Found in the Journal of The Scarlet Knight

My First Battle in Defense of The Land

The Battle had been forming in the minds of All Combatants for days - First Engagement finally began at First Light on that First Day. All Swords had been sharpened and All Steeds armored, fed and free of thirst. The Battle was on and I in my Second Year of Quest. The Knighthood needed to survive overwhelming odds and would require giving all my strength and loyalty to that End. My survival would be uncertain but the Knighthood must survive. The Land must survive. The Challenge was thus acceptable to myself and to All my Fellow Campion Knights.

Our Left Flank immediately came under severe threat by overwhelming cavalry but the Sophius held the edge at great expense. Members of the Juvenus rushed to support the Left Flank and together the Sophius and the Juvenus reversed the onslaught . The Youngest of Knights, Cohort I, filled the Front Line vacated by members of the Juvenus and were crucial in advancing Our Front Line into the Hostiles thus preventing their advance. The Youngest of Knights fought and bled well for the Knighthood on that day. The Right Flank was solid with the Knights Elite fully engaged with the major strength of the Hostile's cavalry but fierce fighting would be the rule of the day for All.

Some of the most cunning and battle-hardened Guardians took sight on a Distant High Ground as they were fully committed to the Battle raging before Them. Their decisive Insights and Directives of the Battle that unfolded before Them were relayed to the Knights in Command by members of the Youngest of Knights who would then stay to strengthen the Line. The Guardians on the Distant High Ground were always prepared to enter into the Battle at a moment of pivotal advantage that would force and sustain the final outcome - once armored, the Guardianr's Steeds were always chomping at the Bit, always smelling Battle and always smelling Victory. The remaining Guardians stayed in the Homeland in order to Fearlessly protect the Homeland and the Home of Someone Else. They were supported in this effort by the Chiens de la Terre who swore to defend their own homes and families that encircled the Homeland. The Chiens de la Terre would be resolute in this endeavor. But The Homeland and The Land would surely only be saved on a battlefield many miles away at the Southeastern edge of The Land.

Once the historical record was reviewed, The Battle had actually been given birth to many days earlier from First Engagement . The Blue and Gold of Aquinas, a steadfast Ally living well beyond the northern border of the Land, was attacked through dozens of skirmishes that resulted in many Aquinas Faithful being slaughtered and their homes burned to Ashes. This unprovoked savagery would require a forceful and decisive response throughout the Realm of The Blue and Gold. Their Cavalry and Armies were sent out to End the Assaults, capture those responsible and Punish in Kind. The Blue and Gold would only come to the Aid of the Knighthood when the borders and citizens of the Blue and Gold were thought to be secure. Thus, the Knighthood would be without the Blue and Gold fighting beside Them at the start of Battle against the Hostiles.

Five days after the initial attacks on the Blue and Gold, their Cavalry had routed most of the deadly conspirators and the borders had been sealed by their Armies. It was at this time that the Blue and Gold placed a small contingent of Soldiers and Supplies in Forced March headed for the Land. At least two days out from the Land and another two days to the battlefield with Soldiers already half-spent from fighting their own battles. Some of the Blue and Gold Cavalry would be following within three days. The Knighthood and the Land would thus have Allies to attack the Hostiles from the North. The Knighthood would but need to survive until they arrive.

The Illuminati of Wahlert, Allies at the Southern Border, could not join the Knighthood in Battle against the Hostiles. Their citizens as well as their military ranks had been ravaged by an unseen enemy living amongst them for months - an enemy that lived within many and that traveled through their Breath to attack Others. Many were near death and many others had little Strength or little Will to Live. The Illuminati were already in a battle for their Lives where armor, swords and steeds were of no use and They would need much time to heal and save Themselves. Their Sword arms and Archers would be sorely missed by the Land in The Battle against the Hostiles.

The Knighthood would be without Allies at First Engagement.

Night has finally arrived and it is a Cold Night. The First Day of Battle has Ended.

The Knights would come together at a safe distance from the battlefield. The outer perimeter set at 200 yards and the injured and central camp placed 300 yards further off on a sloping rise protected by All not guarding the perimeter. Many casualties were endured by the Knighthood on that First Day but All Knights were still able to Breathe in the Cold of that First Night. Breathing in Life after fighting has Ended - it must be like being born into the World - I am sure that this is True.

