James Rainport of House Rainport assembled his men.
Far afield, He waited until Chandra’s mercenaries arrived for he had somewhat to say.
His force consisted of 53 mounted men and 246 foot soldiers. Chandra’s 27 Brought his numbers to 326. His messengers informed him that a force of 1200 Carsiolian footmen had assembled on the South East border of La Longi Led by a General Gallio Cordius Ferentinus.
400 Cariolian troops were two days’ journey from their camp and had ventured into La Longi proper, mere miles from James Rainports’ camp.
Astride a black horse, James was large and imposing with montante in hand. It was nearly as long as a man is tall.
He wasted no time speaking.
“Men, many of you were stripped of titles and holdings by my father, Lord Rainport. I have restored them to you. I have freed his slaves upon his death at the mouth of the pequin, raising the grain prices, restoring our way of life.
The Carsiolians desire me to negotiate the prices and I would not. Now they have come to take our lands. Today, we are in position to take the field and confront the Carsiolians. We will win the day with minimal losses. We know the terrain and can decide the time of attack. We would not only rout, but utterly destroy.”
James’ words were met with the shout, “House Rainport!”
James Rainport lifted his hand for silence.
“However, the Carsiolians will return with tens of thousands of men. Many of us will die, leaving our children fatherless and our holdings open for looting and plunder. Your women will be ravished and your sons conscripted. Today, I will negotiate peace with General Gallio on your behalf from a position of strength.”
Chandra held his peace, but his irritation was apparent. They had no part in the negotiations and had no investment in La Longi. They sought to regain lost honor before returning home. This would not be accomplished with terms of peace.
“There is question to my right to rule. The throne was meant for my brother, and me without written provision. I will lose what I know to be rightfully mine regardless of the outcome here.
Let us be transparent. I stand before you not a ruler, but a proud citizen of La Longi, James the Bastard. Will you continue with me?”
There was confusion in the camp.
James smiled a rare smile, flashing even, well placed teeth. “The response I, James the Bastard look for is,
A man cried, “For La Longi!”
In unison, all repeated with enthusiasm and vigor.