06 January 2011
An Act of WAR!!
I, Eleazar, commander of forces loyal to Lord DeSpencer of Ainwick, by order of my lord, attached to the service of Lord Lockesley, to assist him in enforcing laws forbidding the peasants to assemble themselves without permission of the Crown, entered the woods south of Dumphries, in the company of Lord Lockesley and two fellow knights, named Guiles and Lambert.
Approaching from the west, we observed two clerics preaching to a group of peasants.
As ordered, we concealed ourselves at the edge of the woods and waited. If the peasants peaceably dispersed when confronted by their treason, they may be allowed to go home.
As we waited in concealment, Lord Lockesley rode boldly forward, crying "In the Name of the King..."
His cry was suddenly silenced as the peasants began to flee in all directions.
We watched in horror as Lockesley fell mortally wounded from the saddle! But from our distant vantage point, I could not immediately determine the source of the danger. I raised my sword to order our men forward in defense of the emissaries of the King, and took one last second to determine the proper angle of assault.
From across the field, I spotted the source of the peasants' terror: Riders, Irish by my reckon, and six in number. I prepared to sound the charge to dispatch these brigands.
I watched our two remaining knights for their lead, but they seemed transfixed by the body of Lockesley. Their hesitance cast a shadow across my own heart.
Suddenly, the event took on a new clarity as I spotted Lockesley's murderers: French crossbows, occupying the high ground to the south of the battle (for it now surely was one, and no longer a simple police action). I could see they were preparing to fire again, what would surely be a murderous rain from their perch high above an excellent field of fire. In an instant, my plan changed with the fluidity of the situation, and I prepared to order my men southeast to attack the shooters by a fearless charge up the more gentle slope behind the crossbowmen.
To my great dismay, as I turned to issue the order to charge, I caught a glimpse of yellow to the north: Lord Lambert was fleeing, lying close along the neck of his mount to hasten his departure and save his own skin. Guiles, too, had fled, but I could see he had turned to rally, finding his courage too late.
With our employer dead, and both his compatriots fled (at the time), we no longer had orders in this matter. Though I certainly recognize our loyalty to the King, mercenaries that we are, suicidal charges command a higher price than we were being paid. I sounded the retreat and lagged behind my men to see if the enemy would pursue.
The dogs pursued as far as the woods, but then contented themselves to despoil the body of the valiant Lockesley. I led my men south to report the villianous acts of these foreigners to the Crown. It was heard more than once within my hearing that Scotland would pay for this act of open WAR! As a mercenary, I have found that BOTH sides pay, and pay handsomely.