The Women of the Land and Beyond were staged in Camp to provide relief from pain, to calm and to comfort all Knights in need. The Women cleansed and bandaged all wounds. Food and water were plentiful and were provided unsparingly by the Women. Campfires were lacking so the food was cold and the night would only get colder before First Light.

The Knights huddled together for both warmth and solace that First Night - resting as best they could while still being vigilant. I used the warm breath and the warm blood yet to clot from those Knights around me to warm my hands. My hands would be needed for Strength of Sword to Kill the Hostiles in the coming Day. I felt the need for this conduct. Their Warmth of Body secured by me would help to seize the coming Day. I could only pray that they would be fighting beside me when we again faced the Hostiles. I will save their lives at that time spilling my own blood in payment.

Many of the Knights Elite remained on alert, armored and in stirrups atop their Steeds while Both rested through the night - only condensation of Warm Breath indicated Life of Each on this cold night. The Knights Elite would rest and strengthen Themselves with the Youngest of Knights remaining at their side. The Second Day of Battle would begin at First Light so that First Attack against the Hostiles would commence at Low Sun. The First Attack would be spearheaded by the Knights Elite. This would be our Day. The Knighthood must stay strong.

The Guardians, encamped on the Distant High Ground, protected a 3 day supply of food and water for the Knighthood with a supply caravan set to arrive in two days with no accompanying reinforcements. The Guardians would forfeit their Lives before relinquishing this Distant High Ground and the Supplies that they guarded for the Knighthood. The Guardians have Always held and will Always hold the High Ground and yet this time the Guardians are chomping at the Bit - much like their Steeds. The Guardians have made a decision. The Guardians will leave the High Ground - They are preparing to enter The Battle. They will choose the Time.

The Second Day of Battle is in the making.

Many of the Sophius had been quietly amassing near the Left Flank of the battlefield during the few hours before First Light and most of the Juvenus placed Themselves along the Right Flank one hour before First Light. The Youngest of Knights were in support of both flanks but were concentrated in the frontal assault force with the remaining Sophius and Juvenus that were to be led into battle by the Knights Elite.

Throughout the night the Hostiles had been bathed in campfire light, keeping Warm and Visible to the Knighthood. The Knighthood will know where the Hostiles Lie and will know how much Mead they will have consumed when First Light arrives.

Under cover of darkness, the Guardians had delivered to the Battle Camp 400 broadswords forged from Damascus Steel that had been stored in the Guardians Armory. Along with the broadswords came 100 lances of hardened Damascus Strength Steel that were of lesser weight yet stronger and easier to wield than the customary battle lances of the Knights Elite.

With First Light approaching, the Knights Elite shed their heaviest and most protective of Armor. They replaced their Armor with thick leather secured about their torsos, loins and femorals. Thick leather was worn around the neck and arms while the lightest of chain mail provided head covering to ensure full view of the battlefield. The Steeds of the Knights Elite would remain fully armored and the Steeds were ripening for the Charge.

The Knights Elite placed their personal battle lances and shields in a blessed plot of Earth outside the battlefield, considered sacred to all Knights in battle, thus providing a home for the Damascus Steel battle lances upon their Steeds. With the Guardians generous tribute, the Knights Elite would now carry 2 broadswords and the lighter and stronger lances into battle. The remaining broadswords would be distributed throughout the Knighthood so that many of the Knights would enter into battle on this Second Day carrying 2 broadswords in search of Hostile armor. This Day would be forever Known as The Day of Steel.

It is the Second Day and it is Time for Battle. The First Attack has begun.

The Sophius, encamped on the Left Flank since the early hours of the Second Day, are now moving forward and inward onto the battlefield. In concert, the Juvenus on the Right Flank are moving directly onto the battlefield with an oblique formation where they expect to encounter flanking cavalry of the Hostiles. With knowledge held by only a few, the Juvenus had secured the aid of The Hounds of the Chiens de la Terre. Hounds trained to "Serve and Protect" their Masters at all costs. Hounds, each 110 pounds of muscle, bone and tooth, as swift as Steeds and fully trained to attack armored cavalry to Challenge their Charge. These Hounds will never be held at bay.

The Knights Elite are now on the Move with Knights interwoven within their Ranks. Their Charge is imminent and the rise of the Sun is now where it needs to be.

The Charge is on - it is First Attack of the Second Day for All Knights.

