Chapter 6: Royal's Revenge
King Kjeld was cold. And he had good reason to be cold. He was in below-freezing temperatures with nothing but a tent and small fire to keep the cold away. Yet he was lucky, many of the soldiers with him had no tent or even a fire, for wood in the southern regions was scarce. Already five men had died of the cold on the march.
Lego was traveling to Castleton, the capital of the Royal Knights, which was under Black Falcon rule. Kjeld was the rightful king of the Royals, but since the Black Falcons had invaded and taken over all but the southern most tip of the Royal knight land, he had been forced to rule without complete legality. For a king could not be crowned unless he was in the capital.
When his father, King Barbarossa, an aged 90-year-old man, had been killed in the taking of Castleton Kjeld had not had much control over the colony island. He had fled there with his three-year-old grandson (Kjeld was himself 60) leaving his son Lego XIII to look after what was left of the Royal Knight controlled mainland.
But now, after much talking with the nobles, Kjeld had raised an army of 10,000 and sailed to the mainland to take back his own. The first step in doing that was to make himself king. However, since Castleton was in the middle of the country (the bottom of G-8 ) he would have to take over the southern half of the country. The only way to do that with just 10,000 men, plus the army his son had raised from the remainder of the mainland army was to do it in winter.
So here he was, near frozen with very little moral in his troops half way through his country, less then a day’s march from Castleton.
A soldier entered the tent. “My lord” he said, “the army is ready to march.”
“Very good,” said Kjeld, “I will be there shortly.”
If he was to hold Castleton, all of the land South of Castleton had to be taken over. Therefore, his son Lego XIII and several generals were leading smaller armies to systematically take over all towns and cities south of the capital. They would have just started now so that no wind of what was happening would reach the Falcons in Castleton until it was too late. A few soldiers disguised as peasants would go into the city and make sure the gates stayed open. Since it was a night and snow was falling, the army would not be seen until it was very close.
Kjeld walked out of the tent in full armor, with his shield in hand. He climbed onto his white horse and was handed his lance. He rode to the front of the army and spoke.
“Fellow Royal Knights, we now are less then a days march from our great capital which the bloody Falcons stole from us. We shall take it back no matter the cost! There may be great slaughter to us, but it will be nothing compared to what the Falcons will receive. I pledge to you that I will not rest today until Castleton it ours!”
He raised his lance and cried the ancient Royal Knight battle cry, “The Lionnnnnnnn!”
All the soldiers raised their weapons and echoed their King. “THE LIONNNNNNNN!”
Kjeld was riding his horse when a knight beside him called, “There it is, sire.”
Kjeld looked up and saw Castleton, the capital of the Royal Knights loom up in the darkness. He was surprised at how close they were.
“Hurry men! The Falcons will have seen us. The men will have a hard time keeping the gate open!”
That said, he spurred his horse and snow flew as he and the 1000 horsemen thundered toward the gates. The 9000 foot soldiers followed as fast as they could.
As Kjeld got close to wall, he saw that the men who had infiltrated the city were fighting desperately to hold the gates open. Kjeld’s plan depended on the gates being open. If they were shut, even the few hundred men guarding it would be able to hold out until help arrived.
The king urged his horse as fast as it would go. Up ahead the last soldier defending fell, and the Falcons started to close the gates. With a burst of speed the king and about twenty men managed to get in before the gates closed.
“Quickly men! Open the gates!” cried the king as he speared a Falcon with his lance and started to lift the one bar that the Falcons had lowered. Three soldiers rushed to help him.
He left them to it while he cried, "FORM RANKS, TWO DEEP. KEEP THE FALCONS FROM THE GATES!"
As his soldiers hastened to obey, the bar was lifted and the heavy gates slowly swung open. The Black Falcons charged the Royal Knights. Several fell. But then the doors were open and in streamed the Royal Knight army.
Crown Prince Lego XIII wasn’t much warmer than his father who was right now marching to Castleton, but he hardly noticed the temperature right now, as he was halfway up the wall surrounding the village he and his army were trying to take over.
A particularly large bunch of Black Falcons had been posted here and they were fighting fiercely. Since he had to post several men around the town to make sure no one escaped and that he had taken seven other villages recently and had had to post men there, Lego didn't have as many men as he would like to attack the town.
As he pulled himself over the lip of the wall, a Falcon soldier ran at him in the hope of pushing him over the wall. Lego XIII ducked just in time and pushed the soldier from behind over the battlements. He then helped the next soldier over and then climbed down into the town.
He and three other men ran toward the gates, where on the outside the main army waited. Stabbing a Falcon it the chest he started to lift the bar that kept the gates shut. As he did so a Falcon soldier ran up behind him, skewered one of the soldiers and hit him from behind. Lego XIII blacked out.
As Lego XIII slowly regained consciences he noticed that he was being bumped. As his mind slowly unfogged he realized that he was in a wagon that was moving. Every now and then the wagon would hit a large pack of snow and give a painful jolt.
“You’re finally awake sire.”
Lego turned and saw Duke Mark and Sir Theodore, two generals leading other armies.
“What happened?” asked the still-dazed prince.
“Well, you managed to get the doors open on that village and your army took it. Our armies, as well as the other small armies have taken all land south of Castleton except Orlon, the headquarters of the Falcon army here. All our armies have joined and we have 8,000. That should be enough.”
“Well, we did have to leave a lot of soldiers in the other towns and cities,” said Duke Mark.
“True,” answered Lego, “what of my father?”
“Well, the last message we received said he was just about in sight of the capital. By now they should have it.”
“That’s good,” Lego commented, “how far is Orlon?”
Sir Theodore answered, “a short march away, we are heading there right now. Do you feel up to fighting?”
“I sure do, get someone to fetch my armor.” said Lego.
“At once sire.”
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