You might wonder why I, the once-respected chronicler of the Bretonnia Empire have been reduced from the noble halls of my forefathers to chronicling the crass, brutal ways of a small, nigh-irrelevant tribe of orcs rather than toasting the noble deeds of mighty knights.
I myself cannot answer tha question. Perhaps it hearkens back to a drinking session at court. A beautiful maiden that rumor held to be closely related to the King was visiting. Those of us unmarried and hopeful of a prosperous match were taking turns trying to impress her.
As the night waxed late the ale flowed freely and the lies even more so. Libations removed inhibitions and loosened tongues as we began trying to tell stories of our personal might and valor that eclipsed those of our rivals for her affection.
It is possible our stories verged beyond the realm of truth into the impossible. Noble after noble rose to his feet to tell tales of triumph and chivalry against ever more impossible odds. Each story grew more fantastic until, in my turn, I told a tale of defeating hordes of enemies single-handed.
So tall had grown the prior tales that mine, and my hubris, led to an attempt to eclipse them all by including all manner of foes ranged against me and a battle won against impossible odds such that none other might rise after me and put my deeds to shame with a greater tale.
As I wove my story I defeated goblins, trolls, orcs, beastmen, and even managed to best three doombulls in a final confrontation.
The passion with which I wove the story combined with the potent ale to end my nigt in ignominous fashion as I pitched forward in a stupor.
I awoke from my sleep to find myself facing a fell wizard. Though I saw not his lips move, yet I knew his intent. As punishment for my extravagant boasting, I was cursed to wander the world telling tales of those truly heroic in battle.
And so have I been. I never know when I will next be swept away to appear in the camp of some battle about to be commenced. At times I take on the appearance, mannerisms and sppech patterns of those I join. At others I retain my own sensibilities.
I feel as if there is a mystical force protecting me. Perhaps I am doomed to this existence forever. Or perhaps I can find peace when I am able to atone for my verbal indiscretions. I know not.
What I do know is I found myself in the camp of Alaric, a minor Orcish chieftain. As is their way, he loved to fight. He sought ways to be involved in more battles. The prior chieftain, whose name I never learned, had just died in single combat with Alaric for his failure to find enough enemies to fight.
Fresh off this, Alaric actually concocted a rather clever plan. The nearby plains were known to have a shrine held in high esteem by the forces of the Empire. Should they hear the Orcs were defiling it, they would doubtless come forth to fight over it.
Alaric donned the warpaint he and his band are so fond of and headed off to desecrate the shrine. His plan worked to perfection as a vainglorious captain of the Empire called Fetterman chanced to be nearby. Hearing of the approaching orc band, he formed a battle line.
I should grieve over his battle plan. On some level I know this, yet I find myself instead entering a sympathetic state with Alaric.
Fetterman anchored his battleline with the left flank of his greatswords against the chapel, the shrine just ahead of them. To allow his handgunners line of sight, he spread them out on the right flank, but this forced his flank protecting detachment swordsmen to stand behind, rather than beside the greatswords.
Furthermore, he put his knights in the center of his line, in front of the greatswords.
On his left flank he anchored his archers against the building with their detachments again behind them. And on his extreme left he put the fearsome Helblaster Volley Gun.
Thus his deployment left his flanks vulnerable to fast moving Orcs who, should they be willing to risk the foreboding forests, could approach rather close without giving his missiles time to fire while his centre was quite crowded.
Alaric, meanwhile, ordered his Shaman Suevi to the far left flank, placed his boar-riding wild orcs on the left with that forest protecting their right flank. He protected the left flank of his foot-slogging band of orcs with the forest and put his fast moving chariot on his right. He and his lucky standard bearer, the ferocious Ariamir joined the orcs on foot.
As soon as the orcs go within range Fetterman began moving his forces forward. The archers on his left advanced to get a better firing position. His knights and Greatswords advanced and then the battle began in earnest as the volley gun blasted forth almost simultaneously with the handgunners on the right.
As smoke roiled over the flanks of he battlefield, the orc chariot disappeared in an explosion of iron, wood and orc as the volley gun shredded it in one go.
he flight of arrows seemed impressive, but killed just one of the foot Orcs who were heard to knowingly cackle about how "good my warpaint protects me".
Apparently the warpaint on the Boar-riders was not so good as two of them fell to the black-powder weapons.
Paying no attention to their falling brethren, the orc army surged forward. The Savage Orcs smashed into the knights as the Boar Boyz equivocated a bit, starting to charge the knights before slowing and aimlessly milling around.
Suevi eyed the greatswords and summoned the might of his magic, bringing the foot of Gork smashing down on them, slaying three.
As the combat commenced, Alaric saw most of his efforts blunted by the mighty armor of the knights, yet still felled one. At his side Ariamir proved he was more than just a good luck charm as he slew three knights single-handed.
Seeing himself alone and with not a single Orc having fallen to the mighty knights, the remaining knight took to his heels.
Startled by the ease of their initial victory, the orcs chased him for just a handful of steps before suddenly pausing.
Now it was Fetterman's turn to charge as he led his Greatswords and one detachment of swordsmen in a charge against the fierce unit that had just shattered his knights.
I have much to say about Fettermans' lack of skill in deployment but nought but good to sa of his courage for that was indeed a courageous maneuver and upon it the entire battle would hinge.
The handgunners had reloaded and their guns took down two more Boar riders as the archers advanced around the shrine, one dtachment garrisoning the building. The mighty volley gun was silent as it had no targets, so the crew began shifting it to better position.
Alaric went after Fetterman himself who would have died but for the strength of his armor. As it was, he reeled from the blows and blood poured forth from him.
Again Ariamir proved his skill as even the mighty plate armor of the great swords could not keep him from killing two of them. This time the rank and file proved effective, killing or badly wounding another 6 Greatswords to the loss of but 4 of their own.
The carnage proved to be too much for Fetterman. He began to flee. Seeing their mighty greatswords slain or fleeing, the remaining Empire forces took to their heels.
This indeed ended the battle. The orcs held the field covered in human blood and orcish glory. And so began the rise to power of Alaric, Ariamir and Suevi.