The Frontal Charge of the Knights Elite onto the battlefield is slow and steady. They are steadying their Line with Knights at their side. The Frontal Charge reaches half-gallop when the cavalry of the Hostiles first begins to enter the field of battle. Soon, the Charge of the Knights Elite is at full gallop and prepared for engagement with the Hostiles with Knights following their Lead. The Knights are set to engage the Hostiles before the Hostiles cavalry can fully enter the battlefield and unable to mount a serious Charge in response to the Charge of the Knights Elite. The Frontal Charge of the Knights has been Timed Well. The Knights have the advantage and All will visit Hell on this Day.

The Knights Elite, carrying less weight and encumbrance, engaged the First of the Hostiles cavalry in a fury of Knight and Steed. The Hostiles cavalry was immediately pushed back unto themselves causing confusion and chaos within Their ranks. Many of the Hostiles fell with their Steeds upon Them, being frozen in time and place, and seeing their Death ready to be delivered by Knights in support of Their cavalry. The Knights Elite carried forward maintaining Knight and Steed together as One. Every Challenge was being won by the Knights Elite and every Challenge Won bled the Hostiles ever more.

The rear ranks of the Hostiles began to regroup as They saw the devastation unfolding before Them. The Hostiles sent cavalry and infantry under cover offered by the surrounding forest to attack behind the Right flank of the Knights but the Juvenus would be there to meet them. Most of the Juvenus had strategically placed Themselves on the Right Flank of the battlefield able to attack the Hostiles while protecting the Frontal Charge of the Knights. The Juvenus also maintained a small strength of force at the Clearing just outside the Woods on the Right Flank ready to protect the integrity of the Battlefield and the Knights engaged in battle. The Hounds of the Chiens de la Terre were among the Juvenus in the Clearing.

The Hostiles cavalry coming through the Woods on the Right Flank had unwittingly out-maneuvered their own infantry. The few trails of the Woods were easily used by the cavalry but their supporting infantry had to slog through the Woods off-trail with great effort to arrive at the Clearing. Their infantry would arrive late and would be lacking in strength and value to engage in batlle. Their attack is ill-fated. The Hostiles have chosen unwisely.

When much of the Hostiles unprotected cavalry had entered the Clearing on the Right Flank, the Hounds of the Chiens de la Terre were released. All will now forever know who "Let the Dogs Out". The Hostiles cavalry being disoriented and without a true plan of action after entering the Clearing were now ready for the taking - the Hounds tore into them and tore them apart. The Hounds of the Chiens de la Terre viciously attacked the Steeds of the Hostiles at their exposed legs and hooves preventing any meaningfully charge forward. The Hounds lunged at the head of any Steed within their attack range, pulling at the reins and causing their downfall. Their Riders would accompany Them Downward to await their End provided by the Juvenus and any available Hound's Tooth to the throat. The Juvenus quickly dispatched any cavalry mercifully overlooked by the Hounds. In short time, the Hostiles cavalry was no more. Upon reaching the Clearing and seeing the carnage that lay before Them, the infantry of the Hostiles refused to enter the bloody field. They would remain in the Woods until ordered to attack.

The Juvenus at the Clearing now gathered up the bloodied and exhausted Hounds of the Chiens de la Terre. The Hounds fighting on this Day is over. The Hounds will be escorted by the Women of the Land and Beyond out of the Clearing towards relief from battle and towards much needed tending to wounds. The bloodied and exhausted Juvenus will remain at the Clearing.

The Hostiles had also regrouped much of their Reserves and sent both cavalry and infantry to attack the Knights on the Left Flank of the Battlefield. These Hostiles could not be allowed to attack the Left Flank of the Knights - these Hostiles would need to be engaged and much blood shed to protect All Knights in Battle and thus protect the Land.

Then it happened from the North. The Blue and Gold arrived - armored Cavalry, Thirty-Strong, with an entire company of Veteran Fighters armed with sword and shield and All in support of the Knighthood and the Land. The Blue and Gold were now in position to attack the Hostiles that were sent to destroy the Left Flank of the Knights.

The Guardians on High Ground observed the Hostiles being sent to attack the Left Flank as They were the First to see the Blue and Gold arriving from the North - the Guardians now chose Their Time to enter The Battle. Within the time it takes for the heart beats needed to call out one's Destiny, The Guardians took to stirrups and were upon their Steeds in full gallop moving toward the Left Flank of the Knights to intercept the Hostiles and to join forces with the Blue and Gold.

