Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The Saga of Einar Jonatansson - Chapter 2.

Moving south from the lands of the Norse Gael we entered the territory of an Irish chieftain called Finn Mac Blatha. For two days we continued south looting and burning Irish hamlets for little reward beyond a couple of red haired beauties captured and given over to my warriors for sport.

Toward mid-day of the third day our path was blocked by an Irish warband led by Finn Mac Blatha himself and intent on doing us harm.

The ground was open except for a small bog on our left rear and a large field of winter barley on the Irish left rear. I thought Mac Blatha had chosen poor ground to make his stand against me and I smiled.

Mac Blatha deployed his warband behind a thin screen of levy archers. On his far left were two units of eight warriors deployed one behind the other with their flank secured on the cropfield. In the centre stood Mac Blatha supported by two champions with six Hearthguard immediately to his right. Out on his right wing was another unit of eight warriors. I saw none of the much vaunted war dogs the Irish peasants had boasted of!
I deployed my shieldwall opposite the Irish centre with eight warriors on the left and two units of six Hearthguard on the right. I stood with the berserkers behind the shieldwall. My archers were placed further out on my right opposite the left wing of the Irish.

Mac Blatha spoke to his warriors calling them to red war against us and I saw him bestow an arm rings on one of his Hearthguard.

Not to be outdone I in turn awarded an arm ring to the leader of the Hearthguard unit that formed the right of my shieldwall. My men banged weapons on shields and screamed their war cries at the enemy.
The Irish moved first and ordered their archers forward to shoot us. I called to Odin for protection and he answered with a sudden mist that hid us from view. One of the enemy champions moved to support the warriors on the Irish left.

From the start there was Irish magic at work and for much of the fight the enemy levy were obscured by a mist that prevented my archers from shooting them. Fortunately, the Irish chieftain had made a mistake and my archers had sight on one of the warrior units deployed beyond their levy screen. By personal command I pushed my archers forward and further right before unleashing two volleys on the exposed enemy warriors and killing two.

Stung by the archery Mac Blatha ordered the remaining six warriors forward and hurled javelins at my levy but Asgard protected them from harm. The enemy warriors remained unbowed and launched themselves into melee with my archers. For the loss of two of their own my doughty archers killed two enemies and pushed them back. The Irish champion moved further forward in support of the warriors.

Invoking Ragnarok my archers shot down one more Irish warrior before I sent my right hand Hearthguard charging across the field and into the remaining three warriors. Two enemies fell for no loss and the Hearthguard continued the attack into the Irish champion. My men were tired but their leader dedicated his arm ring to Thor who answered by refreshing them with renewed vitality. The Irish champion fell in a welter of axe, sword and spear blows while my brothers remained unharmed. Loki snatched the last Irish warrior screaming from this world!

Mac Blatha was not done yet and after shooting down four of my archers with his levy sent the second warrior unit on his left forward against my triumphant Hearthguard killing one with javelins.
In response my Hearthguard attacked the warriors and after a hard fight that cost us three brave men slaughtered all the enemy warriors.

I pushed forward with my shieldwall and Berserkers.

At this moment the Gods deserted us and three of my Hearthguard fell to Irish archery. The battle hung in the balance.

The red mist descended as I lead my three Hearthguard in a final charge against the enemy archers calling on Frigg, Ullr and Thor we chopped down most of the enemy for no loss and the Irish abandoned the field to us. Thanks be to Odin.

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