For a dozen years after the Battle of Granden Tor, the kingdoms of High Rock were at peace, and the merchant ships of Wayrest, Daggerfall, and Sentinel traded near and far to all the ports of Tamriel. In my father's hall of business in Wayrest I learned of the tracking of shipments, the balancing of accounts, and the fluctuation of currencies, but Pierric of Cumberland knew the nature of the world, and he was not content to have his son learn only of the ways of peace and trade. Every morning I sparred with the Cumberland Master of Arms, and every afternoon the weather permitted I rode a warhorse, exercising with the Menevia Heavy Dragoons. It wasn't just practice: for two months every summer, I traveled as lieutenant of the mounted escort of the Evermore Caravan, and a half-dozen times we fought off hill bandits, Goblin raiders, and Reachmen war bands.
I was fortunate to have spent so much time with a hilt in my hand, for in 2E 541, when I was but twenty, Durcorach the Black Drake spread his wings in the Reach and mustered his feral tribesmen to war. Erupting from their mountain lairs like ants from a kicked anthill, the Reachmen howled down into Bangkorai, burning and looting. After only three days' siege, Evermore fell to this horde. The land was pillaged and its people massacred. Hallin's Stand held out longer, but eventually it was also overrun by the heathen swarm. Within days, they were across the Bjoulsae and bearing down upon Wayrest.
Then all were grateful that King Gardner had built new walls and battlements around Wayrest, for the town had grown so that it had burst the bounds of the old walls. Throngs of people swarmed in from the countryside, and soon it seemed that all Menevia Gavaudon, and Alcaire were within the city walls. But when the Reachman storm burst upon Wayrest, the crowded conditions seemed a small price to pay for protection from the fury of those Daedra-loving heathens.
Thus began the epic Siege of Wayrest, when for fifty-seven days and nights the Bretons of Stormhaven manned the walls and repulsed the savage assaults of our terrible opponents. The Reachmen, lacking siege engines, were unable to breach our new walls and take the city by storm, and lacking ships they were unable to blockade our harbor and reduce the city by starvation. Stalemate: was Durcorach's invasion of High Rock at an end?
Indeed, no: your Reachman warrior, though fearless and fierce, is not as a rule very patient. The Black Drake left enough troops in the revetments around our walls to keep us bottled up inside and simply marched off west into Glenumbra. Taken by surprise, the newly-independent city-state of Camlorn fell and was sacked. And then Durcorach turned his eyes south, toward Daggerfall.
Fortunately, King Gardner heeded my advice to use our merchant ships as transports for the Heavy Dragoons. That was how I found myself at the head of the lances of Wayrest's finest as we charged into the rear of the Reachmen massed before Daggerfall's city gates. All Bretons know how the Black Drake's warriors were caught completely by surprise, how I smote Durcorach and tore down his Unholy Banner. They know of the sortie of the Knights of Daggerfall in which King Bergamot finished the work we'd begun, scattering the broken army of heathens like autumn leaves before a gale.
|Triumphs of a Monarch|
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