The Blue and Gold cavalry attacked the Hostiles cavalry directly from the North disregarding any flanking moves and moving towards the Hostiles Strength expecting to find Victory or Salvation. Within moments of the Blue and Gold attack, the Guardians attacked the Hostiles cavalry directly from the South with flanking moves able to engage the Hostiles infantry with a fury known to all Knights and to all Guardians. With Sword and Shield, the Veteran Fighters of the Blue and Gold placed themselves in extreme mortal combat with the Hostiles infantry in order to protect cavalry of the Blue and Gold, the Guardians of the Land, and to lay claim to Righteous Killing of the Hostiles. They would soon be joined in combat by members of the Sophius also there to protect and to seek Righteous Killing of their Own. The Battle is raging and Hell will never be more Ablaze than Here on the Left Flank. I am now fighting in that Hell.

The Frontal Assault led by the Knights Elite is now one of Attrition. The battle is hand to hand - it is between Knights and Hostiles with All Steeds having been excused from battle. The Knights Elite were the first of the cavalry to go Off-Steed and were brandishing their broadswords with unrelenting fury while standing alongside the Juvenus, the Sophius and the Youngest of Knights. The Knights must stay strong. With no reserves available, the Frontal Conflict is only in jeopardy from the rear. The Clearing at the Right Flank is still manned by the Juvenus but They are greatly outnumbered by the Hostile's infantry still cowering in the woods. If the Juvenus fall at the Clearing, the Hostile's infantry will be able to attack the Frontal Conflict from the rear and to then sweep into the Left Flank. The Juvenus must hold Their Ground and the Juvenus are Alone in the Clearing.

The order has been given - the Hostile's infantry in the Woods at the Clearing is now moving forward and They are 300 yards from the Juvenus. The Juvenus can only defend the soil beneath Them where They will await the coming battle and their Fate.

The Hostile's infantry is forming into 3 waves as They continue to enter the Clearing. The first wave is comprised of mostly young and inexperienced fighters intended to identify the strength and placement of the Juvenus. The second wave consists of most of their battle-hardened infantry while the third wave is to be used to strengthen the areas of the battle most in need to finish the Kills. This Tactic of the Hostile's infantry attacking an adversary of diminished numbers is well known to All. The Juvenus at the Clearing are indeed of diminished numbers but They will always be of superior Strength and Spirit.

The infantry of the Hostiles is at a walking pace and taunting the Juvenus as They draw nearer to the site of engagement. This strategy will not work on the Juvenus - the Hostiles have again become unwise. The Juvenus expect the first wave of the Hostiles to begin their charge at 50 yards from their defensive stance. It is expected soon.

Then it happened from the South. The Illuminati arrived - Archers, Fifty-Strong, all able to down a pigeon in Flight at 40 yards with every 2 of 3 pulls of their Bow and with Arrowhead Steel able to penetrate any armor at 250 yards. They were accompanied by All the Illuminati Special Guard that were able to engage in battle. The Illuminati have healed Themselves and They have come to fight for the Knighthood and for The Land.

The Illuminati were well-versed in the Tactics of the Hostiles. Archers of the Illuminati prepared for the volleys yet to fly from their Bows and finalized their strategy in attacking the Hostiles while Members of the Special Guard rushed to stand alongside the Juvenus. The infantry of the Hostiles is unaware of what lies before Them in the Clearing.

As the first wave of the Hostile's infantry began their charge, Archers of the Illuminati targeted the second wave still at a walking pace with volley after volley of Killing. The Hostiles of the second wave still with sword in hand were felled by Arrow and not by Sword - a dishonorable outcome for any warrior. Volley after volley from the Archers continued to find their mark through shield and armor as the second wave of the Hostiles could not hide from the Illuminati Archers willing and able to determine the Deadly Fate of the Hostiles. Arrows would continue to fly easily into and through both shield and armor of the Hostiles at a deadly rate for a deadly Time. The Hostiles were indeed unwise.

The first wave of the Hostiles was met with great force by the Juvenus and the Illuminati Special Guard with the Hostiles suffering great loss of Life within minutes of the engagement and with no second wave in immediate support. Still, the Juvenus and the Special Guard remain in jeopardy at the Clearing.

The Frontal Conflict of The Battle is now under the control of the Knights Elite. The Hostiles have but one escape from this battle and it resides at the hilt-end of a Knight's sword. The Knights Elite with the Youngest of Knights at their side remained at the Front. Of the other Knights fighting at the Front, the Sophius rushed to the Left Flank while the Juvenus raced to the Clearing on the Right Flank.

