you form the wings.” The men arranged their horses, and they were soon sitting in wedge, waiting, until they finally heard the CRASH of the gate giving way. He slammed his visor down and called out, “For the Guardians, for the Queen, CHARGE!”

Trusting that Giles would clear the Men at Arms form the path, and the men would fall into formation after them, Gauvain put spurs to Strider’s flank and the six men leapt forward. The hooves thundered and all that mattered was the charge. The wind roared, and the blood pulsed with their beating hearts. The lances lowered, and just like he had expected, the defenders had run to the gate and formed up. There was nothing to do but break that formation in true Eikereen fashion.

Men, horses, and metal screamed, while lances, shields, and bones shattered. The defenders had laid an effective trap, and at the last second, when the attackers were closing, had raised wicked hooked spears, ten feet in length. Three of the Cassomir Cavalrymen were lifted from their saddles at the sudden raising of the trap. Another man screamed, but kept his saddle, while only Gauvain and one other man managed to hit the line. Gavain’s lance ripped a man from the ground and flung him into the man behind him, forcing the Knight to drop the lance, lest he be ripped from his saddle. He said a prayer for the man he had just killed, and drew his sword, just in time to sheer an incoming spear toward him. Strider reared and the iron shod hooves lashed, while the rider slashed with Bastard Sword. The blade ripping through a man’s half helm with a crunch of metal and bone, eliciting another prayer for a fallen man.

Quickly scanning the courtyard, he noted the amount of defenders. Too many. They were outnumbered, they wouldn’t be if the Prince hadn’t taken most of the men around back, but he followed orders, and he would win this day. “TANIFORD! TO ME!” He shouted, parrying another thrust form a new man, and wheeled Strider. The sounds of battling filling the air. “TO ME! RALLY TO ME!”

The men at arms had run in, and were now engaging the defenders at the gate. Adding their own blades to the dance of battle, their shields and weapons making a new song of metal on metal. The Tarris men were in the thick of it, trying to fight to get to their now cut off lord, supported by the Cassomir men. They were giving as good as they got, but they were about to be over run, and end this frontal assault, when suddenly he heard the voice of an angel.

She leapt from the wall, her glaive at the ready, “Attack!” and there were men with her. Men with bows who stayed on the walls and rained death down, capturing the enemy defenders in a cross fire, while more men at arms followed their commander in to the fray. The men redoubled their efforts, and the defenders began to be cut down. Gauvain slashed another man across the throat, sending an arterial spray that coated the flanks of Strider, while the big warhorse slammed another man to the ground crushing his ribcage. Two more prayers to the Guardians, and the Knight looked to his Daughter, pride in his eyes as she rammed a man with the blade, spun the glaive and disemboweled another. He HAD trained her well.

It was then that reinforcements began to filter out of the keep. One of them, the man in the armor, and he was headed toward Bethany. Gauvain’s eyes widened in terror and he spurred Strider, trying to bring the beast around, but he suddenly felt as if he had been punched in the shoulder, and oddly was falling. The impact expelled his breath from his lungs, and his vision tunneled as the armor weighed down on him. The warhorse trotted off, trained to get out of the combat zone if the rider went down. Horses were expensive. The Knight rolled to his side, tossing his shield to the side, and looking around him.

All around him, men were fighting. The more disciplined Taniford forces were hammering at the bandits and Robard’s men. However they were not going down without a fight and his eyes filtered to his daughter, still blurry as he wheezed breath back into his lungs he saw the other knight engage his squire, his daughter in battle. He had to get up. Four save her, he prayed, help me get up! He began to push himself to his knees.

Bethany and the Knight were dancing. She in her chain, and breastplate, armed with a glaive, and he, in plate and mail, with a two handed sword. He towered over her, and was clearly the stronger of the two, his blade, was slow, but sure, and deadly. Bethany however was lithe, and lightning fast. She jabbed, slashed, and ducked and weaved. Gauvain watched, first pushing himself to his knees, and then breaking the shaft of the arrow embedded in his left shoulder. Move Gods damn you Tarris, MOVE! He silently screamed. One knee was lifted, and he pushed himself to his feet, staggering, while the battle continued to rage around him.

