This is a battle report from the old Warbard. The second part of the report is in The Second Part of the Grand Duke’ s War; or The Downfall of the Grand Duke post. – Corey
The last Grand Duke of Erewhon was a mighty man, a fell warrior and great leader. He had the vice of greed, however, and did greatly covet the wealth of the Dwarven realm in the mountains above Erewhon. Seizing upon customs infractions by Dwarven traders as his flimsy public excuse, the Grand Duke gathered the warriors of Erewhon to plunder and invade the Dwarven Realm.
Gathered he the mighty Knights of Erewhon, nobles all, mightily armoured and enhorsed, so stupendous that the thought of defeat occurred not to them. The stalwart swordsmen were also mustered, and the rabble of the fields were pressed into the Duke’ s service. This mighty host, with splendid banners flying, marched towards the River Fleuve to do battle with the Dwarves.
The Dwarves of the borderguard were all on foot, their axes shining in the sun. Rank upon solid rank, all garbed in their Dwarflord’ s colors. Towards the bridges over the River Fleuve the humans came, the Knights thundering towards the Great Bridge of Dwarven make, the footmen having to contend themselves with a smaller human-made bridge.
The Knights who thundered over the Greatbridge, confident of victory, were met with hails of deadly bolts, and turned back by Dwarven crossbowers, who cared not a whit for the magnificence of Knightly trappings. They knew simply that knights were big targets, and that roast horse was a Dwarven delicacy!
With the Greatbridge thus secure, the Dwarven infantry moved on toward the human footmen, who were crossing on the lesser bridge. The two lines crashed together, and the thunder of the battle rose high, human sword against Dwarven axes. The battle swayed back and forth, the two lines reeling, recoiling and charging.
But more numerous were the Dwarves, and they did overlap the Erehwon troops, driving them back toward the riverbank and gradually away from the bridge. All valour and the personal bravery of the Grand Duke notwithstanding, the humans were quite crushed, many falling to flashing axes or drowning in the swift river. The Grand Duke himself barely escaped over the river.
Soaking wet and in peril of his life, he did vow revenge upon the beastly dwarves, and did slink back to drip upon his throne and call for a new muster of the men of Erewhon.