The Sophius, relieved from the Frontal Conflict, attacked the Hostiles on the Left Flank without warning and without mercy. They Ended any Hostile engaged in battle with a well-placed sword thrust while securing the edge of battle forcing the Hostiles into the midst of blood-letting to await their certain End of Life. The Hostiles will surely lose the Left Flank.

Upon leaving the Frontal Conflict, Members of the Juvenus raced to support their brethren in the Clearing. They knew not of the presence of the Illuminati and braced Themselves for what They would encounter. The reinforcing Juvenus came in strength through the forest to the left of the Clearing arriving near the fighting of the Hostile's first wave and the Defenders of The Land. Upon seeing the colors of the Knighthood alongside those of the Illuminati, they attacked the Hostiles from the flank and sent a contingent of Juvenus, still engaging with the first wave, to guard the gap between the first and second waves of the Hostiles. The second wave of the Hostiles will encounter the Juvenus before they will be of any aid to their condemned comrades.

The second wave of the Hostile's infantry, even after suffering much loss, was still of far superior numbers. They were finally able to regroup and understood that any hope of respite from the Arrows of the Illuminati would be to close the distance to the fighting that lay before Them and hopefully before the first wave was annihilated. As expected, the second wave charging forward received fewer Arrows as their distance to the battle lessened. The Archers of the Illuminati released several more volleys into the second wave before They targeted the third wave of the Hostiles who were beginning a Charge of their own. The third wave fell just as easily as the second wave had fallen. The Archers of the Illuminati will need to prevent the third wave from reaching the Battle of the Clearing in force.

At the Clearing, the Juvenus and the Illuminati Special Guard have finally provided All of the first wave of the Hostile's infantry the pathway to meet their Ancestors - the Hostiles need only to Go into the Light. After holding the soil beneath Them, the Juvenus and Special Guard now coalesced as One and began a Charge forward to meet the charging second wave of the Hostiles.

The Hostiles on the Left Flank have now fallen to the Defenders of the Land. The Frontal Conflict is Over with only a handful of Hostiles remaining alive. It is now that the Knights Elite and the Youngest of Knights released from the Front to support the Right Flank. Without rest, They raced through the forest toward the Clearing while the Archers of the Illuminati continued their Assault on the third wave of the Hostiles, slowing Their charge with deadly flights of Arrows. Soon, the second wave of the Hostiles and the Defenders at the Clearing, the Juvenus and Illuminati, will be Sword to Sword.

As the second wave of the Hostiles and The Defenders of the Land clashed in the Clearing, the Knights Elite and the Youngest of Knights of the Frontal Conflict broke into the Clearing just beyond the engagement. They immediately attacked the second wave of the Hostiles from the flank and the rear while the Illuminati Archers relentlessly targeted the third wave. With neither shield nor armor in play in order to conserve Strength of Sword, the hand-to-hand fighting could not be more Deadly. It is now only Sword against Sword, Sword against Flesh and Bone.

Shedding Much Blood to the cold piercing Arrowhead Steel of the Illuminati and seeing the battle raging before Them, the third wave of the Hostiles went into full retreat back into the Woods knowing well that the comrades they were abandoning would Be Ended before the Dark would be at it's Darkest. From this day forward, those who retreated will Forever Live in Darkness until Death relieves their pain for leaving comrades at the Clearing. Their Sin of Retreat will be dealt with in Another Place.

The Dark is now beginning to End this Second Day of The Battle but more Killing is required to End The Battle for placement in the Scrolls. The Archers of the Illuminati, with no Hostiles available to receive their Arrows, let fly burning Arrows to light up the Clearing for All to use to identify Defenders of The Land and Hostiles in need of Killing. Their burning Arrows would continue to fly into the Clearing until the Battle is at an End.

It is now the Dark with a Full Moon willing to guide the Killing. The Hostiles in the Clearing will End soon. The Battle for the Land is Over.

Throughout this Night, the Defenders of The Land are now to be Lost between Exhaustion and Attention to their Wounded. At Dawn, The Defenders of The Land will collect Weapons and Steeds and escort Their Dead and Wounded in the Longest of Journeys toward Home - a Journey of Fallen Comrades.

It is now the Dawn. It is a New Day and a New and Different Future for All. The Land has survived. The Knighthood has survived. I have survived.

I am Alive and I will now continue on my Righteous Quest as a Knight of Campion and as a Knight of The Land.