Had a bit of time tonight so I whipped up an additional installment of the scouting story. It introduces another of my favorite characters...
Scouting the Enemy
Nevel forego the pleasantries of a formal campsite as he lay hidden in the canopy overlooking the Haverdack army. His horse safely tethered a mile back waiting his return. He would have rode in closer but this leg of the scouting mission required a stealthier approach.
The ranger had evaluated the small woodcutting men assessing their potential as adversaries. He concluded that their heightened agility and incredible speed could prove formidable. If the tiny men were formally trained in warfare the Brethens would have their hands full. Even without training, there were so many; Nevel did not want to think of the carnage that lay in the future.
All things being equal though, the creatures stood little chance of breaching the sturdy stone walls of the Brethen Keep. Throughout history, several armies had tried to overtake the Brethen lands. With every attempt, the men of the Brethen Keep stood stoic, building their walls taller and wider. Each success taught them more robust models on how to defend themselves with greater efficiency.
In recent years, a genius architect had helped them design war machines for their battlements. They were intricate mechanisms of counter weights and slings set upon the highest points of the Brethen Keep and capable of hurling salvos of rock down upon an advancing army. Designs Nevel had thought were novel, but now looking down on the army below he realized could change the tide of the Brethens' future. The ranger had been present the day the inventor, Red Eye, had presented his prototype to the king.
"The Brethen Keep has relied too heavily on the mages of the Wisentrop district. They are formidable men, no question of that my liege, but men non the less. We cannot assume to have their magic at our beck and call, loyalties as it is said can always change. Should the time come, it would be nice to have an unwavering alternative to those who reside in the mage towers of Ansirk."
The wily inventor pulled in a deep breath and then continued his presentation. "It is time to roll out a new era of defense. We can always be resort back to the Order of Magi should my creations fail, my lord. I plead however you trust in my abilities, these mongonels will not falter."
Red Eye pointed to his odd contraptions spread across a dozen wagons. "I know it does not look like much now but consider the schematics I showed you last year. When we lock the forward load bearing legs in place on the keep walls and stretch the..."
The king's hand came up in a stopping motion, "Red you need not go into the details of it with me again. I did not understand you the first time you told me of this design. I had not realized how large it would be. Can the walls handle it?"
The odd man shook his head yes, then slightly in a no fashion. "My lord, a small retrofit of slate will need to be added to each of the mongonel locations on the ramparts. My calculations suggest that the given sectional weight distribution, based upon the span and height of our current wall is inadequate. I did however cross reference the known specifications of our current wall's construction versus that of Eshendown stone..."
"Enough Red," The king waved his hand once more and then stood idle. His majesty's face suggested a look of being lost in an internal dialogue. His eyes shifted from side to side, and he nodded an ascent to a question none in the audience heard. Most were accustomed to this anecdotal feature of their king and paid it no attention.
King Blake turned to his constituents. "Do any lords hold reservations of Constable Red Eye's proposed wall installation?"
Lord Wallace Manti spoke up, "My lord I concur with the constable. The rock from my quarries is an excellent choice of material. I would be honored to supply it for our beloved Brethen Keep."
"Lord Foxe?" the king asked, turning to his oldest friend.
As always, accompanying the sage man on either side was Sir Macimar and Nevel. Marith Foxe shook his head. "We have needed war machines of this caliber for a long time, my lord. If Red says he has come up with a working prototype then we should test it. I would be curious if he can achieve the projectile range he has boasted."
Nevel continued to watch the expansive army crawl through the valley. To his dismay as coincidence would have it, rolling into view were similar implements of war to that of Red Eye's creations. The Haverdack army had use of siege equipment. This did not bode well for the keep, it would soon be time to test those new creations under most dire of times.
Also as requested, I added a bit to the previous Fardea story. No not the romance part, but the tray part. I think it adds a bit more fun to the segment.
Fardea - Part 4 - Turning the Tides