The year was 1718. Displeased with Phillipe V Clemente (Pearson Wright's) actions as King in Spain and in France, Ferdinand Clemente I (Cadet), a Prince of Spain and a Major Lord within the Ranger Lord's Council rebelled against his father alongside Ranger Lords Silus Clemente and Edgar Ironcrash, Grand Lord Marshall of the EITC - Samuel Redbeard, and General Francis Bluehawk of the French guild, Francis Brigade. A decade prior, Ferdinand had rebelled under similar circumstances but was defeated and later granted clemency and pardoned for his actions. The rebellion of 1718 was in fact Ferdinand's third and final rebellion against Spain and The Ranger Order. It would forever change the scope of power throughout Europe.
Chapter I - The Mutiny at Girona
November, 1718: Phillipe V Clemente had just finished off the remnants of Leon Goldtimber's (Captain Leon)'s invasive force in Northern France a month prior and was now marching home to Madrid with a small, fractured, but highly elite army of 3,000 Ranger Knights and Noble Spanish and Catalonian retainers. Just as he was crossing across the French border into Spain, a rider arrived in the night bearing grevious news. "My lord Clemente!" a Kingsguard exclaimed as he burst into Phillipe's chambers. "I apologize for the disturbance my lord, but there's a messenger here for you begging a word." "Very well. Send him in." Phillipe said. "Good news I hope?" He continued. "I'm afraid not my lord." The man said regretfully. "Tell me." "There was a mutiny at The Order headquarters in Girona. Dozens of knights were butchered. I saw Lord Wildhayes flee to the South with Lord Ignacio and some fifty retainers on horseback." The man said. Phillipe grinded his teeth, with an evident expression of disgust and anger. "Who did this?" He asked. "It was your son, my lord." Phillipe kicked over the War table in frustration. "He's rallied some 7,000 men. He has several hundred of your own Ranger Knights, among them are Lord Silus Clemente and Lord Edgar Ironcrash. I believe he's headed to Barcelona, possibly meaning to lay siege or worse." "Why has it taken you this long to deliver this news?" Phillipe said frustratingly. "My lord... bad news travels a great deal slower than good news." the man said. "Captain!" Phillipe exclaimed as the captain of his guard turned and entered the room with haste. "I want to break camp immediately. We ride South at dawn." "Yes, my lord!" he replied.
"My lord..." the messenger said softly as Phillipe turned towards him. "Speak up. It can't be worse than mutiny." Phillipe said. "Lord Marshall Samuel Redbeard of Britain has also just landed just West of Pamplona. He's pledged to support the rebels against you. He has some 20,000 men at his back." Phillipe gawked. "We can't hope to defeat them in the field then..." he said softly. "Captain! Belay that order. We make for Pico d'Aneto in the Pyrenees Mountains!" he continued. "At once, my lord!" the captain said, bowing his head slightly.
"Tell me this isn't true!" Lunius Sargento (Luuluu), a major ranger lord exclaimed as he barged into the room in a wake of fury, followed by several other minor ranger lords and knights having just heard the news of the mutiny. "I'm afraid it is" Phillipe said softly. "He never learns." Lord Leon Daggerskull said in disgust. "We need to ride South and kill them all." Lunius said. "With Redbeard advancing from the West with 20,000 men? No. We make for Pico d'Aento. We'll garrison our army there and collect food and supplies along the way. They won't be able to get any siege weapons through the mountains. We'll slaughter them all like goats." Phillipe said. Lunius nodded in agreeance before exiting the war tent.
Meanwhile, at Castle Giorna in Seville, Ferdinand Clemente was executing the last pockets of resistance within The Ranger Order headquarters who had refused to pledge him fielty. "You've served this order faithfully men, but Spain cannot become great if it refuses to change!" Ferdinand exclaimed. "I should've shoved a sword in your belly before putting one in your hand!" Lord Sirene Acosta (Soccerdude) who was once the master at arms yelled. "I will open our doors to brand new alliances!" Ferdinand continued. "You'll make us slaves to Britain!" a ranger knight interrupted. "I will do what Pearson failed to do!" "Lord Silus, bring me their heads!" Ferdinand exclaimed.
The men glanced at each other, looking to see if any of their brothers intended to betray the order. After a few moments of silence, Ferdinand realized that none of them had any intention of betraying Pearson and in a spasm of madness exclaimed: "Execute them all!" before storming off.
Chapter II - The Triumvirate
The Ranger Order/Triumvirate consisted of three main covenants, or branches: The Imperialists, The Isolationists, and The Moderates. The Imperialists were the largest of the three branches, and were led by King Phillipe V Clemente (Pearson Wright), Lord Lunius Sargento (Luuluu), Lord Spadus Ignacio IV (Spade), and Lord Leon Daggerskull. They were considered the most loyal of The Order to the King. The Isolationists were the second largest of the three, and were led by Lord Ferdinand Clemente, Lord Silus Clemente, and Lord Edgar Ironcrash. They believed in the re-institution of a Spanish oligarchy, and in later years sought to forge alliances with the EITC to help "transform" Spain. Finally, there were The Moderates who were considered to be the most just and peaceful of the three covenants. They were led primarily by Lord Hector Wildhayes, Lord Christopher Basque, and Lord Hector Raidgrin. Together these three covenants made up what was known as The Ranger Triumvirate.
