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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

3.3.16.1. Strait Dyed Red


(Original Picture: Battle of Lepanto)

CHAPTER SIXTEEN
JUSTICE OR VENGEANCE



‘A war fought with the wrong reasons only produce bad results.
A war fought with the right reasons also produce bad results, but can be repaired in time.’
- Sir Kane Edelson, Grand Marshal, Lore



3.3.16.1. Strait Dyed Red

A fleet of one hundred and ninety-three ships is crossing the Ingram Strait. It doesn’t bring trade, revenue or diplomatic cooperation to Lore, but merely conquest and death. That’s why the Arcadian fleet is expecting interception, all prepared and alert to face the most formidable fleet in the world – The Lorean Sea Lions.

Admiral Nante Raleissy of Arcadia, a veteran who has battled Lore fleet in the first Battle of Ingram Coast is well-informed of Lore’s strength and their strategy possibilities.

So, he uses a different approach. This time, the fleet moves in groups and loose formations between groups. Each group consists of four ships: One bigger ship and three smaller ships, all backing each other up. This formation is a variation of the well-known ‘Diamonds Formation’ derived from the Phalanx ground battle formation. This tactic will bring a formidable penetration and defense to break through the enemies’ barricade they see just ahead.

Lore’s barricade of ships spread alongside the coast, forming an impregnable wall. Even if a ship manages to break through it, the second layer of larger ships will shoot it off like making holes in a cheese.

So, the Arcadian fleet makes a go at the barricade. Three ships in a group against three Lorean ships. The big ship from the barricade comes to help, and the big ship from the diamond formation intercepts it.

Therefore, the battle goes evenly – except for one factor: The Arcadian ships are fully loaded with people: the crew plus the army, so they move slower than the Lorean ships which are focused to hit-and-run only.

Admiral Raleissy realizes that when he sees the Lorean ships move so quickly, evading shots after firing. Another ship comes, fires and runs. Three Arcadian Caravels sink or suffer serious damage, while only one Lorean Carrack severed in pieces by cannonfires from an Arcadian Galleon.

‘Get as close as possible and board the enemy ships!’ The Admiral signals his order to all ships with special mirror-light codes the Loreans cannot decipher. Then comes another order, ‘Throw non-combat things overboard! Less weight, more speed!’

The crew carry out the orders at once, and the result is significant. The ships move faster, and then when they get close to an enemy ship, the crew throw little anchors to the enemy ships, pull them close and board them.

Later, three Lorean ships including a galleon are taken over. The Lorean fleet Admiral, Sir Cyril the Two Swords signals the ships to keep away from enemy ships and go on with the hit-and-run tactic.

More ships sink. The Arcadians pay a bigger toll than Loreans in this battle, suffering the most damage and losing many good men. And now, both fleet are swarming in the strait, filling the area up, leaving little room for maneuvers.
The battle turns into a melee. In the midst of battle, a Lorean sailor shouts, ‘LOOK! It’s the Arcadian flagship!’

The Arcadian gigantic Man-o’-War is easily recognized. Soon, five Lorean ships come swarming near it. The flagship fires its cannons! The one volley from the triple-decker cannons puncture two ships at once. The two enemy ships move away and the other three fill in and fire!

The gunners on the flagship Le Valiant just barely loaded their cannons when explosions blow them away. The ship starboard and port are badly damaged, and one-third of the cannons are destroyed. All other ships are too busy engaging Lorean ships to aid the flagship, so it’s now one against five. The Le Valiant fires the remaining cannons fires the remaining cannons, forcing the enemy ships to do their last resort maneuver: boarding the ship.

Battle erupts on the deck of the Arcadian flagship. The men from three enemy ships clearly outnumber the flagship men. However, the Arcadians take the upper hand because of the Paladins on board.

Adler von Bachmann is on rampage, breaking through a rank of enemies with his thrust-slash combo Tusks of Myriad Elephants. The Emperor himself, riding his steed Acavela the griffin shoots the enemy with beams from his sword: Fruits of Diligence. Andreas helps by healing the injured and reinforcing his comrades with Galatr Protection Field. And Eidos’ Chrono Chakram splits the enemies by half. Soon, the enemies begin to scatter and be cornered, until they flee at last, running back to their ships or simply plunging into the sea.

