Nothing starts the day better than reading the Bible, Drinking Coffee and an epic breakfast.
Oh, and happy Sunday!
If you so desire, join me while I spin a tale about the Land of La Longi!
General Gallio Cordius Ferentinus spoke with a level of sincerity through a series of messengers.
“What is the name of your king, that I may speak with him?”
He asked a simple question that none could answer, for no one knew. This seemingly minor question spread more doubt across the countryside than any other the General could have asked.
Subtle diplomacy had no place today, for the men of La Longi had set themselves in array.
The estimate of his adversary’s troops appeared to be similar in number to his footmen, and included approximately 50 mounted men in heavy armour.
The leader was none other than James Rainport.
General Gallio met him on the center field in ceremonial fashion with his centuplicates, or officers.
James rode with several of his knights to the meeting.
General Gallio spoke first.
“James Rainport of House Rainport, I am pleased to make your acquaintance on this fine afternoon. I am here to ascertain the lay of the land in this fine country, and discuss grain prices. ”
James measured the man before him; A fine looking soldier on a stallion, quite obviously a leader of men, accustomed to command.
“General Gallio, I believe I am well aware of your intentions. I approach you today for an agreement or a skirmish if you so desire.”
“While your force is small, they are experienced and this is but a fraction of your men.”
“Today, my men are heavily armed and from royal houses and training. They are willing to live and die for their holdings for it is their life and livelihood. These are no conscripts but landed men who have trained in the manner of war since childhood.”
The battle would be disastrous for your side given an engagement on this field. I trust in your wisdom you see we have the greater advantage. I also have the foresight to know we will lose the war, General.”
General Gallio raised an eyebrow. He appeared impressed with the assessment and nodded in agreement.
“I have given instruction to the royal houses under my influence to allow a peaceful takeover provided you justly tax them and allow them to rule their own holdings. Your reputation as a fair man is well known in many circles.”
I have heard your question, General. I do not know the name of my king other than his title. He will not see me in his court or acknowledge my status. In all probability, the resistance you will likely face is the King’s Alchemist and not a king. I know not if we have one at the moment..”
General Gallio’s eyes were level. “I will agree to your terms, James Rainport.”
James had prepared an agreement and the General read the words carefully. Having done so, he stamped it with his signet.
James lifted his hand. It was the signal to depart.
In good order, his army turned towards La Longi. Chandra and his mercenaries stayed in place. They were under their own command and were spoiling for a fight to regain honor.
Peace had been made, and a transfer of authority given to General Gallio. If indeed the king was alive, he had committed treason. James did not care, he had successfully saved the men of La Longi from suffering. It was more than the king had done.
General Gallio was cordial and smiled genuinely. “You have saved much bloodshed, James Rainport. We will deal with the “king’s alchemist” as you call him in a manner that protects the citizens of La Longi.
James stayed in place as the General and his centuplicates departed. He was a broken man inside for essentially ceding his lands to another. It was the best choice for the people and he knew it, but it did not take from the shame he felt. The shame was cumulative with personal aspects of his life. His father, Lord Rainport had enslaved many and looked to overthrow the king. In addition, the horror of his father’s deviance was known throughout La Longi and the neighbouring countries. There were dark mutterings and silent whispers everytime he stepped foot outside Castle Rainport.
As they left the field, a centuplicate turned in his saddle and spat in James’ direction, “what a yellow bellied stamp crab.”
James came to awareness of his surroundings and the insult. He shouted, “what was that?”
The general continued to the left flank with his three other officers and the fourth closed the distance with James.
“I called you a yellow bellied stamp crab. You are also a wandought, a weak and ineffectual man.” the centuplicate spun his horse around and caught up with his party at a canter.
Swearing under his breath, James noted the officers colors, burgundy and green, his sorrow and emptiness turning to a deadly stillness. He evaluated General Gallio’s men.
They were positioned in four hundred hundred man columns.
In a silent rage, James plated from head to toe, spurred the crupper, a protective armament on the rump of his warhorse.
Drawing his montane, James charged the center and instinctively the front ranks set a shield wall. James turned hard right and down a column breaking into the row’s flank. He proceeded knocking down the burgundy and green clad soldiers. The formation broke rank as soldiers attempted to avoid the heavy hooves of the warhorse, whose momentum maintained velocity.
His singlehanded flanking approach was brazen and unexpected. The heavy hooves of his warhorse crushed men and his two handed sword arced with considerable reach along the right of his steed. James and his mount were well equipped to devastate and he did so, completely disrupting the formation. A war cry could be heard and Chandra advanced his men.
As quickly as he attacked, he departed, passing the burgundy and green clad centuplicate, who galloped to assemble the troops. “Bastard!” He cried.
Over the screams of severely injured Carsiolian soldiers, James retorted, “James the Bastard to you!!”