"My Lord Wildhayes, a message for you from The Order headquarters!" a ranger knight exclaimed as he entered Lord Hector Wildhayes' war-tent stationed just outside the small town of Tarragona, just south of Barcelona. Lord Wildhayes broke the seal and opened the letter, reading it aloud to all of the other lords and knights present.
"Lord Hector Wildhayes, most honorable and loyal of men. It is with a heavy heart that our King has forced my hand in the matter concerning this rebellion. Phillipe V Clemente's endless and idiotic military campaigns throughout Europe have led the world to loathe and despise us. We have acquired enemies on all fronts. Samuel Redbeard has landed just outside of Pamplona with an army of 20,000. We have barely half as many men. We cannot hope to defeat him in the field. Our only option is to ask for terms. Surely you will come to a mutual understanding in this regard. I implore you to use wisdom in this predicament and make the right decision. Strike your banners and pledge fielty to me, your new king and I will grant you your old seat in the new Ranger Lord's council. You have until the next full moon.
Regards, Lord Ferdinand Clemente, The Rightful King of Spain"
"You are all, from what I have seen through years of hardships, men of honor and integrity. We must rally to our King. We must rally to Phillipe!" "All in favor?" he asked. "To the King!" Lord Basque yelled as he drew his sword thrusting it into the air. "To the King!", the others chanted as they all drew their swords, doing the same.
Trailing Phillipe from the South by about 120 miles was an army of 6,500 Spanish rebels, and ranger knights under Ferdinand Clemente who had decided to pursue Phillipe's army into the mountains and bring an end to his rule as soon as possible instead of waiting out the Winter on the warm shores of the Meditteranean. To the East, Redbeard also advanced with haste commanding an army of 20,000 80 miles away, and to the North, Francis Bluehawk under orders from Queen Grace Goldtimbers of France was advancing Southwards with an army of 10,000, 200 miles away.
The battle of "Muerta De Clemente" as it would later be called was drawing ever closer. The future and destiny of an empire was about to be determined.
Chapter III - The Endless Storm
Late October, 1718: By now, the remaining loyalist forces of Phillipe V Clemente had all garrisoned atop Pico d'Aneto, in an ancient fortress once used by Phillipe's ancestors centuries ago during The Crusades. In a miraculous stroke of luck, a massive premature Winter storm with record low temperatures swept through The Pyrennes just as Samuel Redbeard began his long march upwards through the mountains.
"90 horses, died in the night." Lieutenant Machawk said, as he briefed Lord Samuel Redbeard in his command tent. "We'll lose even more come sunset. We're running out of food, and we can't open the supply-line until the snow clears." He continued. "What else?" Redbeard asked. "Division 2, and 3 deserted last night." he said. Redbeard looked at his war table in disgust, knocking two models of British infantrymen on to the floor. "Only a month after landing, and 2,000 men already gone?" He asked rhetorically. " "Reports tell us they're headed Westward back to the sea. They must mean to sail back home." Machawk said. "Send two more divisions in pursuit. We can't afford to lose any of our ships to deserters. I don't intend to spend a day longer in this accursed country than I have to." Redbeard said. "We'll still outnumber Phillip six to one come the battle, not to mention the rebel army under Ferdinand as well as Bluehawk's army of 10,000." He continued. "Of course, my lord." Machawk said in agreaance.
100 miles to the South-East, Ferdinand Clemente's army had encountered several problems as well. Three small-scale loyalist mutinies had occurred in just two weeks. Both were quelled, but throughout Ferdinand's army, the men following him were beginning to question their allegiance after Ranger Lords Hector Wildhayes, Basque, and Raidgrin wrote back informing him that they had no intention of joining the rebellion.
"You fools continue to support this man, this coward!" Ferdinand exclaimed loudly as he ridiculed a group of mutineers standing at the gallows in Ferdinand's war camp just outside a small town south of the Pyrenees. "He hides in the mountains while British invaders pillage and burn the country-side. What kind of king does that?" He asked. "British invaders who were brought here under your invitation, you treacherous scum..." a mutineer interrupted. Ferdinand gawked. "I am the one who is destined to bring our people to greatness! I will destroy Phillip, and after that I will drive Samuel Redbeard's army back into the sea!" he said. "Enjoy your reign of terror while it lasts boy. We will be avenged." another mutineer said just before Ferdinand cut the rope and all of the men dropped through the wooden floor, dangling from side to side.
"What do you want done with the bodies, my lord?" A soldier asked Ferdinand. "Cut off their heads. We're bringing them with us." he said smirkingly. "I want Pearson to know what he's caused." he continued. "Yes, my lord." the man said.