Cristophe glides back to the flagship and dismounts when a sailor runs to him, reporting, ‘Your Majesty! The enemies have run away. The ship is now secure, but we’ve lost Admiral Raleissy!’

Nobody can guess Chris’ reaction with his helmet on. He just walks up to the helm, holds his sword high and shouts to the crowd on the deck.

‘ATTENTION! From now on I’m taking command as Admiral of this fleet! We’ll help our comrades and break through this barrier! Victory is ours for the taking!’

The crew who are demoralized upon the loss of their leader now get their spirit back. They roar, ‘HUZZAH! HUZZAH to the Emperor! HUZZAH!’

The Emperor points his sword forward, shouting, ‘NOW, FULL SPEED AHEAD!’

The Le Valiant dashes, ramming through the debris of a broken ship and engages an enemy ship in a shootout.

More Lorean ships are taken. Knowing that speed is no longer an advantage, Admiral Cyril shouts, ‘Signal all ships! Bombard any enemy in range, and retreat!’

The Lorean Navy doesn’t seek victory in these waters. They are just vanguards. They know full well that their fleet of one hundred and thirty-four ships can’t win against the Arcadians. So they put their trust in Rael’charon’s strategy and scatter away, withdrawing from battle.

That marks the first victory for Arcadia. The crew and soldiers leap up and shout with joy. The Arcadian fleet has sunk eight enemy ships, destroying three and took twenty. Thirty-seven Arcadian ships are destroyed and sunk, while forty more are badly damaged. Two hundred and seventy-nine Arcadians were slain plus four hundred and twenty drowned with their ships.

Nevertheless, there are still plenty more to fight on land. The fleet takes a longer route and lands on the coast north of Wagnerport. It seems nothing can stop Cristophe Deveraux from getting his revenge.

The strait dyed red
With blood painted
Steel was the brush
Sprinkled with fires rush

The strait dyed red
O’er wails of death
O’ why must we fight
For fool’s vengeful might?

The strait dyed red
Remember this with dread
Never a warpath we tread
Seek the Right Way instead



==oOo==


Meanwhile...
In a cold, damp dungeon cell, a white-haired man sits most uncomfortably, leaning on the wall. He is unshaven and dirty, yet he looks serene and calm. With his eyes closed, he looks like praying. A voice comes.

‘Sir Robert! Robert Chandler, prepare yourself. We’ll go and meet Counselor Rael’charon now.’ It’s the prison guard.

Robert didn’t answer. The guard looks into the cell through the barred window on the door and nods, as though he understands.

So he stands outside, waiting.

A few minutes later, the prison guard brings Robert to the bathroom. Rael’charon is already waiting there.

‘You sure prepared for a long time for the one who doesn’t bring anything with him,’ says the elf.

Robert responds, ‘You know the reason full well, Counselor. It’s my mind and heart to prepare.’

‘Good. So, I believe you are prepared for this. Robert Chandler, the King wants you to lead the army in war against the Arcadians.’

‘What? They attack here? With Vordac’s Heir on the loose? Are they mad or something?’

‘We didn’t expect it either. We thought the Emperor would be reasonable and put the salvation of Aurelia before vengeance. But we, no, I was wrong. I misjudged your friend. I know Cristophe used to be a reckless fellow, but I didn’t expect him to be THIS reckless. Or should I say, this is madness!

He must’ve believed that you killed his brother AND you’re the Heir of Vordac. So, by eliminating you the threat is over.’

‘All the bloodshed, all those troops, to kill me? I can’t believe this. And why must I lead the army? I lack the experience, and the men will not respect me, knowing the real reason of this war.’

The elf pats Rob, saying, ‘On the contrary, Robert. You ARE the most suitable one for this task. Sir Mallard even recommended you. You have traveled in Arcadia for a long time, and you know the enemy – especially the Emperor – inside-out. You know the way he thinks, so you’ll be able to predict his next moves.’

‘Well, I’m not sure about that, but I think Chris wouldn’t go through Ingram Coast like his brother did, but he’d rather take a longer route north through Lumien Forest.’

‘A-ha!’ Rael’charon exclaims. ‘See, I told you, you guessed that right! He landed north of Wagnerport and made his base there. Quick! Here’s your sword. Bathe, dress up and come with me! We must stop the Arcadians before all is lost!’



------------------



More resources and research for Naval Ships during the Age of Exploration:
http://consejo.bz/Pirate/pirate_ships.html

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