Echoes of Glory
The Battle of Landis Ford
The grinding campaign came to a bloody conclusion at the head of Alycean lake, at Landis Ford. A shallow stretch of river easily crossed, and the only such way across for Oppara’s Hammer without skirting the lake completely, Sir Darahan committed all his forces, but had underestimated Disaren’s treachery.
The 75th and the Regulars put up a fine show of defending the ford before breaking and fleeing before the onslaught of Gorum’s Own. On the left flank, Arcane Thunder hit the Disaren fighters as they fled, and remained in perfect position to cover the 109th as they crossed the river. However, a small mercenary group appeared from the north, but signaled for parlay before they were fired upon.
Begging for an audience with Sir Glenn Fiddich personally, the mercenary captain introduced himself as Tolgrin Cassman, nicknamed “Blackscale,” and leader of the Swamp Drakes. Had Sir Fiddich ever heard the name, he would have known the group was little better than bandits. Cassman claimed to have been sent from Valiant Keep, with a personal message. As the wizard opened the parcel he had been given, he found it to contain a jar of moonshine, with a note that read “on the house.”
Before he could contemplate this message further, the mercenaries violated the parley and attacked the startled militiamen. At the same time, what little remained of the Reavers and the 1st Penitent Cohort charged from concealed positions, falling upon the Opparan Auxiliary and Darahan’s cavalry with wild abandon.
The Knights of the Gold and the Red Legion, knowing the 109th was now completely unsupported, charged straight into the river. Dame Lagatha’s fighters struggled to find their footing and regroup in the hip-deep water, and most were forced to retreat to the far shore if they would have a chance of standing against Disaren’s knights. However, as the Knights and the Red Legion pressed the attack, there was one fighter who did not retreat.
Up to his knees in rushing water, his sword held high, Sir Dread of Blackthorn did not budge as 100 knights and nearly 500 mercenaries bore down on him. Lord Restov lowered his lance and charged for the kill, and had his armor destroyed and his horse split in two for his trouble. Dozens were killed in the ill-fated charge, and dozens more joined them attempting to pull the gravely wounded nobleman to safety before someone had the good sense to call a retreat.
The Auxiliary had slain the very last of the Reavers while Sir Darahan rushed to the aid of his artillery. At the sight of the knights, the Swamp Drakes vanished into the woods, leaving the carnage behind them. It seemed as if the wizard had met his end, until one of the dragoons spotted a large, greenish dog, with a gravely wounded figure on its back.