Once Upon A Time (Part 12)...
Galahad knew that he stood no chance with a traditional attack and siege yet, he did not have the equipment and the manpower to break through the gates. Instead the horns marked an opening volley of arrows and the hunters took to the trees to pick off the enemy as they showed their faces. Meanwhile those without bows worked on a battering ram cut from a very old and straight oak tree.
The enemy tried to shoot arrows, but since the hunter took to the trees and were well camouflaged they were essentially firing blind. As the arrows of the enemy were expended, the birds and animals would find them and give them back to the hunter to use against the enemy. By the end of the first day the enemy was feeling many losses while the army of Galahad was in relatively good shape.
That night more hunters arrived and some trained warriors from several of the towns on the edge of the great forest. Word was indeed spreading of the fight for the land, and all who heard of this joined the rally of Sir Galahad. Work continued on the battering ram all through the night.
The next day the darkness of the city attempted to spread over the forest again. Seeing this Galahad had the hunter blow their horns again and the echoing and triumphant sound push back the dark cloud. Hope was serving in the stead of strong magic and it was working. The army of Galahad was again encouraged and the arrow barrage continued.
By mid-afternoon King Morpheus must have become agitated with the fight and sent a contingent out to attack Galahad frontally. They did not last long to the clever fighters and hunters of the land and soon Galahads army had more equipment for the siege that would eventually have to come.
By nightfall Galahad received word that the King was pacing the parapets of the castle, fretting the isolation forced on him by the defenders of the land. More hope was spread at the news and still more fighters filtered in.
That night the ram was ready for use and bears and hearty stags were harnessed to carry the solid tree. In the dead of night Galahad guided the ram to the gates of the city and began to batter it relentlessly as the hunters provided cover. Many fine animals were lost in the siege but the gate held but barely before Galahad had to call off his first major offensive battle.
The third day saw a return to the tactics of picking off the enemy as they saw them. But unexpected help showed up in the evening in the form of ballista’s from Furnace. Throughout the night Galahad placed the war engines in strategic spots and focused their potential on the gate and wall above the gate, that being the walls weakest point.
At first light Galahad let loose with everything he could from the massive crossbows. The response from King Morpheus was furious. The huge trebuchets behind the wall let loose flaming bails of pitch and tar and began to light the forest on fire. Galahads worst fears were being realized. Without the cover of the forest his people would be exposed to more attacks. The forest burned and Galahad retreated his forces back beyond enemy range.
That night King Morpheus sent out more raiding parties to further diminish the forces of Galahad, and although none of Kings Morpheus’s forces returned, Galahads army was gravely wounded.
The next day dawned cold and dank with black rain fueled by the ash of the burning forest. The Dread Despots spell of misery was taking hold again and Galahad spend that day and night fighting more skirmishes and rallying those he had left to the cause.
Once again the day dawned dark and more of his army was succumbing to the depression of Morpheus, and even Galahad was having a hard time maintaining the hope he once had. And then real hope arrived.
From the west came the sounds of many trumpets and horns. The ground began to rumble and through the forest the Knight of Old returned to free the land. With them they brought and army raised from every village and every town along the way. The sight of the parading knight is their shining armor lifted the malaise. The fluttering banners brought renewed joy as the protectors of the land once again came into action that was their birthright and duty.
The next morning under grim skies the Army of Galahad made one final all out attack. The fighters expended the last of the ballista missiles and then picked up the ram. Many were lost but before ling the gates of Skye fell and the final assault commenced. The knights rode in on powerful chargers and soon the battle for Skye was over, for King Morpheus had no more men to protect his hold.