Eril — 0240 Transcript Of Battle Report By Initiate Berra
After a battle it is the duty of the Swords of Humakt to be sure that Death was not misused, and to learn what they may for the benefit of their Temple, from the experiences of others. Berra Jarangsdottir was involved with the Battle of Alda Chur on the occasion of its taking by King Argrath of Pavis and Alone. Jarangsdottir has reported in a timely fashion.
Expanded log from [[[berra:cannon-detachment|Cannon Detachment]]].
Berra takes a polite sip of the ale, looking around. On spotting a flat table she does not bother asking permission. She simply empties the contents of a pouch onto it. Peeled sticks and small flat pieces of wood get left in a pile for a moment while she looks around, and then nods to indicate one wall as she works out which way she is facing. She puts together a rough map of Alda Chur from some of the larger bits of wood, speaking as she does.
Indecision in deciding which way is North, to begin building map. Efficient in doing so.
“It is my honour to present a report on a battle in which I took part, in action more than command, for the understanding of those here.”
Present: Eril, High Sword of Humakt. Athanu, allied spirit of Eril, and Cult initiate of high standing. Scribe is Athanu; noteless record-keeping is deemed sufficient as Eril judges this a minor matter.
“Under the request of Thane Varanis of the Blue Tree and Saiciae, and in accordance with my understanding of your wishes, I had command position in the Esrolian volunteer force under her.”
“Only her request?” Eril steps over to look at the map, taking it in with a glance.
Compares not unfavourably to current knowledge.
“Yes, my Lord. To me. To them it was… a condition. Not an order.”
“How so?” He sounds distant.
Well, Initiate? What did you learn?
“They had sworn to follow her banner, my Lord, but were arguing among themselves, being several units not united by a Wyter. They did not like accepting me, I think, but did so because of her. I will be able to answer political questions to the best of my ability after the briefing in the battle.”
Not enough. Athanu, mark ‘best of ability’ for my later optional despair.
Unsure of meaning.
I value that in you. Redact request. Note she was prepared to answer the question but uncomfortable with the answer’s content.
“This is the city of Alda Chur. Market here, Lunar garrison here, Prince’s Fort here. Trustable intelligence had shown that the city was over-full, mostly with troops, but that food was sufficient and mounts were in good order.”
“Elaborate.” He looks at the map like he is judging its correctness.
“I had gone over the walls myself, my Lord, as a bodyguard to Valseena, who is known to me and trustworthy. In my sight, she spoke with the horses using magic, and relayed that they were in good order, if not top condition. I saw the numbers of people camped in the streets and made count of the people on the walls and on patrol personally, as well as looking at their equipment as closely as I could.”
She should have mentioned that as part of the pre-briefing.
Query: not separate interrogation?
No. We have the report already.
Reference against reports of her behaviour, including recitals and sagas.
She has nothing new to say, nor depths of character to demonstrate. We knew she had done this. Nevertheless, it was for her to mention.
Understanding is mine.
Eril does not hesitate for long before he nods. “You did as appropriate. Proceed.”
“Orders came from Khan Venna to Thane Varanis and me, to take in the troops to the North gate, which would be destroyed for us by magic, and to hold the gate until the army would appear. After discussion, I asked that the timing be moved from Yelmrise to an hour before, to give me the time to hold a regimental meal, and bring courage to the troops by Humakt’s magic. There was no pushback – this was done.”
Of course it was, and yet it was not her place to question. No better, no worse, than expected.
“Mhm. The blessing?”
“First the approach, Lord. We had moved along the Glasswall road, as we had done before. We rested out of sight under a scouting screen and awaited full dark, with solid ground between us and the city. Joining us we had the Praxians already known to us and another, a White Lady by the name of Maalira. We were also joined by Koraki Silverhand. The blessing proceeded as expected, with the god laying his hands on our shoulders. The troops were eager, and we advanced in the dark swiftly, but under good control.”
Initiate did not answer your question directly.
In this case, correct not to do so. Nothing new, of course.
Record no answer.
“We got to charging distance, the agreed magic happened, and the gates were destroyed. I do not know what the magic was, although I think it was Disorderly. Bits of the gate were falling as we charged, cavalry first under me, infantry behind under Varanis.” Berra’s hands move in parallel to indicate the two lines. “A Yelmalian designated to light the way did so, increasing the chances of death by arrow, but lighting the way for us. We entered the breached gate no more than fifty heartbeats after the explosion.”