The scream pierced him harder than the arrow in his shoulder had. He couldn’t actually hear it over the sound of the battle around him, but his heart heard it, loud, fearful, and final. To him, it was the sound of a five year old girl falling from the back of a big warhorse, or crying when she had broken her finger at play, or skinned her knees. The Knight lifted Bethany with that sword and flung her aside where she flew and slammed into the wall. He expected tears, but something else happened… He simply raged, and began to walk forward, pointing his sword at the Knight. He called out in a dark, hate filled voice, “KNIGHT!” The word rolled over the field, and he grabbed an enemy that charged him by the surcoat and rammed his blade into the man’s chest. Tossing the man aside he called out again, “KNIGHT!”

The Knight turned and looked to Gauvain, and he began to walk toward him. Blood, Bethany’s blood, ripped off the two handed sword. He began to walk toward his counter-part, dragging the point of the blade in the courtyard as he walked. He lifted the blade and saluted Gauvain, and then charged. Gauvain growled, and twirled his Bastard Sword, gripping it in both hands, and the charged himself screaming as he went. Loud, primal, and filled with fury, the two knights collided with force that would break lesser men. They exchanged blows, hammering at each other, trying to shatter the other person’s defenses. Gauvain was at a disadvantage, having the smaller weapon, but he had rage on his side. Hot, boiling, and blinding, he forgot about the arrow in his shoulder, he forgot about the battle around him. Only the person who harmed his precious daughter mattered to him. He needed to kill him. He needed to feel this man break beneath him.

They circled and the Knight spoke, “She was your Squire. I see bits of you in her fighting. Shame you didn’t train her better.” He raised his blade and brought it down, and Gauvain saw how he was going to end this. End it, so he could check on his child.

Gauvain raised his blade and angled it slightly toward the ground. The force of impact was terrible, and both his arms vibrated from the impact. The Big two handed sword slid down the length of the bastard sword, and he snapped the hilt and crossgaurd forward where it slammed into the Knight’s visored helm. The man fell back, staggered and slashed with one hand with large blade, it impacted Gauvain’s ribs and he dropped his left arm, catching the blade, and he ran forward, ramming the point of his blade in to the other man’s gorget. It impacted, tore chain, and exploded out the back. The Two handed sword fell from twitching fingers and Gauvain walked the blade forward. He grabbed the man’s visor with two fingers and pulled him so the other knight could hear him, “I normally pray for those I kill. But not you. You burn.”

Turning, he walked away, pulling the bastard sword as he went. Eventually he felt the weight of the man lessen and then disappear. The blade suddenly feeling as if it weighed several tons, he dropped it and staggered over to his daughter. The battle was over, he and the Knight the final combatants, but he didn’t care. He dropped to his knees, blood oozing from shoulder, breath hard in his throat from the impact of the blade. He could feel a warmness there, and he knew the blade had punched armor and cut him there as well. He rolled Bethany over and ripped his helmet off. “No.” He said once. “No.” Again that word. He removed her helm and cradled her. “No.”

A hand placed itself on his shoulder. “My Lord.” The voice was familiar. But so far away. He could barely hear it, and he didn’t care. “My Lord, the keep is ours. Lay the girl down, if she lives you’ll do her no service holding her like that.” He sensed a man kneeling beside him. Saw a hand grasp her throat and he snarled, ready to murder whomever so dared, “My Lord, you can’t feel her through all that armor, she breathes. But only just. We need to find Lady Sollinger.”

He shuddered and laid her gently to the ground. “Make a report to Ser Jaren, and secure it all.” Gauvain said and strode toward Strider. “I go to get the healer.”

Giles looked as if he was going to insist, that Gauvian see a healer himself, but could see that his lord would not listen. So instead the man bowed. “Aye my lord.” Then he began to issue orders. All in all, they had saved thirty peasants that the as of yet unnamed Knight had held captive, but twenty others had been killed, or died in the fighting. They had killed twenty archers, and nine men at arms, capturing a further sixteen men at arms with seven of those being injured. They had injuries as well, and dead, but they had won, despite numbers, thanks to Gauvain and Jaren’s planning with the reserve force.

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