Aeron and the Wrekin Border

Interlude - The Battle of Newnes Brook

Sir Terence fails... again!

Order of Battle

Forces of Aeron
Army Of Clwyd – Duke Aeward
Ducal Knights 220
Ducal Spearmen 450
Ducal Longbowmen 280
Royal Army – Sir Terence Franks
Royal Knights 105
Royal Men-at-arms 210
Royal Archers 135
Total 1400
Hobgoblin Imperial Forces
Legio XX – Comes Ardim Aurelius Poplicola
Legio Pedites 1200
Auxilia Sagitarii 200
Auxilia Palatini 200
Castellan’s Horde – Castellan of the Keep
Orc Infantry 480
Orc Archers 120
Goblin Infantry 120
Goblin Archers 120
Goblin Wolf Riders 60
Heavy Cavalry 60
Heavy Infantry 120
Total 2680

Some 5 miles north west of Hommlet, as you follow what amounts to two ruts where carts and horses have passed hundreds or perhaps thousands of times before, you will find a broad expanse of heathland. The heath has no name, although the stream that the rutted track follows does. Newnes Brook runs through Hommlet on a journey to the river Dee. On its way it passes through the unnamed heath and on past the fortress of Chainspire.
At Chainspire, a border fortress of Duke Aeward of Clwyd, men have been gathering in force. The King’s Justice had been defeated weeks before, the Duke’s stewards at Hommlet murdered and the Church of Law desecrated. The mustering force would answer these crimes with blood and steel. The King had sent reinforcements and the Duke had mustered the men who owed him fealty. Ready to march out were fourteen hundred troops. Three hundred or more were mounted knights, a hundred of whom were of the King’s personal retinue. In addition, the Aeron forces included four hundred longbow men and seven hundred infantry, around two hundred of which were royal axe men.
Around the village of Hommlet, recently captured by troops of the hobgoblin Legio XX, a force of humanoids and vile men had also gathered. The Legio XX, with twelve hundred hobgoblin legionaries and four hundred auxilia split evenly into foot and mounted archers, had been camped nearby for six weeks while foul diplomacy brought the chaotic forces of the Castellan through the Wyre Forest to join in threatening the borders of Aeron and the plans of Duke Aeward. The Castellan had brought six hundred loathsome orcs and three hundred repellent goblins, dozens of which were riding fearsome wargs. In addition, he had brought his personal retinue of twisted knights of Asmodeus and depraved men-at-arms. With the addition of the Castellan’s contemptible horde, the humanoids would ultimately outnumber the Duke’s force by nearly two to one.
The two armies marched towards each other and finally met on the open heath. The Aeron left was commanded by Sir Terence Franks , the King’s Justice, who led all of the forces assigned by the King. The Duke himself led the bulk of the force, with his right wing resting on the banks of the stream. The enemy lined up with the hobgoblin legions under their strangely titled Comes, Ardim Aurelius Poplicola, facing the King’s men and the Castellan’s horde holding the left flank. The sun was high in the sky and if noon was not already past it soon would be. Neither commander was keen to let the day slip away and both sought a swift and final resolution to the issue. Battle was joined immediately the forces had arrayed properly.
Sir Terence failed to maintain discipline amongst the King’s knights. They galloped across the intervening ground leaving behind their infantry and archers. When they engaged the disciplined ranks of the hobgoblin legion though, the clash was thunderous but legionary restraint and continence held. The charge collapsed into a one-sided melee as horses became trapped amongst the tight formations. Fully half of the royal knights were left dead or dying as they were forced to withdraw having gained some respite as the men-at-arms broke into the legion. Some say it was not headstrong chivalry, but Sir Terence himself, overcome with a need for revenge who ordered the charge. On the other flank the massed archery of the ducal longbow men quickly saw off the goblin archers who could not reply, being greatly outranged. However, this fortune did not last long as it was the turn of the orc tribes to lose all semblance of order and charge heedlessly across the ground at the archers who had switched their fire. The Castellan took advantage of the distraction and used his heavy cavalry to good effect to outflank the longbow men. As the Duke tried to extricate his archers by sending in his own knights, the Castellan’s beast riders flanked the knights in turn. There was a brief lull in the fighting as both sides took stock of the initial clash and prepared to re-enter the fray.
Horns were blown and battle cries yelled loud as both sides re-engaged for battle. On this attack the humanoids took the initiative. The hobgoblin legion commanders realised that Sir Terence had blown his cavalry and would be unable to stop a concerted thrust on his flank. In the meantime, the Castellan’s beastmen had the scent of blood and an opportunity against ducal forces that had lost significant numbers of both archers and cavalry. The battle went through another brutal and bloody phase, and again and again the hobgoblin legionaries forced back the royal forces sometimes by inches, sometimes by yards. The Aeron army was at risk of being outflanked, but Duke Aeward’s prompt actions to refuse a flank with what had been his centre saved turning a setback into a disaster. The two sides parted once more as sword arms tired and quivers ran empty. The losses again were heavy. On the Duke’s side, fully half of the remaining knightly cavalry were wiped out, and the infantry bore some of the heavy fighting, especially against the Castellan’s beastmen hordes. For the beastmen, orcs and goblin beast riders suffered greatly, although some of the hobgoblin legionary archers were caught by retreating knights. Although the numbers of dead and wounded on both sides were equivalent, the men of Aeron could ill afford the loss of life, and it was at this point barely an hour since battle was joined that the Duke called a retreat. Sir Terence was vocal in his opposition and while the Duke led his men back to Overton and across the Dee, Sir Terence took the remnants of the King’s force back to Chainspire.
No pursuit was made, although the beastmen of the Castellan’s horde would have chased the retreating troops without the discipline of the Castellan and his ruinguard.. The Castellan seeks to capture Chainspire and as part of the bargain for bringing the beastman reinforcements, the Magister promised aid in capturing the fortress.

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