Downton and Cerdic 519 AD
Birthplace of King Arthur's Kingdom of Wessex and England
by Michael Alwyn Slade
Copyright 2010 ©
The Battle - Day 3. The Avon Valley Battle.|
Cerdic surveys the valley from the palisade of Dun-Ton Moot. He has just sacked the forces of Natan who now hangs from the gibbet on adjacent Execution Hill. The previous days' action saw much loss of blood most from the retreating Saxon insurgents. Cerdic's return to Dun-Ton has been a battle from the heart, the manner, sheer well executed professionalism. However the job is not done - consolidation is the name of the day and Cerdic will need his reinforcements under Ector and of Kay in order to bring fresh soldiery to his fronts. The moonlight illuminates the valley mirroring from the flooded marshland that has seen the downfall of Natans tail. The remnants can be detected by the add flash of a spear or helmet as they huddle away in the far distance. Cerdic can see his Royal Guard below and further up the village by the Wood Cross where his cavalry can be seen, standards streaming proudly from the White Horse where his men are sinking the last of the days ale.
Cerdic takes the winding path along the Bailey and past the lake onto the Palace alongside the river. The Hall has been taken over and Wigt-Burn has set up as per Cerdics instruction. The tables there have been set up in a circle and it being a major battle the protagonists will sit as equals again to determine the events that tomorrow will bring. Cerdic will take the privilege to wear the Gold Helmet, as previously chosen to lead them on this campaign, and all the knights battle weary will be resplendent in their armour as the occasion demands.
Cerdic is automatically confirmed as the Battle leader forward and welcomes all the commanders. "Well Kay," says Cerdic. "You and your father will now have the challenge to turn our victory into a rout. They are out there still and Aelle has more coming in from Saers Burgh , they have been sited there last evening well over a thousand strong. There are yet more who have been accumulating out by Cran Borne. I will need you to make straight for Clear Burgh where Cynric is expecting you. His forces took light losses holding the line there' we will need to flush out Od Stock and beyond to Wylye Ton to remove stragglers while at the same time meeting Aelles incomers head on. We plan to clear all the valley south as far as we can, at least to Regni Wood but onwards to Bads Burgh if we have the energy. We will target west to Cran Bourne and take up defensive positions along Grims Ditch and Boker Leigh Dyke through to Knowl Ton."
"Our biggest challenge though will be to rout Aelles force and see it tail off back to the Weald, once we see him off we should keep on his tail beyond The Wallops and Dane burgh so that he see the wisdom in returning home. I doubt he has had the bottle to lead them. I am sure news will reach them by this morning that his allies are well defeated here. We can expect a good fight that's for sure but their resilience must not see them past Alder Burgh even Claren Don."
The knights offered brief speeches of mutual congratulations and modestly highlight their individual achievements of the last two days of success.
"Make sure our men have some fun and relaxation this coming weekend Wigt Burn - re-instate the Cuckoo Fair we so rudely interrupted. I will personally pay for a jug of mead ale and your best lamb for everyone, and that means everyone, citizens and all. That will keep you busy for a couple of days!" said Cerdic.
Finally Salute the Raven I see him already taking up his task forever more."
They depart to their HQ's and secure their readiness for the morning ahead.
Ector decided to take his force out to With Ring Ton and alongside at Alder Burgh. Aelles force had been spotted by scouts at Claren Don and Ector waited on the expected attack. It arrived at Dawn and met them head on from the sensible high ground and from Wigt Parish (Whiteparish) he attacked the flank with cavalry. He lit fires along the Avon which served to disguise the fact that Cynric was well established at Caerl Burgh and as expected they retreated as if to defend from there only to meet Cynric head on. They were forced to make for Boden Ham where there back was broken. Ector reckoned the enemy lost well over a thousand there and mounted an immediate retreat over the horizon back north and east.
Ector took time out to advance across the Ebble to clear the ground out to Od Stock and Wylye Ton, Wilton. Job done!
Kay being the younger drew the short straw he started alongside Cerdic his foster brother responsible for clearing the Avon Valley south from Cerdics Ford. There was little resistance although wherever they found it they did not offer clemency, an example needed to be set. Too many defections to our side would mean too many mouths to feed. We had our own troop's needs to quell for the months and years to come, that was our next challenge. To keep them happy to fight another day whenever they may be needed. This battle needed much peace to follow to make it worth its while. Probably another thousand mercenary enemy died in this mopping up many of them since they could not run fast enough. The cavalry although not great in number were dominant in this type of action. They can continue several actions through the day from many a chosen strong direction. The ground troops can only at most regroup for two actions. Kay continued and indeed reached Bad burgh.
Wigts Burgh, Grims Ditch, Knowl Ton met only scattered resistance.
The Battle was well and truly won.
Cerdic presented Dun-Ton to Cynric, Wigts Burgh to Aelwyn, Caelwyn to Rum Sieg and he himself returned to Caer Gwenta to co-ordinate and thwart the next challenge whether from the Waelts or the East or seaborne Saxons he needed to prove his authority both civil and military eas to be the match of them all. It was!
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