Meanwhile, in Southern France, Francis Bluehawk was slowly making his way Southwards towards the Pyrenees. "General Bluehawk, sir, orders from Lord Redbeard." a messenger said as he entered Francis Bluehawk's command tent. Bluehawked smiled, grabbing the letter from the man's hand and breaking the seal. The letter read:
"General Francis Bluehawk,
You have failed to send me any briefings on your positions and movements. I don't want to spend a moment in this dreaded country longer than I have to. If you'd be so kind, and please get your arse here sometime within the next hundred years, I would very much appreciate it. I'd prefer that we attack Pearson simultaneously to mitigate our losses, and get this business done with as quickly as possible so that we can all return home. I expect a full briefing immediately. My army is currently stationed just 50 miles West of Pico d'Aneto, which is where I believe our old friend is hiding out.
Regards, Lord Marshall Samuel Redbeard"
Francis chuckled softly. "You have to hand it to the man, he never fails to take advantage of an opportunity." he said mockingly aloud to his cabinet officers as he rolled up the letter. "Sir, should I inform the men to make double-time at first dawn?" Commander Jeffrey Blasthawk asked. "Why wear out my own army?" "Are we in a rush to freeze to death alongside Redbeard's men?" Francis asked rhetorically as everyone in the room laughed. "Samuel was a blundering fool to march into the mountains in the middle of Winter. I won't be making that same mistake." He continued. "Tell the men to get dug in. We'll stay put here in our own country until the Winter freeze has passed." he said.
Chapter IV - The Codex
December 12th, 1718: By now, Samuel Redbeard's army was less than a day's march away from Clemente's mountain fortress. The two divisions that he had sent in pursuit of the two that had deserted ended up deserting as well. The handful of regiments that had been left to guard his fleet also deserted and sailed home leaving the rest of his ships completely unprotected. He had lost an additionall one thousand men to starvation, and cold Winter attrition. However, despite all of this, Samuel Redbeard's remaining forces of roughly 15,000 still outnumbered Pearson five to one and Redbeard felt confident that he would be able to win even without Francis Bluehawk's support.
Then abruptly, the deep whistlings of a loud horn were heard in the distance. "Open the gates!" a man yelled. Phillipe V Clemente and Lunius Sargento ran to the courtyard to see what the commotion was, and to their surprise, at the very last possible moment, on the eve of battle they watched in awe as 5,000 Ranger Knights, Templars, and Spanish and Italian retainers under Lord Hector Wildhayes all marched through the front gates. The men all cheered and cried out joyfully. As Phillipe walked into the courtyard, Hector Wildhayes approached him and Lunius Sargento from out of the ranks. "It brings me great relief knowing that I won't have to fight you" Phillipe said. "Surely, you never actually doubted my loyalty." Hector replied. "It's a good thing too. I would'nt have enjoyed killing you" Lunius said as the three of them all laughed together. With Lord Wildhayes' reinforcing army, Phillipe V Clemente's forces now amounted to roughly 8,000. However, they were still outnumbered nearly two to one without even taking into consideration the two other armies under Ferdinand Clemente and Francis Bluehawk which had yet to arrive.
A few hours later, Redbeard's army was sighted advancing up the mountain towards the fortress. "Show them no mercy, for you shall receive none." Hector Wildhayes said, speaking to the Rangers garrisoned on the outer walls. As Redbeard's army came closer, and closer, Phillipe raised his left hand, before yelling: "Four hundred!". "Four hundred", a Spanish captain yelled, just as 4 of Phillipe's twelve pounders were fired with scattershot directly into the middle of Samuel's army. As soon as the fiery shrapnel touched the ground, a huge area in front of the fortress erupted in flames, ignited by the oil that had been spread across the battle-field days prior by Phillipe's men. Cries of anguish and agony echoed throughout the mountains as several hundred of Redbeard's men burnt alive almost instantaneously.
"Get back!" Redbeard exlaimed. "Fall everybody back!" he repeated. "Retreat!" a British captain yelled. "Fuego!" Lord Lunius Sargento said thrusting his sword in the air as three regiments open fired simultaneously upon the scattered and disarrayed British forces just before over a hundred more of Redbeard's men were impaled with musket balls. "Rank two, open fire!" Lunius exclaimed as the second rank fired another volley, right before a hundred more of Redbeard's men fell to the ground. "Fire at will!" Redbeard yelled as a handful of British soldiers attempted to return fire. "Now!" a Spanish captain yelled as four regiments, two on each side of Redbeard's army arose from two twin trenches right before unleashing a maelstrom of musket fire on his flanks.
"Form square!" Redbeard yelled as all of his vanguard regiments got into square formation. "Return flanking fire!" He exclaimed as his men attempted to return fire to the four Spanish regiments which were attacking his army from the sides.
Chapter V - The King's Justice
Chapter VI - Duel of The Fates
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