Tales of TanCred; The Satjon Invasion (Part III)
They marched down the eastern hills, the massive force looked large enough to take the city two times over. I wonder as I write, how many hundreds of thousands of peasants, women, and children are with them? - An account from a Bowman stationed atop the Fraunki city walls during the Satjon siege of the 3rd age.
"You see the entire city had been caught unawares," The storyteller flung his hands up in a mockingly surprised gesture. He looked at the listeners in turn and a loud BANG came from the main hearth, loud as a boulder smashing a city wall. "The boulders continued to rain against the city, the walls began to chip away slowly from the top. The archers defending them had been recalled to the keep do to the sheer blunt force and number of catapulted rock getting launched by the Satjons. Boom, booom, boom... Every second another boulder rained down smashing everything in its path. The citizens of the city were running about in fright and terror, fires burst out of every doorway until the Kings' voice carried over the city.
'To the Keep, you will find sanctuary at my keep! Come citizens of Fraunki! Come find shelter here! All forces, with me to the eastern gates!'
Moments earlier the city commanders had blundered into an admission of having no plan, which enraged the king. Leading to him walking out to the overseeing balcony of the tower to get some air, and without warning called out to his people in brokenhearted rage, for in his ignorance he allowed his city to burn.
The chaos was still absolute throughout the city, but now there was a sense of direction and control in the midst of it. It could be seen as soldiers ran east and commoners ran to the center of the city and into the safety of the King's palace.
'Sir!?' A messenger had ridden up to him at the eastern gates, Fraunki men swarmed all around them. 'Archers and infantry by the gates!' The King commanded, realizing that he held the only cavalry of 1000 men in the city. In a lesser tone to the messenger, ' What is it, my man?'
'Sir, the scouts number the Satjons to total in the 10 thousand range with 4,500 of them besieging the city, 3,500 are attacking the Tancred camp on the eastern side of the Roay fields, whilst the last of them stay home to guard the common folk.' The messenger bowed formally, symbolizing his final bit of knowledge on the subject. 'Thank you,' the King dismissed him and returned to the matter at hand. 'Archers, find the high points and rain arrows down as soon as the boulder seizes the firing. Spears, cover the ladders as they touch the wall and slash as many as you can before the get atop the walls. Catapult! Take down that siege tower, NOW!' His orders were simple but solid as the men waited for the stone to stop flying, which only took a matter of moments and the Fraunki forces moved into position. 4,500 Satjons were barreling down on the bruised city, but surprisingly most of the thousand defenders remained intact, along with over 2,000 common folks ready to defend the palace.
"Sir, there are going to be four fronts. A battering ram is slowly moving on the gates, two pairs of ladder divisions are flanked to either side, and that siege tower is moving in on the right flank. We could use some reinforcing on that side of the wall, sir.' His call man from atop the gates gave King Jovinous the information straight, which he liked very much. 'Go get 250 of the strongest men and, if needed, women to aid the spears on the right flank,' the King dispatched a rider to collect the arms necessary.
The Siege tower landed, despite the catapults best efforts, first along the right. It would be a matter of minutes before the first wave was ready to set loose on the walls. The top portion looked large enough to house over a hundred men per spill attack.
The ladders followed, swiftly. Fast enough the wall guard archers had no shot on stopping them and under the cover of the first two waves, the battering ram made it to the gates and proceed to slam against the 20 foot stone doors with gusto.
The situation looked dire, yet, the sound of hooves reached the Kingsmen's ears soon after the ram began its rhythmic battering of the gates. The King turned to see the messenger and the 250 men and women came racing up to the gates square and quickly directed to the walls. Just in time, 'We need to be vigilant, messenger. Did the scouts mention when reciting the numbers, how much of their attacking forces were cavalry?'
'You mean there is supposed to be 2,500 horsemen, but you don't know where they are!?' Bellowed the King, realizing his struggling wall guard is only dealing with a portion of the total attacking force. The first spill attack was signaled by the loud bang of the tower bridge coming down upon the Capitol walls. 'Ride to the western gates, report to me what is happening. Go, now!' Dispatching a rider to gather the intel, the Satjons fought hard upon reaching the waiting infantry but the solid shield wall of the Fraunki spears gave their archers all the space they needed. The lines held even after wave after wave of attackers, even the militia held strong against the first spill out attack from the siege tower and thereafter filtering in with the east flank spears.
'Ride to the western gates, report to me what is happening there. Go, now!' Dispatching a rider to gather the intel, the Satjons fought hard upon reaching the waiting Fraunki infantry, but the solid shield wall of the Fraunki spears wouldn't break. With the spears holding strong, this gave their archers all the space they needed to maintain a fire-at-will status. The lines held even after wave after wave of attackers. To the surprise of some, even the militia held strong against the spill out attacks from the siege tower and soon found themselves filtering in with the east flank spears.
'Sir, we found the rest of their forces.' the messenger had returned from the western gates with news of a second assault upon the city from there. This first attack was as much a distraction as a full out assault. It was on the King's Cavalry to hold the gates until the palace could be fitted with proper defenses.
The King called to the top of the gatehouse, 'Call man, tell the commanders to fall back to the keep as soon as the waves are dispatched here and that we have another front opening upon on the western gates, send word when the palace is secured, my men and I will fall back from there.'