Status Quo


Today Warton met the rebel leader. Their leader is some middle-aged peasant called Harin Lahk. In Warton's words 'the man is intelligent but lacking in manners and dignity and seems to have a soft spot for wine and prostitutes'. The rebels demand independence for the province with this man as their king and nine thousand koriis as ransom for the Duke and his family. Presposterous. These dogs think they can run a kingdom. I had hoped for a peaceful settlement to this business but it appears these people are bent upon war.

Some hours ago one of our scouting parties clashed with their patrolmen. Three of our men were killed and two wounded while they lost around five men and atleast four were wounded. My men swear the rebels attacked first. I had given them strict orders to not engage any enemy they sight. I am in no position to wage war right now. The garrison in the city numbers five thousand, out of which around a thousand were loyalists of the duke and were either killed, imprisoned or fled. Added to these there are atleast three thousand peasant rebels. They may not be very skilled but even three thousand unskilled men with weapons can be damaging enough. I have a force of two thousand here and have no siege equipment. I sent messengers to Kashka and Jeren ordering reinforcements but that will take atleast ten days. The longer they hold the city the stronger their position becomes. I have underestimated them. Till reinforcements arrive I can only try to draw them out of the city for then I will have a tactical advantage. But it is unlikely that they will fall for it. Unless something happens out of the blue, I sense a status quo for the next ten days.

My stab wound is showing signs of improvement but the dull ache is still there and I still limp slightly when walking. I went for a ride around the countryside early in the morning today. What was once a beautiful piece of land has been reduced to debris and ashes. Estates have been ransacked. Gardens that once brimmed with flowers and butterflies now lie stained with blood, crushed under the foot of angry peasants. Seeing the destruction, my desire to teach these dogs a lesson has grown stronger.

Another problem has cropped up. Our supplies are dwindling . The farms lie untended and there isn't much in the region to hunt. With the city close Ad to us we have no source of food. The surrounding towns have all surrendered to the rebels. The entire province now practically belongs to them. But they do not have enough force to administer it. Tomorrow Calliers and Loven will ride out with five hundred men each and try to secure the towns. We need them for supplies. I feel very restless sitting in my tent while my generals do all the work. I believe a king's place is in the front ranks with his men, not in the safe confines of his tent. But it is necessary that I remain here to deal with Lahk.


I like the way you're developing the character. You're right, complex fellow. :P

One thing though: I still think you slightly overestimating the readers knowledge about battle and all the rest related to war. Eg: The patrol men. I presumed you could have men on foot patrolling the perimeter. Very wrong, but for me it was first instinct.

October 12, 2008 at 8:52 PM  

He was willing to attack yesterday...and now the damage pains him. Hmmm, yes, complex. Just the right amount of grey :)

October 16, 2008 at 8:29 PM  

Gardens that once brimmed with flowers and butterflies now lie stained with blood, crushed under the foot of angry peasants.

Sir, wonderful blog you have here. Waiting eagerly for your next post. May victory be with you.

PS--Give the dogs an extra kick in the a** from me.

October 16, 2008 at 10:13 PM  

Nikita: Good, my attempts at a grey character appear to be having osme measure of success. :P

Yes, that's something I'm having trouble with. Giving too many details will make it textbookish. Have to strike a balance. Trial and error I suppose.

Wild Iris: There is a difference between attacking an enemy in battle and ravaging the countryside like bandits. And thanks.

The Keeper of the Keys: I am touched by the praises you heap upon me, lady.

PS: Consider it done.


October 17, 2008 at 12:40 AM  

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