Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gascony

Tarbes, 7th December 1713

Thankfully holding the bowl of warm soup between her hands, she looked all around. That small guesthouse close to Tarbes was pretty quiet, with almost no guests apart from themselves. "That is good", she told to herself, "for we'll finally be able to rest a whole night on a bed".

She thoughtfully glanced at the table next to theirs own, where her Catalan and German bodyguards were devouring their meals in silence, disguised as simple lackeys and grooms. They looked pretty fatigued, after several days and nights of ceaseless march along the snowy road. It was then that the young lady sitting by her asked:

--Lisette? --Such was her agreed name during their journey across upper Gascony. It wasn't advisable by any means she was called by her true name, Elisenda.

--Yes I'm here, Claire --she smoothly answered while getting back to reality.

--You look worried --Claire said, as if diagnosing Elisenda-- Still concerned by our good corsairs' fate? Don't anymore. Their captain is cunning enough for having fooled King Philip's warships one way or another. Such has been his way of life for years, you know?

Elisenda replied in a tired voice: --Perhaps I'm concerned for these corsairs, true. But for our own exhausted escorts too, and for my Nation's fate right now, while I'm resting here... or it's just that I'm scared dead for myself.

--Please stand strong a few days else, Lisette. We're close to Perpignan. Once there, you'll be able to hold firm the reigns of your destiny again.

--Perpignan? Too a long roundup.

--Oh no, Lisette!! --Claire looked alarmed and exasperated-- Are you still thinking of...?

--Crossing the Pyrenees across Aran Valley, sure --Elisenda's voice sounded unexpectedly sharp.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Ambush in the White

Gerri de la Sal, 6th December 1713

As fast as the thick snow layer allowed him, the scout hurried close to the high officer leading the column.

--We've got them, Sire! --he whispered while puffing--. Down there, in the valley.

General Moragues ordered his men to halt and keep silence, and then he followed the scout to the designed observation place, not far from there. The man was right: down in the valley a long military column winded northwards along the tortuous road, struggling with the snow to progress. He lifted his spyglass and watched. Several hundreds of infantrymen in pearl grey coats. Their flags were rolled around the staffs, but confusion was impossible. "Hum, it's the walloon battalion we had been reported. We've got them indeed, in the worst possible place for them".

--Any screen? --Moragues asked, still watching.

--Just a handful of men preceding the column a hundred yards. Nothing else, Sire. --the scout answered in a grimace.

"Crazy fools", General Moragues told to himself, while lowering the spyglass and looking at the mountainous landscape around. There was little else to watch, so they headed back to the column of Miquelets, who were patiently waiting in silence. Moragues then gathered his officers and simply said:

--I venture this to be a best place for an ambuscade. Wouldn't you agree, gentlemen?

[The unbalanced fighting suggested by this scene is a result of climate effect in our current gaming turn. North of the Principality, the march of a Walloon Infantry Regiment across the Pyrenean valleys has been suddenly cut off by the unexpected snow storm. This has allowed a less harrased battalion of Mountain Fusiliers to reach to them. As no scouting troops are accompanying the Walloons, they are very likely to be caught in a deadly ambush amidst the deep mountain valleys.]

[The gaming scenario itself might well be a narrow depression sorrounded by high mountain, such as the Noguera Pallaresa river valley in the vicinity of Gerri de la Sal town --which lies precisely half-way between Tremp and Sort hexes in our campaign map.]

[Such would be the first battle scenario of this current turn, then.]