‘designated’. That sounds like it hides politics, yet it is the Dagger of Ducks speaking.
Only my interest in who designated whom. Not of import here. Now, pay full attention to the report.
So you have already instructed me.
“I rode in behind Rajar, my Lord.”
“Behind? A Humakti shielded by a Storm Bull?”
“He’s a better rider than me. I was on his bison. It was the best way to get me to where I was needed. Contact in the gate was minimal. There was a spear line of unarmoured warriors. I dismounted at the gallop, and hit the line just after the cavalry. We held the gate, and Rajar went on as a heavy scout.”
“Nothing of import in the gate?”
“… No, Lord.”
Unusual. Guilty look. Brief. Mark for investigation.
“Proceed, then. If you are sure.”
Note surly expression. As expected. But brief also.
“I am sure. I’ll go on.” Berra takes a drink first, though. While she does so, she pulls a few plaques from the pile of pieces left over from building the city. Cavalry and infantry are already marked on, as Horse and Man Runes. A few smaller markers have Runes carved rather than marked in charcoal. Beast for Rajar, Earth for Nala, Air for Varanis, Mastery and Air for Koraki.
Berra, of course, is a tiny carved sword.
“Rajar moved up here, sighted the cavalry, and mock-charged, then veered off to return. I gave command to Sorala the Vingan, and went up the wall stair. That’s here…”
All marks are clear.
A commendation from you?
Peasants are good with their hands, for simple tasks. She has nobody to do this for her.
“I let the Trance come into me, as I ran – then fought – up the stairs… the god left me with his magic, still, which I took as evidence of his favour. I decided not to spend that last connection. I’ll stand by that it anyone asks.”
A patrician brow arches. That is all. You may never know what that cost me, young one.
“As I reached the top, Nala rended the earth to provide us a moat, capturing some of the cavalry, thus. On top, there was battle to clear the area. Varanis and Koraki were present, with the Vingan bodyguard that Varanis had chosen. I was followed by the axe maidens. When I was here, I noted the approach of the Humakti along the wall. I thought it was the entire Regiment, although I was wrong. It was Gallem and his guard. I called the alert to those present and went to block his way, at this jug-neck”
Bottleneck, Initiate. Show less of what you were, more of what you will be.
“The usual forms were followed, and we fought. He broke the sword that held Humakt’s blessing, but I had another. As we fought, the sound of battle below was clear. There was a short engagement. Koraki and Varanis took on his guard also. However, I was soon unable to hear everything.” Berra removes a length of wood from the North wall. “The entire wall moved up and out and apart. It was louder than the cannon. There was a breach there which I later saw to be wider than ten men in a shield wall, at the rubble at the base. There was rubble everywhere and the dust in the city was considrera… consid..er…able. The wind blew much of it towards the Lunar fort. I cannot tell you if this was planned. Lord Gallem fell, but after I allowed him to rise he struck me. He then departed, with a reduced guard.”
Reference against previous reports of fights and known sagas?
Within expected telling. No major errors.
Timing of moat creation clashes with two other reports, aligns with one.
“Did all fight with honour?”
“All that I saw, Lord. Down in the breach, Rajar had killed the house of the allied spirit of a Son of the Sun, and the charge did not for the most part get through the wall. Its remains was rolled up from its right flank by the cavalry under Lord Xenofos. So.”
Redact commentary on grammar.
“I saw the breach afterwards, although I did not see the bodies up close. They looked pale, though, from a distance, with great sling-wounds to them, and the rubble was blood-wet even at dawn.”
“It is… known… that the Dwarf has many ways of using the cannon. It seems that ‘with cunning’ is one.”
“As you will, my Lord. I organised the troops to go protect the city and inhabitants, as I felt appropiate… appropriate. The cannon then advanced, greeting Khan Venna, who took command of the city. I apologise. I don’t know the word exactly for preparing it. But it fired and the gate to the Prince’s Fort was breached. They surrendered. Any questions, Lord?”
Guilt in gateway.
We will make investigation from other angles. I have full confidence in her actions. Note that initiate is confident but not overly familiar, as befits her position within the Temple.
So noted. Table requires cleaning.
Berra reports to Lord Eril on the battle of Alda Chur.