After the victory at the Hrus Castle, resulting to the death of Aldwin, and the successful operations around the region of Tihr, Myra and Tharon are ready to launch their offensive attack against the Vaegirs and take back what is rightfully theirs. Their capital city, Sargoth.
It took nearly a week and a half to regroup after our attack against the Vaegirs at Hrus Castle. Although we managed to achieve a major victory, we had considerable losses. Myra and I decided that before we move out to the counteroffensive, we should first and foremost bury and honor our fallen comrades, that gave valiantly their lives this day, in the fight for freedom. Then, we tended to our wounded. Many were mutilated, but most of our military force was lightly injured and in good shape for the campaign against the Vaegirs. Also, we let some of our vassals, in order to go to the villages and castles that were still under our command, to send in some new recruits. Then I would train them in tactics and basic combat, in order to head out and begin our expedition.
From the battle, 12.000 troops survived, but only 11.000 were able to keep fighting. The rest were sent back to Tihr, with the promise of a huge amount of gold, once we take Sargoth back, in order to honor their service. The vassals, managed to gather around 3.000 recruits, that I personally trained for a month and a half. Also, I ordered to get half the force we left back at Tihr to come to Hrus. That was about 7.500 thousand men. If the Vaegirs thought about laying siege to Tihr, they would be annihilated. First the people of the city were pretty tough and also, there is a saying that goes around Tihr. “You can siege Tihr with 10.000 men, but Tihr only needs 500 to defend herself”. If that saying is true, then we had nothing to worry about.
Attack on Jelbegi, Tehlrog and Ismirala
With the majority of the Vaegir army in disperse and on the run, we had to act quickly, before they could regroup and fight back. First things first, we had to secure our borders at the mountain line, in order to cut off Swadian help, but also have our flanks covered, to avoid a probable counter offensive. Our first target was Jelbegi Castle. It was guarded by a force of several thousand men. This particular castle was not difficult to siege. Its walls were rather short, and we stormed it using siege ladders. We tried to negotiate with them to avoid bloodshed, but the news about the brutal death of Aldwin had travelled fast to the Vaegir camp. The same day that our negotiation team arrived back in camp with no results, I rounded up half of my forces and alongside Myra, we fought.
The battle lasted for two hours, and we did not have many casualties. Although cruel, all of the Vaegir commanders were executed. After establishing a garrison to guard and rebuild the castle, we moved on. The next castle to attack was Tehlrog. This battle was a little bit trickier than Jelbegi because Ragnar had fortified it as the first line of defense in case someone wanted to march against Sargoth. Although we lost some good soldiers, we emerged victorious. By then, our struggled against the traitorous Vaegirs and Swadians had become legendary. People were joining our cause every day, especially the Nords who wanted their land back. But also, Swadians that still remembered my name started coming to our ranks, recognizing the injustice against me. By the end of the Tehlrog siege, we learned of an uprising at Ismirala, our next target.
We marched there, only to find the Vaegirs on the run.
Assault at Curaw
We had established a military perimeter, in order to suffocate the Vaegir soldiers at Sargoth. Unfortunately, we could not stop the resupplying from the sea. But it was not the end of the world, because the Vaegirs did not have a strong naval presence in the area. But if we wanted to deliver a fatal blow against our enemies, this would be their trade center, the city of Curaw. The largest part of their economy was supported by the city, hence the strong military presence in the area. But if we were to capture the city, we would cripple the Vaegirs financially, while delivering a massive blow to their army morale.
It was not going to be simple though. Curaw had massive and thick walls. We needed more than ladders and siege towers. These days, a man approached me, by the name of Artimenner. He told me that he knew how to build catapults, in a new simple, but more deadly design, for maximum damage. In three days, with the help of my men, this guy created 50 catapults. By the fifth day, we had wreaked havoc against the city, leaving a path of blood and destruction behind the destroyed walls. When my troops entered the city, I can’t say that a battle took place there, but a one-sided massacre. Curaw defenders were broken from the bombardment and from the lack of sleep when we arrived outside the walls. I was fighting at the first line of attack, so I witnessed it myself.
When we captured the city, I burned it to the ground and put all the male captives to the sword. Although cruel and barbaric for some, even for Myra, this was a statement.
One night, I left camp, dressed as a farmer, with only two knives hidden in my belt. I rode for two days. Of course, Myra knew that I would be away, in order to prevent any chaos happening among our ranks. But if everything went according to plan, I would be back by the end of the week.
My target was Rivacheg. This was a simple scouting mission. Now that I had the hopes of a whole people upon me, I couldn’t take unnecessary risks, like I did in the past. I found it ironic, but there was great wisdom in the saying that “in experience of life, you find the truth of things”. I arrived at the afternoon. It seemed a lively city, although the war was still raging. Of course, there were soldiers in the streets, keeping people in order. But no matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t find an organized force, that could pose a threat to us. After all, the people had enough with their lords and archons.
I stayed for three days and realized that if we took Sargoth, that held the largest part of the Vaegir army, we could easily destroy the rest of their kingdom.
Attack on Sargoth
Nothing could hold us back now. We had established a strong presence at the area around Sargoth and we had delivered one blow after the other against our enemies, bringing them to our knees. We left them no space, no time to breath or to make plans, not even regroup. We kept on with the attack. Yaroglek, the King of the Vaegirs tried to muster an army so many times and he failed to muster a force big enough to come head-to-head against me. His people were gradually turning against him, and no one seemed to be in the mood to fight against us. For the time being at least.
With nearly 20.000 men behind me, I began my march against the Nordic capital. I had Myra on my side. Although many times we disagreed upon used tactics of warfare, she always stood by me, and I stood by her. Our goal was the same after all. To take our home back.
We arrived at Sargoth several days later. It was the first light of day, when we gazed upon the city of Sargoth. Although it was only some months since we lost our capital, for us, it felt like we were years away from home. We made camp outside and immediately started to prepare for a long siege. I was certain that these guys, would not surrender their last line of defense without a fight. But nothing, nothing, could prepare me for what would come next.