War Reaches a Turning Point

By Japes

The war against the Aestivan League and their Cineran allies reached a climax on the eve of the 12th day of Jemros, 219th Year of the Republic.

The first news of the Cineran invasion came over a week earlier, when riders from the city of Franlius brought word from the garrison stationed there of a massive Cineran host on the march. Composing the personal armies of half a dozen warlords, the reports numbered the army as around twelve thousand men. Led by Warlord Kars of the Cineran War faction, the Cineran army was marching south with intention to join the army of General Narisse of the Aestivan military league. Solemnly, the senate realized that if the two armies were permitted to join, the Holy City was lost.

Sordo Calsuan, son of the late dictator, was appointed to take the position once held by his father as the head of Legio II. Rallying his men, he marched north to take battle to Warlord Kars and prevent him from ever reaching the army of General Narisse.

Days after his initial march, citizens in Monlon sighted mounted riders driving their horses hard towards the holy city. It soon became apparent that they were members of the Altene mercenary company known as the Grey Swans, serving under contract with the Iridine senate. They were survivors of a pitched battle north of the city which had wiped out all but forty of their number, and deeply wounded their commander, Tivarrus. However, they had succeeded in razing most of the supplies of the Cineran host under Warlord Kars. With them, unfortunately, came grim news. The initial scouting reports were inaccrate and the Cineran army marching south numbered around twenty thousand men.

As the battle approached, Sordo Calsuan realized the odds placed against him and decided on a gamble. Legio I had been garissoned in the city of Monlon for the past few months, in a deadlock with the army of Narisse beseiging the city. During the middle of the night of the 9th of Jemros, Legio I stole a forced march under the nose of the Aestivans, using, ironically, the very same tunnels dug out to smuggle supplies to the besieging forces. Both Legio's succesfully joined forces the following days, unbeknownst to either Warlord Kars or General Narisse, who was, in theory, keeping Legio I pinned in Monlon.

The plan was a desperate one, however. Despite the presence of both Legios, Sordo Calsuan was outnumbered over two to one. And if the Aestivans ever realized that Legio I was no longer in the city, they could either storm Monlon directly, or march north and trap Sordo Calsuan between two armies.

On the day of the battle, the situation was explained to members of Running Wolf and Lion squadrons of Legio I who, along with members of the Iridine constabulary, tabliers of the Soldiers of Ereal, Blackvine militia members, and a motly force of citizen volunteers, were given the daunting task of manning the pallisades against incursions by General Narisse' army and keeping her convinced that Legio I was still in Monlon and holding the battlements with all their strength.

At the end of the day, the ruse worked. The mixed group at the pallisade succeeded despite heavy assaults by Cinerans and Aestivans. In the meantime, under command of Sordo Calsuan, the two Legios managed to route the army under Warlord Kars in a battle representing a classic textbook example of organization and discipline succeeding over superiority in numbers.

Warlord Kars himself was killed in battle, and three of the warlords accompanying him were put in chains. Two other warlords managed to escape with some of their personal armies and are still being pursued. The consequences of Iridine's victory will certainly be felt in coming days.

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